Let’s begin here: fostering and/or adopting isn’t for everyone. I truly believe it is a calling. I also believe there is a beautiful role for everyone to play who’s willing.
A Smidge of Our Story
Several years ago, I remember questioning out loud why I would ever adopt/foster if I could have children of my own. Unknowingly and certainly naively, I had closed my own heart to the idea. I hadn’t prayed over that statement I made so boldly. I hadn’t sought God’s will for my life in regards to children. Subconsciously, I knew best about the family of which I had always dreamed and believed if that’s what I desired and where my comfort zone lay, God must be on board. Oh, but for the grace of God!
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40
The journey on which my husband and I were taken to prepare our hearts to foster has been one of the hardest roads we’ve walked. That same journey has also been one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given. I’d love to share that story with you someday. For now, I’ll suffice to say that God has revealed His heart on the matter to us and has willfully called our hearts to follow. We have just finished our third week in a 10-week training class on fostering. The deeper we get into these classes, I am seeing the need for and value in them even more. I am so thankful to those putting forth the effort and giving of their time to make sure we are going into this battle well-armed. I call it a battle because we are entering into the world of children who are hurting, some of whose parents are hurting as well, and it’s going to be hard. I also believe it’s likely going to be one of the most rewarding undertakings of our lives.
Tonight, my husband was putting our daughter’s crib back together, screw by screw, bolt by painstaking bolt. We are preparing our guest room to be a new nursery for the children whom we will be given the privilege to love and shelter. As I looked at that crib once again, my heart was flooded with an overwhelming thankfulness. You see, it was a gift, like so many others, when we first brought our daughter home a little over two years ago. Within the time frame of half of a day, everything we needed to welcome a baby into our home was provided. That crib was an unsought blessing. It was offered without asking. Seeing it again now reminds me of the faithfulness of a great God who not only gave us an answer to years of prayers, but who also provided everything needed to go along with His answer. Isn’t He just so sweet? And now, as He has called us, that precious reminder of His faithfulness will once again be used for His glory and to provide a safe place for a child in need to sleep peacefully.
Laying Down the Law
Soon, we will tackle the long list of to do’s given to us by the State. This includes more baby locks, more baby gates, more fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, as well as the securing of even more household chemicals (and tools!) behind locked doors. We will need to provide a written and diagrammed route of escape in case of a fire (at child eye level), as well as an escape ladder that can quickly be tossed out of the window and climbed down. I keep picturing Vin Diesel’s character Shane Wolfe from The Pacifier nodding his head in approval as we work to turn our home into a childproof fortress. (Serious, not-so-serious side note: Was anyone else a fan of that movie? It was my husband’s reference, so don’t blame me.) And with that said, if anyone is looking to have a fun, in-house play date … you can rest assured our home will likely be the safest place your children will ever step foot.
The Road Ahead
Soooo, fostering. We’ve been told it’s going to be hard. We’ve been warned it’s going to be heartbreaking and stretching and painful. We’ve also been let in on a very precious secret: it’s completely life changing and will be one of the greatest blessings we’ll ever experience. We are going into this with eyes wide open and hearts to match as we look forward to the journey to come. Soli deo gloria.
“He must become greater, I must become less.” John 3:30
Have you fostered or adopted? I’d love to hear your story.