Questions We Foster Parents are Asked, #1

I wasn't able to sleep last night. Conversations and scenarios played and re-played in my mind.

Sometimes, that's how Satan entraps us, allowing us hints that we can control things the perfect way.

All of us in our own spheres become versed in the appropriate answers to the most common questions with which we are confronted. Yet, as I completed our annual foster certification renewal, I realized somewhere, deep inside, there's an ache. The questions I'm asked - we're asked - there's no qualified answers. It's children's lives, a momma's dreams, and a father's legacy. Its the reorienting of families and the sacrifice of new siblings. It's the clinging to Christ, and the hope for restoration and redemption, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

I've been mulling over the questions I'm challenged with most. I don't have the answers, and many have been facing these same questions so much longer than I have begun to. So, where else to face them than before the world...

What about when she goes home?

Jamie and I have been asked this at least once a day over these last weeks, considering our girls. We've said the appropriate things and given the smiling nod, but quietly, in the shadows of our hearts, the whispers plague us too. What if two years of watching us long for Jesus are forgotten in a blink.

There's an economical stigma that comes with being a foster parent, and there is a significant culture that proves its truth. But, the reality is we are so blessed. Weighed against any of the families we've had the chance to love and pursue,  I'm almost ashamed at the things we have - which is a false pride in what God has provided us.

What about when she goes home?

She's terrified. In one sense, she's gaining her heart's greatest desire. On the other hand, she faces the haunting whisper that she will never rise above, that she will be limited forever by a dollar amount. She's frightened of what the bottom of the barrel might look like.

This keeps me up at night. A family cannot be qualified by economics or education, but at times we can make an unconscious decision based on these parameters that we know what is best. That's not what defines a family.

But the haunts are still a reality.

In the foster parent's realm it's appropriate to nod your head and grieve as the child returns home. Then you turn to the next call, the fresh placement, the new challenge. We say there's a line; we must be careful to not enable, to be wise stewards and not give what God has provided us, to individuals who will throw it away to those who will have no desire to be held accountable. These things are true, but then I weigh them against Acts 2: 44-47:

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

No qualifications are mentioned for those they gave to. They gave to those who had a need. And as they were faithful, the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. I'm not aware of many churches that are being added to daily by people newly trusting in Jesus.

But there are still places and gaps in our culture of individuals who live off of a broken system and cling to hand-outs.

I don't know the answer. 

But I know I have a daughter who has tasted what it is to be in a family of vision, who has dwelled in a family that clings to hope...not from the things she has, but from a deep abiding truth within, from the eternity planted within her soul. I know our daughter has a Momma who has seen there is a difference, who wants to learn in grace, even when she slips along the way. I know that of all the peoples on earth, we were the ones placed in their lives. That is a calling.

In heaven there will be no ministry, no missions, but here, on this earth, while we are breathing, there is no end to ministry. We do not reach a point with a person where we are "done." 

So what happens when she goes home?

We love our daughter and her momma there, in a new way, with new needs that we encounter as we and they transition into a new life. We live in the hope of Christ before the helpless, because we were once helpless and hopeless, and display a Savior saw beyond our stigmas to believe in what we could be with the fullness of Him within, One who sketched His vision for us within our beings with the promise that one day we will fully will look like Him.

When she goes home, we will love deeply, because we have been deeply loved.

Because He is Worthy,

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