I've been challenged with my view on this so many times. Most foster parents have been told they are damaging their own children or neglecting them in some way. The following post is from a precious foster momma friend, Dawn. I have watched Dawn and her husband, Jared, continue to choose self-denouncing love, both for themselves and their four biological children. She makes me want more of my Savior...
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
While talking with my mother-in-law recently about the path God is leading our family on, I was struck again by the simple fact that He is leading our family. This is not just something He's doing in and through me and Jared, but also in and through Rach and Noah and Isaac and little Jojo as well. We're all in this thing together. As my mother-in-law said, God has called all of you to this ministry.
It is only natural that people express concern for our children, and anyone else's children who become foster parents. And the concern is valid. Sad, scary, messy things come with the territory. Fostering is most definitely not a Walt Disney, Hallmark kind of world.
But I am glad that this is part of our children's normal. I'm thankful, even, that it is normal for them to have 'friends' come and stay with us for a while, so they can be safe while their mommies and daddies learn to make better choices. I'm glad that our children have opportunities daily at their tender ages to give of themselves out of love for another who most likely will not be able to repay them. I'm glad that they have such a beautiful picture of God's redemptive work right in front of them, that they grow up knowing no different.
Watching God use my children to welcome and love Princess Petunia is one of the sweetest, most encouraging and motivating parts of this whole crazy story. I will never forget seeing a scared, teary-eyed little girl break into a huge smile and giggle when Isaac marched up to the door that first night and announced, "I'm cute."
Jared and I pray that we are making wise choices along the way. We do consider our children's ages and needs before we say yes. We do regularly check with each of them to see if we need to address any concerns they might have. More than anything, however, we trust that God, who loves our children more than we ever could, will continue to lead their little lives just as He leads ours. And we pray that He might use this Fostering to draw each of their hearts to Himself. And that He might use them to minister to each child that comes into our home. Who knows? One of our children just might end up being the means God uses to save one of these precious friends.
Or, in the words of another foster momma, Anna, who has traveled this road for years and has mentored me in so many moments,
How can we NOT do this for our birth children? It's life-changing, hard and sacrificial. Isn't that a foundational aspect of our life with Christ?
I love how Jamie continually reminds me that our children already have a kingdom story being crafted in their lives. We weren't simply called to this. Our family was designed for this. Our walk in foster care will and is already playing into the spheres God is going to bring His kingdom to earth through our children. We have the honor of modeling Godly grief before and with them, and we have the treasure of delighting in what the Father allows them to learn through each of their new sisters or brothers.
So, how can we not allow our children these spaces to discover the Gospel?
Follow Dawn and her family's journey at MamaDawn.
Follow Anna and her mega-family's adventure at Every Kid a Home.