Voices of Foster Care: I. Could. Never.

You hear it sometimes multiple times a day as a foster parent, and even Christy alluded to it yesterday...

I would love to do what you do but I could never...let them go.

I'm so glad you're doing this because I could never...let them go.

Good for you because I could never...let them go.

So glad God hasn't called me to this because I could never...let them go.

Or my most recent personal favorite...(not to be harsh)...but exact quote...
I do what you do too, but I collect dogs. It's the same thing really, but I could never actually do it with a person.

In this person's defense, I could never do what she does and collect dogs. So grateful someone cares for them. But not exactly the same thing.

Okay, remember this month is focusing on the Voices of Foster Care. It's a whole month for me to be on my soapbox in order to advocate for Foster Care Awareness month. There are so many venues in which many of you are loving and serving, but this is Foster Care month.

Normal-Crazy Catie will be back in two weeks with some pretty awesome things.

But in the meantime....I'm gonna be bold, and if you would like to stop reading for two more weeks, I'll miss you. Come back soon.

Here it goes...

We hear often that we are all commanded to care for the orphan, but that does not mean we are all commanded to foster or adopt. Look through scripture and the command to care bleeds from the Word. Refer to Christy's post yesterday for a starting point.

In the next week, I'll actually be profiling ministries and individuals who have found creative ways to serve in the sphere of foster care in order to encourage what we often say, that we are all commanded to care, but not all commanded to take in children or families.

But folks,

A whole lot more of us are being called to foster care than are responding. Look at the numbers from my Introduction.

How many of us have an extra bed in our home and can help with respite for those of us on the front lines?

How many of us have the spare seat in our car?

How many of us have multiple open bedrooms?

The recent great debate on missional living struck a deep cord with me. No, there are not classes of glamour in ministry, and we must not transform our grace into legalism. We are called, and we answer because of the grace that has been shown to us. But when we use our lives as an excuse to escape what is to be a central piece of our core and sanctification as followers of Christ, we are missing the call to be the incarnation of Christ to a dying world.

We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone. No questions asked.

But to think our salvation is for ourselves, or even that it is to remain in the context of our family is dangerous. Our salvation is a vehicle to bring His glory to earth in the spheres He places us and our families.

He has covered us in righteousness, freeing us to serve Him. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. ~ Matthew 20:28

What is more beautiful than that? Can we truthfully look that in the face and say, I could never...

Do we go where He has not led? NO! But, do we hide from the places He does lead under the cloak of I could never...

I do believe in the beauty of a quiet life and that we, specifically as wives and mothers, are called to be keepers of our home and disciplers of our families, which has unique looks for different families. But, I also believe that I can invite in children and mothers, as I keep my home and family, who have never known or may never know what it is to encounter a quiet life because they have not heard of the grace that could be theirs.

That's not missional living. It's obedience. It's faith. It's hospitality. It's inviting in because I have been invited.

I am not amazing because I have extra kids in my home. I am radically loved by an amazing Savior.

After the dog comment this past weekend, I asked some of my close foster mama friends how they responded to the, I could nevers...

Humble your heart, and be challenged.

I don't think I can either, but I will trust God and know that I am an adult and can deal with the heartache knowing I am doing what I am called to do. This child needs bonding and love through a tough time.

You'd be amazed at the power of prayer, God prepares HIS people...a wise friend of mine who is another foster mama once told me "if you're heart isn't getting broken, then you aren't doing something right."

We have cushy lives.  It's not about me. It's about HIM, and how HE prepares us. If He's called us to it, He will bring you through it.

Before I ever thought seriously about fostering, I said that statement to a foster mom, and she simply said, "It's not about you." Blunt, to the point, and true.

I don't have a choice. God called me to foster, and I know they're leaving, so you just do what you've got to do. I love with an open heart and open hands.

You know the story of Jonah? I ran from this calling for years. I told myself it was too hard; I'm single; I'm busy; I'm lousy at goodbyes..but one day I said yes. Turns out starting my foster care ministry was like coming out of the belly of that stinky whale. Life didn't get easier, but the air is fresh and I feel good in HIS service.

We trust that The Lord would be faithful to sustain us through it... And that foster care is a constant reminder that none of my children are ultimately mine. I have no more control over what happens in my foster son's life than I do in the lives of my other two kids. You have to trust in God's sovereignty and his goodness.

You could if God called you to it. But, if He never does; support someone who answered the call.

God will carry us through. This is so very hard, and it's an emotional roller coaster and I cry - I cry a lot! But the love and the blessing we get from her ALWAYS brings me back to why we do it. It isn't about us, its about those precious souls that we are taking back from the one who wants to see them fail and believe the lies he will and is putting in their sweet little minds. God is so good and I have no doubt that He will sustain us and see us through whatever comes our way. I tell them that we are so thankful to be a part of what He has called us to do!

Yes, you could. Christ lived and walked in the broken, dark places of this world and we must do the same...no matter the cost.

This life, when you have given your life and your heart to Christ, is not yours anymore. The big picture is that it's not about "me" and how bad it will break MY heart when they go. It's really about what I can do for them with Christ in me. Pouring into them for the time I have been given with them and not holding anything back just because I don't know how long I will have them. It's an honor to "get to" do ministry through foster care and a blessing to get to love on little ones in the process!!!

How could we not?

God doesn't call the equipped; he equips the called.

Because of the One who surrendered His quiet life to serve us,


  1. Hope it is okay that I shared this on my facebook. We hear this a lot and I loved the responses.

  2. Oh, I love the Jonah comparison. Have to remember that...

  3. Each moment I embrace that child whose past wounds are evident, I am given the opportunity to let go of my own wounds. If I could love this child - not born of me, not even mine to claim - how much more is the obvious and tangible is the love of my heavenly Father who created me and knows each thought, dream, desire and disappointment. The more broken my heart - the greater filling I find in Jesus.

  4. As I weep and read, I sense the Father calling our family into fostering.
    And I am afraid...
    And we have no money. And we have no space in our rental home.

    And...these are legitimate needs, except my fear of course, but legitimate needs to which Jesus promised that the Father would add unto us if we would seek first His will.

    I think His will for us is this.
    And I tremble at the awesome responsibility and can only attempt to wrap my mind and heart around the "HARD" that this is; on so many levels.

    But, I cannot deny the ministry of reconciliation that we have been charged with as the Church and what a profound display of the Gospel it is to love little ones and intercede on behalf of their parents as we pray that God would graciously intervene and tear down, and uproot, and rebuild, make alive, regenerate, save...

    How can we prepare our hearts; my wife and I. What conversations should we be having? What prayers should we be praying? If you were starting over, knowing what you know now, how would you have begun?

    Thank you. For being obedient. For keeping a blog. For being a voice.

    Cameron Sandel

  5. This post brings tears to my eyes!

    I'm single and have a "on the go" lifestyle. I rent a room in a friend's house, I work, I do ministry, I had about 3 free hours this week, I don't spend as much time with the girls I mentor as I should, and I know very little about being a mother.

    However, I serve a God who is bigger than all that. And this week I had my last home visit with my caseworker until my foster daughter moves in. I don't know her yet, but I love her, and I pray for her as I ask God to make me the best mom for her.

    A friend posted this on my Facebook, since she knows where God is taking me.

    Thank you for this post and for being a voice. If I can be a foster parent, anyone can!