Voices of Foster Care: Nothing Short of Honest

“I don’t know how you do it.”  

“I’d get too attached.”  

“I could never be a foster parent because I could never let them go.”

“How in the world do you deal with the parents?” 

“They obviously are terrible parents or they wouldn’t have lost their child(ren).”

These are the types of comments and questions I hear on a daily basis. In honesty, they are difficult to hear. 

For my family, foster care has been one crazy journey after another, with many of ups and downs. But it’s a ministry…it’s MY ministry. I tell people that this is my Mission Field.  

Of course we get attached. These children are precious, issues and all. Yes, it’s hard to see them leave, but we take them in for a season because God has commanded us to do so. 

And the parents/birthfamily? Don’t even get me started. That’s probably the hardest part to deal with, but man, have I been convicted to minister to them as well. My flesh doesn’t want to, but after hearing God’s voice (very clearly, I might add), I knew I had to press on. I have grown close to a mom of one of our current foster children. Within the past two years, she has made poor choices, repeatedly.

 Don’t we ALL?

There have been moments I wanted to give up our relationship. I wanted to just forget about her and pursue the adoption of HER child. And then God’s little (BIG) voice chimed in (because He always has to give His opinion, you know), and it was one of those very divine moments in my life that I will never forget:

I haven’t given up on her, and you won’t either.

Have you ever had someone give you a firm, but gentle command? That was it for me! 34 years old, and I have never had the Lord speak that clearly to me before. If ever I’ve questioned my discernment in hearing the Lord, this was NOT one of those moments. He is so very clear about his concern for His children - every.single.one.

Scripture references time and again God’s passion for His children who are unseen by society, and His desire for the Church to care for them. Deuteronomy 10:18 says, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.” 

In Deuteronomy 24:19, he says, “When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” 

Even Job mentions the fatherless in chapter 31, verses 11 &12… “Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.” 

Psalm 10:17-18, Psalm 68:5-6, Isaiah 1:7, Zechariah 7:10, James 1:27…All of these scriptures (and countless others) reference how important it is for us to care for those who have no one else to care for them.

Isn’t it so easy for us to sit around and pretend like these people aren’t out there? And even if you don’t, and you are a foster parent struggling with ministering to the birthfamily, how much easier is it to love that baby?

Then, how easy is it to love the drug addict? 

The mom who abandoned her children? 

The dad who abused his child? 

It’s so not easy. 

This life is not meant to be easy

God is LOVE, and if we are to strive to be like Christ, we must love even the hardest to love. 1 John 4:20 says, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”  

Luke 6:32 says, "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”

Can you say Reality Check? 

I didn’t WANT to love our little blonde haired, blue eyed boy’s mom. But if I’m going to be obedient, I will choose to. It has taken two years to get to the place to where I genuinely love her, but, by God's grace, I am finally there. It took me a while to realize that God died for her as much as He did for you and me.

I want to leave you with part of the lyrics to a song by Josh Wilson. Many of you have heard it. It’s called “I Refuse”…Take a look…

Sometimes I, I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright
When I know they're not
This world needs God, but it's easier to stand and watch
I could pray a prayer and just move on
Like nothing's wrong

But I Refuse

I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
I could choose not to move
But I refuse

I can hear the least of these, crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet of You, oh God
So if You say move, it's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
And show them who You are

I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
I could choose not to move
But I refuse

What will YOU do?

So grateful for my friend Christy Fitts' honesty. Her incredible journey of foster care has challenged and encouraged me. Christ is her standard, and she refuses to settle for anything less.

Because of the One who does not turn from us,

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