It’s my day to write this. I’m feeling a little intimidated by this task. Reading the blogs of all the other advocates who faithfully serve their foster care communities throughout the country has me feeling a little under-qualified. God has blessed these ladies with talents and gifts and grace specialized for their unique paths in loving the forgotten. And so as I’ve prayed and prepared, God answers me this: “haven’t I always given you all that you have needed for anything and everything I’ve asked you to do?”
“Yes, Lord, always,” I reply.
I still look back at the way God brought me into this fostering journey. Some know me now as an adult, some don’t know me at all and have stumbled here some other way to read this. Some of you, those who’ve known me my whole life can likely attest to this: I’m the last person you’d think would become a foster mom!
I grew up an only child and had always had a longing and appreciation for those who had brothers and sisters. I was content, yet selfish. I had my own plans for my life. I knew Christ, but can’t say that I desperately wanted His will to be done in my life. But God, being God, changed my life, slowly but surely. He brought me the best husband I could have ever dreamed for and through His design brought our birth children into this world. We lived a life of serving here and there and tried to reach others for Christ. Then things began to change again. My dad became ill. This wonderful, Godly man who loved me well and provided for me. This doting Grandfather whose passion was for his family to know, love, and serve Christ. We put so much on hold that year, caring for him, and praying for healing which only came when he beheld His precious Jesus face-to-face. The following year brought grief, but with it came this zeal, this all consuming zeal, that God had called us to something more. Something more than living in suburbia with our 2 kids and 2 dogs, enjoying fellowship with our church family, the occasional feeble attempt at evangelism and serving the less fortunate. He called us to a task for eternity. He called us to serve, intentionally, whole-heartedly, 24-7. Not just when we had some free time or when it was convenient. He called us to foster and adopt. He called us to relationship, relationship to love and point them to Jesus.
It was the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I reached pits of despair over the broken children that came through our home. I wept and cried out for them, for the birth parents, for my family, and for me. There is pain, but beauty in the brokenness. There is beauty, because in spite of the evil in this world, it is still His world, still the works of His hands are here. The beauty of the people He made, in His own image can still be seen. What we see in part, He sees in whole. I see glimpses of this in the way our birth children love their little adopted siblings. It’s a delight to see these relationships blossom and develop. And yes, they do bug each other now and then, but it fills my heart to see them fully love each other with complete delight and abandon!
I’ve found a new reliance on Him, as I’m so unfit and unworthy for this task. I’m weak and imperfect and it’s only by His grace that I can do it. Any talents I have, are gifts from Him. And I see how He’s used those talents to place me where I am and equipped me to serve as He calls.
And even this supposed “calling” to foster, I don’t believe is really a specific calling. I don’t believe we’re called or not called to do this. Fostering and loving the orphan is not a spiritual gift, but rather a command: James 1:27 “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
Consider how God might use you to care for the foster community. If God can take a self-serving, selfish, unqualified person like me and use me to foster and eventually adopt, He can use anyone! God is able.