Foster Care – A difficult yet rewarding journey 

Not so long ago, our family felt led by the Lord to become certified foster parents or professional parents as our agency calls us. I kind of like that title. It has a nice ring to it. I wholeheartedly believe the Lord called me to be a stay at home mom. That’s the exact calling He handpicked for me, and I love it! I am not who He wants me to be just yet, but I am willing to be fine tuned as He sees fit. I want to be molded by Him.
The Lord blessed Jamie and I with five biological children, and now He has trusted our family to care for a sweet little baby boy. I know the calling of Mom might not seem like a lot to some, and I absolutely fought to work outside of the home for awhile. But, when the Lord tells you to do something, you stop what He previously had for you and you obey. A little is much when God is in it! Whatever He calls you to means a lot to Him.

After graduating from college, I was already married and pregnant with my first child. But, God did not allow me to stay home right away. He had a different plan for six years or so. He knew I needed some hands on experience before jumping into homeschooling and the diverse world of foster care. So, I worked as a certified teacher and developmental specialist. And now, I completely understand why the Lord put me in those professions before making a way for me to come home full time. I have used every bit of the knowledge those experiences brought since coming home to be with my children. I’ve needed those experiences especially homeschooling and wading through two NICU stays and the complications that come along with them. The training that I witnessed as a teacher and developmental specialist have been invaluable as a parent and as a foster parent as well. There is no difference really. Once you are placed with a child, he or she instantly becomes a member of your family even if it is just for a short time.

I left my career outside of the home when our oldest was going into first grade. He is finishing up his first year of middle school in May! Yikes! It’s been a minute or two since the Lord asked me to turn in my resignation. But, He is sovereign, and He has been here for us every step of the way. He has especially been here for us as we have prayed about foster care and adoption.

In the first month of this year right after a domestic infant adoption plan fell through, I was busy trying to orchestrate my own plans as our family inquired about adopting a sibling group waiting in Virginia. Please pray for those sweet children, but it was clear that the Lord sent a phone call that said, “Stop! I have the perfect placement for you. I have the placement that I picked out for you.” It’s always best to be patient. It’s always best to wait on the Lord. Trust Him in all things because He knows what is best.

I cannot begin to explain what a humbling experience fostering the sweet baby that came as a result of that phone call has been so far. He has brought so much joy to our home. Of course, there are times when I have felt and continue to feel uneasy about the fact that this baby that I love unconditionally with all my heart may leave and return home within the next few months or so. But, the fact remains that he has a birth family. A birth family that we are praying for. A birth family that hopefully sees Christ living in us. A birth family that needs to raise their baby if at all possible. I pray they will get ahold of Christ’s love for them.

Mostly the uneasiness is felt for my kids, my husband, and me. It is a selfish fear. A fear that worries about our hearts being broken more than God’s will being done. However, the uneasiness comes simply because we do love him more than I could ever explain. But, our family has prayed for this little guy time and time again. And, we know that God knows best. We know that God knows all things. It is important to us to follow God’s will no matter how hard it may be. It is vital that we teach our children that God’s plans are most likely going to seem too hard to bear on our own, but that doesn’t give us an excuse not to follow through with them.

We are the ones who signed up for foster care. So, we are well aware that if it is God’s will, reunification is most likely always going to occur. Is it going to be easy to say good bye? No! Are tears going to be shed?Yes! Have tears already fallen? Of course! Do tears well up as I write these very words? Oh yes! But all of that is okay as our family focuses on the simple fact that God works all things together for His good! We are here to live out Matthew 25:35-40. As you read those verses, you quickly realize that there are some tall orders written. And in our flesh we question God over and over, but God always strengthens those He loves. He has recently helped us stop questioning. He has strengthened us in a way that only He can. He has brought our family closer together.

Faith and trust go hand in hand when fostering a child. We have learned that you cannot have one without the other. It just will not work. Not taking a child into our arms and loving and caring for him just because we are afraid of getting hurt is not an option. This baby needed us. As I mentioned before this has been the most humbling experience we have ever walked through. So with every bit of humility that I have in my body, I say this baby needed us. God has shown us in the most perfect way that He trusts us to care for him. It is really hard to fathom because satan has screamed inadequacy more than once these past two months. God is greater than satan. He has already won that battle. And, He keeps all of us on our knees in prayer.

God knows exactly how long He needs us to hold His precious baby boy and care for him. He has reminded us time and time again that he really does belong to Him. His life was created by his hands, and He will take care of his every need.

This baby’s smile is contagious. And, we are so thankful the Lord has allowed that smile to brighten our days. We are so blessed! (I wish I could share a huge lot of pictures that have cuteness written all over them. But, as of right now, I’m not allowed. So just imagine the cutest half a year old baby boy with the cutest smile in the world. Don’t forget to imagine one of my kids hugging and kissing on him because that is what they do in all. the. time.)

 Matthew 25:35-40 King James Version (KJV)

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

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