When a child is removed from their home and placed in foster care they come broken and lost. They need someone to love them with consistency, help them put their pieces back together again and provide a safe and nurturing environment so they can thrive.
While this maybe interesting to some of you, I am sharing my heart more directly to those who are or have fostered or adopted children. Who knows it may even speak to those of you who have been considering doing this. This isn’t being written for sympathy. Because those fostering or those who have adopted are not looking for any kind of sympathy. We do what we do because we love what we are doing. It is simply my prayer that something from our personal experience will spark inspiration, give direction or encouragement to one of you! I want people who foster/adopt to know…..that in their moments of loneliness, there is still a togetherness! It comes from others who are going through the same kinds of things. Tough things…..sometimes Really Tough Things!
With each child we’ve had in our home it’s been a different journey. We’ve had 21 foster children in our home over the last 10 years and three that we have adopted. And with all of them, we have gone about picking up and putting together their broken and lost pieces in the same ways. Without God alone as our strength, we couldn’t do it. He has been faithful in supplying us wisdom and direction. He has never left us on any part of our difficult journeys. But that doesn’t mean that sometimes the journey hasn’t been lonely.
The road to adoption through foster care, fostering a child for a period of time, or doing respite (short relief help) for other foster families, can be filled with despair, days of hopelessness and loneliness too. A great family support system and a church family for support is a must! But even they don’t ever really understand it. A great number of people try to figure us foster families out. They even say to themselves….Why on earth would someone willingly take another person’s child into their home with so much brokenness? And well, we are saying…Why on earth wouldn’t everyone want to help the broken? Are they not all God’s children first?
Nobody really get’s us foster parents and families. They don’t really know what to say, how to encourage or what to do to help. So don’t be alarmed if you learn pretty quickly, that it maybe a lonely road at times. We made the decision early on, that the lonely road was ok with us. We have had to keep our focus on the child’s needs and not our own need to be understood. Don’t expect others to know what to say, how to help or what you may need from them as far as support. There will be many times you yourself will not know what it is you need!
The one thing that is absolute was our need for Prayer! We have received them often and many of them have been answered timely! We have spent our days focusing on being obedient rather then worrying about what other’s are saying, thinking or maybe even snickering about. Bad foster families are out there, just like bad parents…and fostering has definitely been talked about! We stood and still stand completely confident in our God. He alone has supplied us with all that we have needed and more!
Before we ever give an answer to the Placement Coordinator calling us about a child being removed, we have always prayed first! This is not always to their liking, because they want an answer immediately. But asking the Lord first, if it is his will for us, has been the only way! Waiting on his direction has always proven best.
We’ve remained firm in our faith and grounded in His word. We know that God only gives us what we can handle. And it’s by his strength and not our own anyways. So, we trust him completely. With every obstacles, diversity and frustration that comes with a crazy court system and biological family member that can appear out of the wood work. We know that the system may seem out of control at times…..but Our God Never Loses Control!
Be encouraged that in your moments, days or longer times of feeling lonely….you are not ever alone! God is with you! If you feel you are the only person in the world….find comfort in knowing their are so many others like you! They are also fighting battles, mending struggles, sorting out feelings and being a child advocate with concerns just like you!
So, when you ever feel you have no one…this blog is a testimony that you always have someone! Me!!!!! My husband and I, our family, and SOOOOOOO many other foster and adoptive parents all over the world really. We stand united and share the same hearts. We share in your loneliness and totally get what you are doing! We understand you! We stand by you! We support you through your sleepless nights, long court days and the child tantrums that come out of nowhere and last for hours! So many of us are actually in the trenches trying to heal scars, mend hearts and restore families just like you!
In your loneliness and in your moments of doubt, remember that foster and adoptive parents experience a “togetherness” and an understanding that is shared without having to express any words. It’s a connection made within our similar hearts. We get each other like nobody else. So, know that you are not alone in your travels. Our God and others will be right by your side no matter where the road may lead you.
With each child’s brokenness that is mended, each child’s family that has been put back together again and for each child that finds his or her forever home…. We Celebrate Together! There is an unspeakable “togetherness” of people cheering you on! These people are ones who are doing the same as you. Loving the hurting children in our foster care system despite their own times of loneliness.
So, keep keeping on….and press through bouts of loneliness!
Be Obedient and Believe in Your Precious Call!