There is so much I want to write about, so much I want so share and so much I simply cannot! I truly wish that I could put into words how foster care has changed our lives. I wish I could convey the millions of emotions and changes that have transpired over the past several months… but the truth of the matter is, I cannot. There are no words and there is no eloquence in conveying the message of what it truly means to be a foster parent! I would also venture to say that for each of us involved in the system, it has a very different meaning and response from us individually and not collectively. It is not easy, it is not for the faint of heart, it is not a bed of roses, and it is not simple. Everything about it is complex, trying, and often broken and what breaks your heart the most is the brokenness in the eyes of the children you are caring for each and every day! It is also the most rewarding and remarkable experience of our lives.
We do not seek a pat on the back, an atta girl, or to be nominated for sainthood. We do not expect others to understand this journey we have chosen. We don’t expect people to agree with it and we do not want to be admired for anything we have freely chosen. We also understand that there is far worse things out there in the world! While we fully understand why we chose to become foster parents, we often wonder why we would ever be so very willing to have our hearts ripped out, torn up, and shattered in the way they have been in so many ways! I do not say this for dramatic effect, and I do not say this to gain sympathy, but in the past several months we have been asked on more than one occasion WHY we chose foster care. WHY would we put ourselves through this? We are doing this because we feel strongly that God called us for the sake of his child! We are, because we can, obeying his instructions written in James 1:27.
I know that may sound foreign to some, but it has been a little over a year ago since we asked God, in prayer, to break our hearts for what broke His. We ourselves were in a place of brokenness. We were newly married with all the hopes and dreams that often come early on in marriage. Instead found ourselves in the middle of completely different journey, one we never expected and certainly never prayed for. Our hopes were for children, not cancer coupled with unknown fertility issues. However our brokenness came, I have realized one thing, God allowed us to walk through those circumstances for His purpose and his calling, because I believe otherwise we may not have responded the way we did!
Despite our frustrations, we find ourselves blessed beyond measure. Our home is filled with two beautiful children and all they bring to the table. It is sometimes messy and miserable, and sometimes happy and delightful! It is a rollercoaster and the ride we willingly get on each and every day. We are often told how “lucky” (I don’t believe in luck) the children are to be in our care, but ask them if they feel that way and think about it from their perspective. We are the ones who find ourselves blessed. We do not like every twist and turn, we do not agree with every step that is made, we do not like some of the things our children have endured, but we willingly climb to the front seat of that rollercoaster each day and know that despite the direction of this journey, we are blessed! When God places a burden on your heart, He doesn’t promise that it will be easy, He doesn’t guarantee that it will be smooth sailing, He doesn’t even promise that we wouldn’t be broken hearted, but He does promise that He will be there on time, and to be your ever present help in time of need!
After all, he came to this earth and lived life to die for our sins. To be crucified for everything that he never did. He hung on a cross on Calvary and paid the account for all of us! He was mocked, chastised, berated, beaten, betrayed, conspired against, vilified, and denied! Jesus owned his journey and never walked away, he fulfilled his purpose and suffered the consequences of OUR actions willingly. He knew his fate, accepted his path and would do it all again and again to save one broken child of his!
Psalm 34:18 ~ The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.