Sooooo, I wasn’t necessarily planning on sharing this post. I think the main reason is because in my head, I was like…”crap! Now I’m going to be accountable to all of these people, even people I don’t even know.! But, you know how the story goes. The holy spirt moves and
pesters convicts my heart that it isn’t all about me. #okayjesus So I’ve made peace that it’s God’s story to tell and I’m his vessel. If you’re thinking about fostering, I hope this post encourages you to press on to find out more information regarding it. My hope is that maybe this post can serve as a way for you to encourage someone around you who does it because they need all the support they can get.
When Jimmy and I got married, I had just graduated college and was only 23 years old. We were the first ones to get married from our close group of friends but the reason was because we had dated for so long and age was just a number at that point. It took me 2.5 years to get pregnant with our first child, Jules. I had some trouble with infertility due to having polycystic ovarian syndrome. Gosh, that pregnancy was one of the best times of my life. I loved every aspect of that pregnancy even when I was throwing up because I knew that there was life growing in my belly. It was a miracle and I didn’t take that gift for granted.
I’ve always had a tenderness towards children but it magnified after having Jules. To make the long story short, God opened my heart to see the needs of orphaned children. My heart broke and became burdened just thinking about them. But then life became busier with 3 children and the demands they naturally bring along with work, ministry and all of my DIY projects. 😀
Last year, God kept putting this idea of fostering on my heart. The topic kept coming up with people that I would meet and from my sisters in my small group. A handful of them have or are fostering and it’s such an encouragement to me!
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Mark 9:37
I had and still have a lot of these same thoughts. It’s too scary. It’s not for me. I already have 3 kids! My heart is too weak to take on such a task. I’ve got enough on my plate. I’m finally enjoying more free time now that the kids are getting older. How do I care for traumatized children? I’m not equipped. But what about my desire to work, God? The classes are terribly inconvenient. Who will watch our kids? The list went on.
But again, that same holy spirit kept nudging and gently prompting me to see the desperate need of foster care that is lacking around us. He kept opening my eyes to neglected, broken children in need of a home. He kept asking me to trust him with my big dreams and to give up my need to strive. What I’ve realized is this. There is never a perfect and convenient time to commit. Obedience takes sacrifice.
Last weekend, I met with my sweet friend, Sarah, who is also on the path to fostering with her husband, Richie and two small children. We shared with one another the beautiful truth that we foster because we ourselves have witnessed and experienced the sweet love of the Father. He has shown us an endless grace, mercy and love for us as his adopted children. We do it not because we’re equipped but because we will lean on him day by day and trust Him with the bigger plan. His grace is sufficient in our weakness and his power is made perfect in them.
Even though I may struggle with those thoughts I’ve shared earlier, here’s what I do know. I’m passionate about our home being a place of refuge and healing. I can provide warm meals, do laundry (okay, that’s actually Jimmy), clean up a boo-boo, help with homework (okay, jimmy again), give the biggest hugs and kisses and teach a child how to make a mean dessert. Jimmy and I don’t have a perfect marriage but we firmly believe in living out forgiveness and showing grace to each other. We are a constant work in progress. We’re on the same team when it comes to raising our children and I couldn’t ask for a better partner to embark on this new journey. If a child stays in our home even for one day, my prayer is that God would make an eternal impact in their hearts.
So tonight, Jimmy and I will head to the workshop that continues over the entire weekend. We’re working with an organization called Faithbridge Foster Care. Honestly, it’s a miracle that we’re going because both of our daughters were so sick with the stomach virus and strep and missed almost the entire week of school. God has made the way for us to go! A huge thanks goes to my brother, David and his wife, Jaehee for taking most of the responsibility with our kids. Thanks to our moms, my SIL and her family and our closest friends in our community. We’re learning already that fostering takes a whole community and we haven’t even welcomed a child into our home yet.
If you’re a foster parent, I welcome any wisdom and words of advice. If you’re in the process of becoming one or on the fence, I would love to connect with you as well. Let’s encourage and pray for one another! If you want to partner with us, we would love your prayer support above anything else. We are really excited and anxious and will keep you up to date on our status. If you’re wondering how you can serve foster families, here’s a wonderful and practical article I read last week on how your church can serve them. We all have the power to stand in the gap for children who are powerless and without a voice.
Thank you so much for reading. Hope you have a blessed weekend, friends.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, our kids are pretty darn excited too. Please pray for their precious hearts also. God has used their lives to propel us into action and I’m so thankful for that.
Let all that you do be done in Love. 1 Corinthians 16:14