Foster Care… The Calling  of Our Hearts

The message from church yesterday hit home.  I hope you enjoy…..

We all have special gifts and talents that we share in our walk through life. Some are gifted with the ability to teach, some are gifted with the ability to sing, others can build things out of wood, or can preach in front of large crowds, and still others are gifted with the ability to heal the sick through their skills and with the help of medicine.  We all have something we are good at. Something that when we do it the world becomes a better place. We all are also called to do a greater good in this world. Have You answered Your Calling?

By definition a calling is “a strong urge toward a particular way of life or a career.” We are ALL CALLED to do something.  When people think of “those that are called” normally we think of pastors or ministers.  Those that God has chosen to preach His word and to lead His church. And while that is a calling, it’s not the only calling.  God calls people to not only be pastors and ministers, He also calls people to go on mission trips, to feed and clothe the homeless, to sing in church chores, to run fortune 500 companies, to work with troubled youth, to counsel the drug addicts, and yes to even become foster parents.

When I first felt His Calling, I was not really sure what to do.  I had always wanted to work as a social worker but to be on this side was somewhat new to me.  What if the kids that come through our doors don’t get along well with our children, what if the kids don’t like me or my husband, what if I can’t handle their past, what if they don’t like it here,the endless questions all foster parents ask themselves.  All the “What if’s and the Why not’s flooded my mind day and night. They still do.

No one wants to be a foster parent….I mean seriously. It’s not something many wake up one morning and say, gee that sounds fun let’s give it a try.  Being a foster parent is one of hardest things I have ever done.  Imagine loving a child as your own for over a year just to have the court tell you they are going back to the home they were originally pulled from.  Imagine the countless court hearings, MDT meetings, the home inspections and the emergency trips to Walmart in the middle of the night.  And if that’s not enough you deal with all the judgmental people.  At first they say things like “This is so awesome, we can’t wait to help you out” Only to later ask you “Why did you put yourself in this position? This child has some serious issues”  Going through all the red tape to do the simplest of things like cutting the child’s hair or transferring them to a new school, or getting the necessary paperwork so you can take the child to the doctor or to therapy is enough to cause many good foster parents to close thier homes for good. It is definitely not a job for those that quit easy or cave under pressure.  And the comments, oh the lovely comments are not just from strangers or people you go to church with, many come from family members and friends. Hurtful, hateful and down right rude sometimes comments. They never stop. Never.

  When we started out as foster parents the idea of adoption was just a small shimmer of light.  I don’t think we really thought we would ever adopt a child must less five. It was not our plan however it was God’s plan.

  Foster parents are a close group of people.  If you’re a foster parent then you get why others do it.  They understand why you sacrifice for those children that are not really yours.  You understand the love they have for these precious kids, you understand the pain of losing a child you have loved as your own.  You understand why they continue to foster even though the system is broken at best. You understand the desire to want to save them all and you understand the tears falling from their face when they realize it can’t be done.  You get it, you’ve been there, you’ve done that, and yes you would do it again.  Most foster parents would.

God’s calling to serve as foster parents does not simply just go away after you adopt a child or two or five. When He decides your job is done then it will be done.  It’s God’s Will not our own.  I have heard countless times comments like “She (talking about our diva) should have been an only kid” and “Why did you not stop after adopting the first two?” And “Please say your done now”  The truth is I don’t know what are future holds.  Will the move affect our ability to be foster parents? Will we adopt again in the future?  Are we simply done?  I don’t honestly know.  There have been times, many times, I have questioned Why us Lord?  Out of all the people in the world why did You call us to do this task? I have cried myself to sleep on more than one night over concerns and worries for the children He has placed in our path.  I have lost dear friends since the start of our journey, one can not simply drop everything when one has four or five little ones to go hang out at the movies or go out for a quick lunch. I miss those friends, but God’s plan for us is bigger than anything I feel is important.  

Fostering may not have been my plan but through it I have met some wonderful people who’s love for these kids is just as strong as my own.  My family has grown through God’s grace and His faithfulness.   Was it easy to step out and follow His Calling? No, but doing what is right is not always easy.  We have been talked about, we have lost friends, we have been shunned by those that said they would be their to help, and all of that is ok.  It’s not about how people here see us. It’s not about if people here understand why we are doing what we are doing. We don’t answer to them. We answer to Him. And if God feels we are done with 7 kids then we are done, but if He has other plans we will move forward and do His will regardless of what other say about it.

I urge you to listen to God, see what calling He has planned for you. It could be as simple as you spending more time with your family or He could place it on your heart to serve halfway around the world. Whatever it is do it with a joyful heart. Keep your eyes on Him and He will guide your way.  People are going to talk about you no matter what you do so why not do something to glorify God’s plan for you.  Find your part in His big story.  

From our beautiful chaos to yours find your calling and run with it. Don’t let the world stomp on your heavenly treasures. Always keep the faith, love the loveless and hope for a better understanding.

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