Our Story Being Written
Almost six years ago, my husband and I started on our journey of unexplained infertility. I once was the girl who made the bold and very shallow statement, “Why would anyone ever adopt when you can have children of your own?”. I am still quite embarrassed to say that I ever thought that, much less allowed it to leave my lips. I certainly did not see the great value or need at that time and looked only to my own interests and dreams I had created for myself. I never asked God what He wanted for my life in regards to children. I’ve written about our infertility journey before, so I will focus today on what has transpired since that time. Not only have my husband and I adopted two children, we are actively praying to be able to adopt more. Our hearts have certainly been changed and we are so very thankful. But this next part surprised me even more.
The Call to True Sacrifice
I remember the day my husband came home from work and told me we needed to start fostering. I had brought the idea up to him one year before and he did not feel it was best at that time, so I let it lie. It’s amazing how God can change a heart, and in His perfect timing. On any given day, there are around 443,000 children in foster care in the United States. Let that number sink in. We felt called to be parents. God said no (currently) to biological children. That doesn’t mean He wasn’t and isn’t calling us to be parents. That is where my heart lingered for so long until He made it clear. He had a grander plan for our life than I could have imagined.
In foster care, we are able to parent children who desperately need a loving home to reside, to receive nurture and care and food and shelter and love. All of this that they may never have fully received before, if at all. Is it hard? Sure. Parenting is hard, no matter who the child is. Are we putting our own hearts on the line knowing they will likely be broken at some point along the way? Yep. But let me tell you what God taught me during my walk with Him through infertility . . . He can take care of me, of us. He longs to meet me in the deep recesses of my heart and bring a peace that surpasses understanding. He is weaving a beautiful tapestry of our lives and these children’s lives that we can’t always see, but one day, it will get turned around and be placed on display. I was once the girl who said, “I could never do that.” But God. How thankful I am that He takes us layer by layer and peels them away until we start seeing a little bit more of Jesus every day, every year. How far I still have to go.
What Fostering Has Taught Me So Far
Parenting someone else’s child is tough. They have more than likely come from a background that is completely different than how you raise your own children. This is certainly the case for us. However, we have also gotten to see incredible changes take place in the child’s life — growing, developing, understanding, letting go of fears. Most children come in to care with absolutely nothing. And if they do have something to their name, it’s packaged in a black trash bag. This we can change, friends. Most foster families have zero notice when they will be receiving a new child into their home, and thus have everything disrupted, and they are glad to do so — however, it’s just like bringing home a brand new baby from the hospital. The family’s needs in those next few days are no different and you can play a vital part in helping with meals, things the child may need, etc. if you are willing to engage.
There are many rules to follow, but honestly, for the most part, it’s not that difficult. I can say that our home is *VERY* safe, which may have been a burden at first, but is now a welcomed aspect. Not all foster families drive Sprinters, but many do. 🙂 We have gotten to know an incredible community of people who are literally sacrificing their lives and homes every day just to make a difference in a child’s life, and their homes are busting at the seams. These are some of the most amazing and loving people I’ve ever met, and I am so thankful for their community. Truly, the hands and feet of Christ on display. They are also willing to meet ANY need that is put forth and often don’t even need to be asked before they recognize it. And they never want to be put on a pedestal. They (we) simply want more people to engage in this battle. The need is great. The children are worth it.
More Than We Could Have Ever Imagined
It’s so interesting to me to be able to look back over our past and see rocks of remembrance in our lives as we have walked along. God never forgot me, us. He was always working and guiding. He used our trial of infertility to prepare our hearts for something greater — His plans, not our own. And the wonderful thing is, He changed the desires of our hearts to meet His along the way, while drawing us nearer to Himself in the process.
If you have ever contemplated getting involved in foster care or would just like to know more information, there is a TIPS Class coming up starting August 22, with orientation on August 1. Please contact me for more details and I would love to help you! There is never any obligation — it’s just information. You can opt out at any time. But, oh, think of the difference YOU can make!