When a sweet young couple we know decided to answer the call to become foster parents, we were delighted! Of course I asked to share their story, and they happily agreed. I hope you’ll visit Eden’s wonderful (and relatively new) blog, Standing on His Promise, to read more about their journey as foster parents!
This past summer and fall, my husband and I started to really wrestle with an unsettled feeling within us. As we prayed and really dug into Scripture, we struggled to see our lives as a real reflection of Christ. We were in a comfortable place in many ways, but the Lord would not quiet the stirring within each of us to take another step of faith. One evening as I prayed, I began to feel led to the idea of foster care or adoption. Not wanting to lead the charge myself, I prayed that the Lord would independently lead my husband to the same thought.
I never said a word to him and just continued to pray for clarity. About a week later, we were riding in the car when my husband said, out of the blue, “I’ve been really thinking about two things lately – foster care or adoption.”
Needless to say, we have felt 100% convinced since that day that this is something the Lord has led us to do. We began praying with much anticipation for the children who the Lord will entrust to us in the coming years.
You might wonder why on earth we would decide to do this, and you wouldn’t be the first. Let me start with some of the reasons we are NOT doing this. We are not doing this to fill any void in our own lives. We’re certainly not doing this so that we will get a pat on the back one day from anyone or so that people will say of us, “They’re such good people!” We’re also not doing this because we think that there are kids who need us to rescue them from evil parents.
We really feel strongly that the Lord has led us to this decision, but more important than feelings or perceptions is the mandate in Scripture. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” The story of the Bible is one of sacrifice and redemption, and as Christians we are to proclaim that story in every facet of our lives. Seeking to be obedient to that command, we are excited to walk with the Lord and rely on Him daily, striving to show these children the love of Christ, which is certainly unconditional but grounded in discipline. At the same time, we want to pray for their parents’ redemption and restoration, lovingly speaking the truth of the gospel into their lives as often as we get the chance, and expecting the Lord to be faithful to His promise in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word will accomplish His purposes.
You may be thinking that this all sounds great… until reality sets in. We are keenly aware that this is going to be difficult (to say the least). We don’t have any false hope that we are fully prepared or that this road is going to be easy. We rest in the fact that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 promises us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” We are simply being obedient to Christ, and we are expecting Him to do the work of equipping us and walking with us every step of the way.
For whatever short time these kids reside in our home, they will be as if adopted into our family.
At its very core, the gospel of Jesus Christ is a story of adoption. The story began in Genesis, when God’s people first turned away from our Heavenly Father in favor of our own desires. That story continued through the entire Old Testament, and I know we can all relate as we reject God in favor of ourselves and our ideas daily. In order to restore our relationship with God, a sacrifice was required as well as a mediator to speak on our behalf. Then God sent His son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice on our behalf – that through Him as our mediator, we could stand blameless before God, adopted as children of God and co-heirs of Christ.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ” Romans 8:14-17
This scripture has become more and more meaningful to us as we have walked the path of foster parenting over the past couple of months. Since the beginning of March, we have had three children come to be a part of our family at different times. First was Zizi, a spunky nine-month-old who was instantly attached and instantly a special part of our lives. She went home after two and a half weeks to her dad in Chicago. Then came Miss M, a happy two-month-old who we didn’t bond with as quickly, but who loved to snuggle (so that bond came soon enough!). She went home after three and a half weeks (a little premature if you ask us, but nobody did, and that’s ok!). Now we have Emmy, a four-month-old who has been in foster care since the day she was born. Emmy is likely to be a more permanent fixture in our lives, but we have had a more difficult time bonding with her than with either of the other two (go figure!). However, the bond is getting stronger every day, and the Lord continues to be faithful to our prayers.
It would be impossible for me to capture the roller-coaster of emotions and experiences my husband and I have had over the past few months, but I can say this with certainty – We have never in our lives experienced the Lord the way we have experienced Him through foster care.
The reality check is that daily life as a foster parent is no more glamorous or fulfilling than the daily life you may presently be living. We clean spit-up, we mix bottles, we clean bottles, we change diapers, and so on and so forth, but the daily experience of laying ourselves at the feet of Jesus and allowing Him to use us to care for these children whom He loves so deeply and extend grace and mercy to their mothers whom He loves just as deeply is an experience like none other. There is nothing like being at the very center of Christ’s work of redeeming lives in our community. We love Zizi, Mary, and Emmy so deeply, and our hearts break when we see them go, but we love Jesus Christ more, and we want to love Him with wild abandon, putting our hearts on the line in order to bring glory to His name and see lives radically changed!
Do you have a positive adoption story of your own to share? If so, contact me!