We have been officially foster parents for 4 months. The best advice I can give is some that was given to me… 3 months.
After 3 months, something happens. The kids began to trust us. They both began to smile with genuine joy. The oldest, C, is almost five years old. He was happy after about a month, but joy didn’t come until later. The youngest, M, was difficult to say the least. But at that 3 month mark, she even looked different. Her eyes reflected the trust I hoped would come. Their behavior drastically changed, and we actually began to enjoy them both. It is difficult to enjoy children that are undisciplined and emotionally disturbed… But praise God, it is happening.
They will be going home soon, sooner than we thought. We have begun a relationship with the parents. One that prayerfully will lead to healing for the whole family. Our prayer is that they come to know the Lord, that He would heal them, and that He would be glorified.
Recently we finished our training through the CALL in our county, to be opened as a Foster Home. We picked up our new additions yesterday. The thing about Fostering is this… It is hard. It is emotionally draining. Nothing could have prepared me for the way we felt driving away from the local DHS offices. I pretty much cried all day. Chris had to go to work, so I was ALONE. The struggle within me was twofold. I desperately wanted to love these kids and I desperately wanted to run away from them, and at the same time my compassion was fighting with my selfishness. This call to look after the orphan is not optional. I know that God called me to do this. He told me to and I am doing it out of obedience. I know what the reward will be… Two little ones that have no idea of our God and our Savior, hearing His name for the first time. No amount of discomfort or frustration can ever compare to that.
Our neighbors to the north, south, east and west are digging through rubble to uncover a piece or two of their lives. They have lost everything and I am sitting in my nice, comfortable house, freaking out about head lice, food all over the floor, and clothes that don’t fit their little skinny bodies. Comfort is a blessing that we take for granted every, single day… The air conditioner is not set quite low enough, I actually broke a sweat today. My shoes are starting to lose their tread. These two children in my house were excited about sleeping in a bed and having a pair of shoes to wear. What do I have to even complain about?
I am humbled to be a part of their little lives. I know that I will continue to fail, but Christ in me will succeed. He is doing this, not me. And His body will pick us up when we fall. Thank you, Jesus, for your hands and feet… Serving me, serving them.