One of our foster families was authentic and vulnerable with us recently about one of the things that initially held them back from becoming foster parents. Read about how God helped them overcome that fear, through their post below.
When we first thought of becoming foster parents, we could only think of the many reasons why we should not foster, but we finally surrendered in obedience to God’s calling for our family.
Receiving our first placement was scary, exciting, and unknown. We were grieving our old freedom yet embracing our new responsibility, resulting in a week full of emotion.
I had no idea how God was going to show me His grace and mercy through this foster journey. Right away, we all bonded with our new baby. He melted our hearts, and my children were in love with him.
One of our reasons for not fostering sooner was because we wondered how bringing a child into our family would affect our children. But, instantly we were all a team, all in, all ready to fully love the new member of our family.
Seeing my teenage son play with, pray with, and read books to his new brother was amazing. The “baby of our family” took on the new role of “big sister” and was willing to give up everything for her new little brother. Seeing all of my kids willing and eager to help with feedings, to change diapers, and to drop everything to make the baby laugh demonstrated God’s grace in our fostering process.
Throughout our first placement, we had some ups and downs with the biological mom of our foster baby, which God used to expose the sin in my heart. God showed me areas that needed to be changed in me, to refine me and to show me His mercy. God also showed us all how to love.
One Sunday, the mom came with us to church. I looked down our row, and I saw my children sitting next to her, loving her where she was at and for who she was. My kids amazed me with how they loved her unconditionally.
The time eventually came for “our baby” to be reunified with his mom five days before his first birthday. The night before reunification, we sat down as a family, and each of us prayed over the baby and his family. The way my kids prayed over this family melted my heart.
So, how would fostering affect my kids? We saw love in them that we didn’t even know they had as well as a selflessness and compassion that humbled me.
Fostering has changed my husband and me too. Fostering has been the most spiritually refining and faith-inspiring experience that I have ever had. This change was reflected in a recent statement of my 13-year-old son, when he said to me, “Mom, you are different. God has grown you through this. You have a strength you didn’t have before.”
And, as for my husband, one fear that he previously had about fostering was wondering if he could love someone else’s child, so witnessing the way this man loved our foster child was so sweet. And, his heart has continued to melt with each new child who has come to live in our home.
Yes, fostering has changed our entire family in many ways. But, the biggest change has occurred in how we think about fostering. Previously, we could only think of so many reasons why we should not foster; now, we can only think of the many, many reasons why we should continue to foster.