I picked up this book on a whim when I saw it atop the New Books shelves at the library. D and I had recently discussed the fact that foster care was on our minds. It had been on our minds for weeks and neither of us mentioned it to the other until we did, then we realized it was probably a God thing because our thoughts collided into this: we’re having more kids. (FYI-this is how we got pregnant with the twins. Well, not just talking technically, but God put it on our hearts to try at the exact same moment and, well...)
Then we agreed not to tell anyone about the foster care revelation, and now I’m blogging about it, with D’s permission, for a ton of reasons. We’ll need the prayers and emotional support when we do this; we need accountability to do this, because we have no illusions about it being easy. For whatever reason, God is saying this is our path. Follow.
We know right now is not ideal, and we are not feeling pressure to do this right now, but we are both seeing this on the horizon as our kids get a tad bit older and God continues to show us some details we need to iron out before a home study and this very huge commitment. Our intent right now is foster-to-adopt, probably just adopting one child unless there are siblings involved. However, we never want to reject a kid who needs a home forever, so if we end up adopting our first foster, are we out? Do we continue to take in kids who will more than likely be reunited with families after completing our first adoption? In the words of Carrie Underwood, or whoever wrote that song, “Jesus, take the wheel!”
And that’s what He’ll do because we have no idea what we’re doing. I lost one of my children when she crawled under a coffee table today and Sam and Wren fished in the toilet WITH THEIR HANDS a few months ago to unclog it. I mean, thanks for trying, but hand IN THE TOILET after Sammy had gone number two? I am obviously doing an awesome job rearing these kids, right? And always being able to find all four of them? Why not more?
I have no idea how it works that God allows us to do things that are beyond our capabilities, but He does. And reading To the End of June painted me a picture of how very not within my capabilities I consider this. The book presented the foster care loop that usually begins with poverty, drugs, alcohol, neglect, abuse and can just run from generation to generation, a trap no one on their own can escape. Add to that the pain of giving back a child you thought would stay with you, the conflict because you know, in many cases, these kids do need to be with their birth parents if it’s at all possible; being okay with being a stopping place for love, but not a final destination; making our other kids okay with that; dealing with the bad that has already taken place for a kid to be in foster care. I cry typing it. I will cry living it.
And that’s okay. Our treasure lies in Heaven; there will be hurt here. But I think the little bit of treasure we can carve out here lies in not letting the what-ifs get in the way of what God can do if we surrender. And this will be a surrender, a falling-head-first, gut-rushing-to-the-throat-not-knowing-where-we’ll-land surrender.
But, if one child can escape multi-generational problems, know Christ, maybe build a multigenerational faith in their families to come, the surrender doesn’t seem so much. And even if we are a just a stopping place for love, not a forever home for a child who needs to take a breath while their parents work to get it together, we can do that.
To the End of June showed me that this will not be ideal and I am not delusional. In the best case foster scenarios, kids are still generally scarred from repeat placements, parents who don’t want them or who do but can’t quite pull it together, and the constant breaking of established attachments. But I serve the great healer, so I’m going to leave that to Him. For now, all I can do is count the chicks I already have in the nest, waiting for the possibility of more to come.