It's okay if you don't understand...
The last few weeks have already given me a taste of the type of reactions that Steve and I can grow to expect from foster parenting. Many reactions not great while others have been incredibly supportive.
With that said - let me go ahead and set some things out on the table that need to be understood:
1) We understand that this journey will not be easy. We don't expect it to be. And honestly God has never promised it would be. We are entering into a realm of uncertainties to care for kids who have been through hell. And our role is to support them and support reunification within a family that's experience challenge. It isn't glamourous, but it is what we feel God wants us to do.
Because we know we can make a difference... And not only that but we should. These kids are innocent and didn't ask to be raised in the environments that they are in. They need a chance - and they deserve one.
It's our duty as Christians to care for the fatherless. What better way to care than to provide a loving supportive place for them to feel safe until a permanent plan is made.
2). Your fears are our fears...
What if a kid has behavior problems? Or tries to hurt your kids? Or runs away? Or does drugs? Or hits you? Or steals from you? Or their biological parents hate you?
Those are all things that "could" happen... But do they happen often, no. Will they happen to us? Maybe.
But I have to believe that God didn't lead us down this path to let us fail.
So with that said - I hate to lay it out like this - but we don't need anyone to tell us all the reasons of what might happen. All of those things have already entered our mind, and we have already made the decision that God is bigger than any of them.
The what-ifs I would like to think about go a little different:
What if we can help a kid graduate high school? Or go to college? Or stop using drugs (or prevent them from ever using)? Or show them what it looks like to live in a safe home? Or teach them to drive? Or plan a budget? Or stay out of the justice system? Or take them to church for their first time? Or introduce them to Jesus? Or maybe even adopt them?
3). Once we get kids we aren't able to talk about them... Part of the reason we have been so open now about our journey is because once we do have kids with us we have to keep them confidential... Meaning no pictures or names on Facebook. No talking to my friends about the new kid in my home.
That doesn't mean we hide them away, :). It does mean that we have to be sensitive to their situations.
So please don't ask for personal details once the kids are with us. We love for you to pray for us, hang out with us, but understand now that certain things are not going to be able to be shared.
4). We understand that foster care isn't for everyone...
We don't think this is for everyone, but we do think that caring for the fatherless is something that everyone should contribute to - whether it is fostering, adopting, praying, babysitting, financially helping kids, mission trips, volunteering, or other support.
There is too much need to do nothing. So, be prayerful. Be open. Let love change you.
We love all of you. We thank you for loving us.