To Foster a Child?
Foster parenting is not something that I had ever given much thought. If anything, foster parents were trailer trash on TV, visited every so often by smooth talking detectives in pursuit of a killer. And the children in the foster care system? I never knew any, so I never gave them much thought. Then, I grew up, and so did my sister Jenny.
Jenny and her husband felt the call to foster long before they were married. She went so far as to get a family life degree in college so that she could be a better foster mom. As she awaited the approval of her foster application, I worried. How would she deal with losing a child after she’d grown to love it? How would I be able to support her through something like that? Then, her first foster child arrived, and our whole family fell in love. Then, her second, then her third. And yes, there has been plenty of agony, a whole lot of prayer, and most of all- joy and love.
I began to feel the tug in the foster direction around the time Jenny first started talking about it. God has so richly blessed us. We have all of our physical needs met quite well, we have a lovely house and yard, new cars, a happy solid relationship, wonderful children, aunts, uncles and cousins everywhere. But, the question kept nagging me: Has God called us to merely sit back and enjoy all of these riches? Are we to simply receive His blessings and offer up plenty of thanks? No! I feel the call to turn these blessings back to God, to use them to his glory. So, I prayed. My husband, Matt, prayed. My Bible study group prayed. We prayed together. We asked for God’s guidance, and the leading came. My husband Matt and I were suddenly on the same page. Previously, I had been all for it, gung ho, jump in with both feet, Matt had been very reluctant. Suddenly, we were both on the same page- cautiously moving forward, eyes wide open, and praying thorough every step.
The first obstacle to taking in more children was our car. It was full. We had a minivan that seated seven. There are seven people in our family. We bought it less than a year before. It was very nice. But, we felt that God wants to increase our family. We didn’t know how He would bring it about, but we did know that if it’s what God has for us, then it’s what we want. So, Matt said that the first step was to get a bigger van. It was a big step of faith. Make the room before you have the child. Remember, Matt had been the reluctant one, now he became the driving force toward replacing our car, and once we had found a new van, it was he who spent a precious vacation day driving way up north to get it.
I am excited. We now have the gargantuan twelve passenger van. Where will God lead from here? I can’t wait to see his plan and to watch how He fits each piece perfectly together to achieve his purposes.