Our journey to being foster parents began a long time ago! The first time we considered it our children were young. I was at home with the kids and we knew there was a need for homes for kids whose families had broken down. We even printed out the application and started filling it out, but our job situation changed and we left the idea behind. We considered it again when our kids were a bit older but the process seemed overwhelming and scary and we didn’t pursue it!
So we inadvertently became foster parents a different way! Through a set of circumstances that aren’t my story to tell we had a young man move in with us who needed a home for a while… and it worked! We learned to adapt and accommodate and I believe we made a difference! And then there was a young man who needed a new start and then yet another young man who needed a home. The last one had no connection to us whatsoever before coming to live with us! In some ways I think God moved us into Fostering gradually because we were afraid to make the leap!
So all our kids moved out, we looked around our empty 5 bedroom house and asked ourselves what we wanted the next stage of life to look like! We went to an information session, took home the application and filled it out and started the process! 6 months and a lot of paperwork later we officially became a Foster Home!
But why?! Why did we choose to walk away from the freedom of being empty nesters and step back into the world of parenting for kids who are not our own? It’s not a simple answer!
- Because we see the messy world all around us
- Because there are children living a life they shouldn’t because of the broken adults in their world
- Because we have been on a journey of healing most of our lives and understand that you are not a prisoner of your past
- Because we have a richness of resources available to us through faith, family and friends that we can share
- Because all children should know they are loved and have value
- Because… it feels like the right thing to do!
I want to share a video with you that we saw a few times during our training. Each time I saw it a different aspect stood out to me. Although it’s a dramatization it is not fiction, these things happen. The challenge of loving children who have been traumatized is not for the faint of heart, but it is needed!
So we have begun the journey, and it is hard! But we can do hard! We will give up some of our freedoms so that these children can one day experience more than neglect and trauma! We will chose to love them and believe in them and walk them to a healthy place where they can know they are valued! We will also chose to love the other mother and forgive her, and pray she finds the help she needs so that she can take up this role in her children’s lives again.
We just had two days of respite where the kids were away with another foster parent. The first time in two months we were not responsible for them. I missed them! I looked forward to picking them up and hearing about their weekend. I feel like a parent not a caretaker! It is so much more than a job we do, it is a life we have shared!
In the midst of the mess