We have exciting news! We are going to be parents!
Probably not the way you are thinking though. No, not twins. We are on the journey toward becoming foster parents! The pink and brown little shoes represent the journey we are currently traveling and the fact that we have no idea who our little ones are going to be! We may get a girl or a boy, or both in a sibling group, a baby or a kindergartner but it doesn’t matter to us! We are going to love on whoever God calls us to love on! We are so excited and so thankful to be called to this and covet your prayers and support.
Recently a young child who heard about this journey we are on asked. “Why are you doing that? “ I looked down into her questioning, confused eyes and saw my own questions, worries and doubts. I had no idea what to tell her or how to make her understand so I simply said…”Because Jesus said so.” At first I felt foolish and maybe a little embarrassed about my extremely simple answer but then I realized that that actually encapsulates exactly why we are doing this! However, I understand this journey comes with a lot of other questions or concerns so first I want to simply share our hearts then try to answer some questions we have received.
The first reason for why we have begun this journey is the fact that God has called us to love the vulnerable. A lot of times when there are societal problems we turn first to the government when looking for a place to gently lay aside the blame from our own hearts. Psalm 146, Job 29, Matthew 6, Esther 2 and many other places in Scripture call us to love the fatherless, the widow and the vulnerable of our society. He calls us not our government. It doesn’t take a social scientist to see that our society is a broken system run by broken people running from God. Why would we desire that these people take our most helpless and vulnerable to be in charge of their well-being? Our churches are undeniably guilty for leaving this lot to the government.
Another reason we have for becoming foster parents is that is lines up with the values we have set for our family based on a biblical worldview.
- Live Simply: We are to strive to not bring earthly investments into our marriage but instead to invest in the marriage itself. (2 Corinthians 4:7 &1 Timothy 6:6-10)Our marriage will have to be well invested in to withstand the upheaval that is the child welfare system.
- Provide Sanctuary: Our hearts and our home are to be places of safety, openness, freedom from judgment and love. (Proverbs 31) If there is anything that these children will need, it is sanctuary.
- Cherish trials: Our trials past, present and future give us an invaluable opportunity to show grace. (2 Corinthians 12;9-10)We understand to a certain extent that this will be a long and hard journey. It will be our choice whether these trials ruin us or make us more righteous.
- Impact through investment: Using our home, time, money and resources to invest in the eternal soul.While we may only have these sweet ones for a short time, we hope to make an impact on their eternal souls. To see our foster children and their families come to Christ would be our greatest joy.
- Sweet and Sound: Words from sweet lips and actions from sound minds. (2 Timothy 1:7) I have heard it is tempting to be judgmental and negative about the system, the government, case workers and biological/natural families. This will be an opportunity to use the power and sound minds that God promises in order that we have sweet and kind words towards these individuals that we might bring the Gospel to many.
Finally and most importantly we want to become foster parents so that we can not only speak the Gospel from our lips but also live the Gospel with our lives. I have no doubt that being foster parents will have to be a selfless sacrifice so that another might have life more abundantly. This is what Christ has done for us. Jesus came to earth to be our advocate and our mediator between us and the Father when we could not for ourselves. We will also be this for any child that enters our care.Foster care requires deep relationships with many different people. We have been told that once you begin this process your lives and homes become an open book.
We especially hope to develop relationships with the biological parents in order to provide a support system that perhaps they have never had and also to build a strong enough friendship/partnership to provide open opportunities to share the Gospel. One unique opportunity foster care brings is that often, these children will not physically look like us as their foster parents. This will lead to hopefully kind inquiries which will also give us an opportunity to share the Gospel with strangers we might not normally have a reason to converse with.
That is a brief summary about our heart behind why we have chosen to foster care. Here are some questions we have encountered that we would like to answer.
Probably the question that is most common is this; “How can you love someone who isn’t even your own, especially when they are just going to leave?” We have already been asked this question so many times! Usually, I would simply explain to the questioner that our desire is to get attached to the child so that in later years this child will have developed psychologically the ability to form attachments to others such as a parent or future spouse. This answer always seemed so trite to me (though the statement itself is a very important one), but one day this verse came to mind.
Proverbs 22:6a “Train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is old he will not depart from it.”
It doesn’t say in the way she should be or dwell or stay. The words are go and depart! The whole point of having children (biological or not) is to teach, labor, weep over, discipline, love, and care for that child then to send him off! That’s the end goal. We aren’t to expect to hold on to our children forever. Foster care and adoption just present us with (perhaps) a shorter amount of time. How much more urgent and precious the time we have with them should be!
I love when I am reading a familiar passage of Scripture when it suddenly speaks to me in a new way or I understand it in a deeper part of my heart. I was reading Psalm 127. “Children are an heritage from the Lord.” In OT times your heritage or inheritance was a huge deal! God blesses with children for just that reason, he wants to bless us! What is a true blessing though? Perfect children? Peace? Financial gain? Everything going my way? No. The greatest blessing the Lord can give is to make us more like him. Foster care will mean hardship, emotional trauma, sacrifice, more of them, less of me… all these things together to make me a Mama like him.
“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior…”
Again, scripture re-states the idea of children and going. What are you to do with a quiver full of arrows but to shoot them off? Where does a warrior shoot arrows? Into the midst of the enemy. This is what God wants us to do with the little souls entrusted to us. Train them up in the way of the Lord then shoot them off into the midst of the enemy so they can accomplish his work and will. Wow, what a responsibility. Lord prepare us.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” J.E.
Another common question that is asked “What is the child will not or cannot love you back?” This one for now evokes a simple, logical answer. I can love a child who cannot love me back because God has done (and continues to do) the same for me. I constantly grieve the Holy Spirit and fail to show Him the pathetic human love He seeks from me all the while He lavishly pours out His perfect love on me. By His grace I can be more like Him in giving while not often receiving.
1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.” Foster care is indeed a Christian endeavor. We can only hope to fix the shattered view these precious, malleable hearts have of a broken or empty love because we have experienced genuine love from Love Himself.
How can we support your foster family?
- We have a few specific prayer requests at this time
- First we need a new apartment/home to open up at an affordable price. Housing in Denver is hard to find and extremely expensive.
- We need wisdom in deciding on child care while Heather is at work part time
- While we will receive a small stipend each month for having a child/children in our home we still will incur some costs initially (clothing, car seat, crib/toddler bed ect.) We are trusting our God will provide for these needs.
This is our story. Welcome to it! We are abundantly thankful for support we have already received from friends and family, but we are most thankful for our God who can supply abundantly and who qualifies the called.
(Photo Credits: Josh VanMeter vanmeterdigital.com www.facebook.com/joshandsusan?fref=ts)