This last month of foster care has been hard. Maybe I missed the memo when we started foster care two years ago that our opinions won’t matter a whole lot and what we advocate for a child is nothing but curlicues of smoke. It’s a broken system and a broken world. Some cases are so complex you are forced to choose the best worst option. Maybe I’m not cut out for the foster care system; because I care too much. And I hate settling for mediocre or less. Lately I feel like I am fledgling around in the water like a drowning man, hoping I’ll get to solid land, but only gulping water. What am I doing here?
Well… What are we doing? Foster care is for insane people. You have to have a somewhat borderline crazed mentality in order to submit yourself to the life of being a foster parent. I have been reading Dr. John DeGarmo’s book Faith & Foster Care in which he says that foster parents are “weird:”
We have to be a little weird to do what we do, don’t we? After all, foster parents dedicate their lives to serving other people by bringing into their homes and families children who are in need, children who are often troubled, and children who many times have a variety of challenges. To be sure, foster parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done, and continue to do (pg 21).
Originally this post was titled Losing Our Minds in Foster Care. Because that’s what it feels like
some most days. However, as I started writing this I realized it wasn’t so much that we are losing our minds, but rather it is us losing our hearts to Jesus. In foster care we wake up and say daily, “Here’s my heart, Lord, take it and make it more; make it bigger than myself.”
What is the point to doing this thing called foster care? This is a hard question I think over and over in my head. In our desperation we ask the question. Why do I bother fostering if the kids are just going to go back to the same-old-same-old? Why bother when we give up so much of ourselves with no chance of reciprocation? Because this is something so much bigger than ourselves. This is when pure trust in God comes to play.
Some Many times we cannot see the point, but we can trust that God does; that we only can see through the peephole and He has the whole picture in view. Ultimately, as a Christian, the point is obedience and love for God. But my human, tired self, begs to see the point in it, or in other words: the outcome. My human brain wants to know the ending now to know if all the pain is worth the while. But I have to accept that I may never seen the conclusion on this side of heaven.
Recently I read on the blog Mob Momma: “I prayed that in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer that I would be in step with His Spirit. If I am to love HIM more than my husband, more than my children, more than any other thing on this earth, then my vow should echo as much.” This really resonated with me; here I am going through frustrations, fears, things not going how I would direct them and then I read this. I’ve vowed to love my husband through all trials and joys in life, but do I do this with Jesus? In the “sickness” and in the “health” of the foster care journey we must stick it out, trusting in Him who holds the world in His hands and can see the greater picture. That’s foster care for you: it brings you to your knees so that all you can do is look up towards heaven and cry out for help.
My favorite version of this song: