There is a common misconception surrounding people that foster and/or adopt and it looks a little something like this…..
They probably homeschool. They must have always wanted a big family. I bet she can’t biologically have kids. I bet she makes her own Valentines boxes instead of buying them at Walmart. They must be really rich. They must be so poor. How do they have enough room? They must LOVE kids. I bet all her kids clean, cook, and babysit. I could never do that. I could never let them go. She must be really organized.
Admit it. You have seen the families in Walmart with 5-8 kids in tow and none of them have the same skin tone and you’ve thought to yourself….better her than me. Or maybe you’ve actually done the opposite. Maybe you have romanticized the situation. You looked at the family and thought…..oh I wish I could do that. I wish I could bring in these children, love them, feed them, house them, and let them go, but we just can’t right now. If only we had more time, money, resources, etc.
Maybe, you have watched the family adopting a teenager or large sibling group and you realize another year has gone by without opening up your home. Maybe, year after year you put that on your resolution list, your prayer list, your refrigerator magnet, and at the end of the year you have a lot of reminders/prayers but very little action.
Our family entered the world of foster care and adoption almost 7 years ago. We were a nice family of four and had great plans for the rest of our life. I was a teacher where my kids attended school, and J.O. was on a nice work path. We had just bought a home in Little Rock we loved. Things were on the path for us to get our kids through school, still be relatively young, and travel the world. The only problem with that plan was a feeling of complete un-rest. In true Christian fashion, I committed to praying but wasn’t really planning to act on it. This begin a year-long internal wrestling match. I can tell you this…..it is ALWAYS easier to obey in the long run.
We opened to foster and have seen over 20 children come in and out of our home. We have had the opportunity to see children be adopted into amazing homes, see families come back together in reunification and thrive, and even get to be foster grandparents for a bit.
During this time, we have also adopted twice. We adopted two sisters and recently added to our family again with a little boy.
Our family of four has now grown to a family of seven. My Honda Accord has transitioned into a 12-passenger van. I am now going to have one entering his senior year of high school and one entering his Kindergarten year of elementary school. Traveling the world young, now looks like parenting while old.
But you couldn’t make me trade it for the world.
I get it….you cling to the saying, “Not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but we are all called to do something,” However, what about this….”Not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but more are called than are currently acting.”
Maybe you are truly a prayer warrior and you hit your knees for these kids every single day. That’s awesome. Maybe God has entrusted you with extra money and you need to be a financial supporter in this fight. Maybe you finally need to complete the paperwork to mentor youth aging out of foster care. Or maybe the time has come to finish 2019 as an open foster or adoptive family. Maybe it’s time to mark that resolution as completed.
Finding peace in obedience is much better than constantly wrestling with disobedience. Give me the unknown of this journey over running from this journey any day.