We felt like God was calling us to become foster parents. To be honest with you, we had many fears and concerns about it. One of our main concerns was how it might affect our own 3 young kids.
Up until that point in time, a lot of the decisions we made regarding our kids were made to protect them and to help keep their innocence. We knew if we chose to become a foster family, we would potentially be exposing our children to things we would rather them not know.
Things such as drugs, abuse, foul language, and violence. If we actually became foster parents, would we really be bringing this into our home?
Ultimately we knew God was calling us, so we decided to step out of those fears, step into faith, and be obedient to what God was calling us to do.
We became a foster family about a year ago and during that time our kids have been exposed to some of the things we had been concerned about. Honestly, that hasn’t been that big of a deal. In fact, it has been good that they have seen such a clear picture of the consequences of sin.
They have also learned a lot of positive things that we had not anticipated them learning. One of the biggest things our kids are learning is compassion. We have never used the word compassion with our kids, but that is exactly what they are learning.
They have come to understand not everyone has a mom and dad that can properly care for them. Their heart hurts for all foster children who can’t be with their birth parents. So, they have welcomed a child into their home as if that child had always been their sibling.
Our 7 and 8 year old kids both say they want to be foster parents when they grow up. They have seen the need, and understand how just one family can make a difference.
Our 8-year-old daughter prays and thanks God every night that she has a mom and dad who take good care of her, because she knows not every child has that gift. Our 7-year-old son runs straight into our foster child’s room every morning, wanting to be the first one to greet our foster child
bright and early. He will probably also shed the most tears when the child leaves our home. Our 3-year-old daughter tells people almost every day that her foster sibling is her best friend, and she means it.
Maybe the biggest reason they are learning compassion is because they are learning it from us, as we are learning it too. We have come to realize everyone has a story, and there are reasons why people end up the way they do. In some cases it can be easy to judge foster children’s biological parents. If we were in their shoes and had their same upbringing, we would probably be making the same decisions they are making.
We don’t look at the homeless guy on the side of the road the same way anymore. Instead, we wonder what is his story? Was he a foster child who aged out of the system? Has he ever had anyone tell him he is loved? Does he have a family somewhere who misses him?
As Jesus entered Jerusalem right before He was killed, the Bible says He looked at the crowd of people and had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Foster care has opened our eyes to see that Western North Carolina is full of sheep without a shepherd. As Christ followers, we all need to have the same love and compassion that Jesus had for those who are lost.
It’s true that our kids have been exposed to some negative things. However, the good things they are learning far outweigh the bad. We are so glad we chose to become a foster family. We will continue to learn and grow to become more like Christ as we love the least of these.
Have you considered becoming a foster family? Are you like we were and have fears of your own? We would love to help you
walk through your concerns. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questionsabout foster care we can help you with.