All you need is love… and a few other things
I have had several people come across our blog and they gently reminded me that we had not updated the blog in over a year. “Well did you start fostering?” is a common question I have heard in the past few months. I apologize for the unintentional cliffhanger.
Since our last post we have had 4 placements, 2 newborns and a set of siblings. It has been 13 months since we officially started fostering and it has been an incredible journey of growth.
We have learned about love, pain, and community.
Love isn’t always a feeling. When you are struggling to get a crying child to sleep, or getting up every 2 hours to feed a newborn dealing with drug withdrawls, love is not the first emotion on your mind.
Loving children who come from hard places can be difficult; loving the parents who have caused these children to come from hard places is even more difficult.
I’m constantly reminded of Jesus' example of love. In Ephesians 5:1-2, were commanded to imitate Jesus by living a life of love. I’ve read the bible through multiple times and I have never read a command to hate or judge others. There are broken people who need love and hope.
On this journey, we have been extremely humbled by the support we have received from our community. Our church and small group have wrapped around us to help encourage and support us.
I do not believe that every family can or should take children into their home, but I do believe that everyone is called to serve the fatherless. What I realized is that everyone has a place in the care of orphans and by serving foster families, you are serving the orphan.
During the summer we had 3 foster care placements, and to be completely honest, we were drowning. We have since learned our limitations and boundaries for when we get that phone call for a new placement. We had families wrap around us in a way that still brings me to tears. Families bringing meals, mowing our lawn, helping with laundry, groceries, and child care. This support made such a difference. One night when I was up at 4am with a crying child, I was obviously exhausted and frustrated, but as I walked around the house rocking this little one I could still smell the dinner that had been prepared for us and was reminded that someone cared and that someone was thinking about us. This encouraged me like you would not believe.
This concept of living in community is very new to me. I believe it is very biblical, yet lacking in most churches today. This idea of having all possessions in common, free for the sharing. Not in a commune, communistic way, but in a free will, I chose to give up my time, my possessions, my abilities, to others in need.
When one member in the body is weak, others are strong and can help support. Later on it will likely be where the roles are reversed and so the cycle of serving and giving continues. Putting the needs of others before your own is against our very nature. Our survivalist instinct, says, “nooo, save your energy and care for yourself.” No doubt, caring for yourself is of utmost importance, however, we must find a balance.
I will do my best to update our journey more frequently, but overall, through the difficulties, we have been so blessed by each child that has come through our home, whether they were in our home for a week or a year.
Knowing that God has allowed us to influence each of these kids- potentially changing the course of their future and helping break the cycle of addiction, poverty, and abuse- is worth it all.