Should we have said yes?

As many of you know, we’ve taken the plunge into foster parenting.

This decision wasn’t one that was made lightly. Ever since the birth of our first daughter, 18 years ago, we felt the abundant love one has when they become a parent. We ( Jeremy and I ) felt we had enough love to share.

We’ve gone through foster parent training three times. Once when our oldest was an infant, another time when our second was in kindergarten, and the last time, about a year ago.

I think the times prior when this call was on our hearts, it was for the wrong reasons. I grew up as a foster kid, and I wanted to pay it forward.

Overall, I had a decent upbringing, and was loved on in a deep, affirming way. I grew to be a successful adult, and one that is pretty empathetic. I know that there are amazing foster homes out there, but there are some bad ones too.

Jeremy and I have grown up together. We began dating when I was 15 and he was 17. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs, but he’s always been my rock, and for a long time, my foundation.

That might sound well and good to have such reverence for your husband, but I was missing where my foundation should really be built on. It’s not fair to put everything, your feelings, successes, failures, and dreams on one human being. That’s what I found myself doing to Jeremy.

Every time something went wrong, or my hopes weren’t fulfilled, I felt like it was his fault, or something wrong in our marriage.

I think when we bailed out on the plans to foster in the past, it was because we wanted people to see how ‘good’ we were, or stressing the message to ‘pay it forward’ and we just didn’t feel, ‘good’. We were trying to get the glory for ourselves whether we realized it or not. So, in the plans to expand our family, it just never felt right.

Fast forward a few years, and we are in a different chapter of our story. We are both Christians with a faith that grows deeper as we invest in our worship and bible time.

My foundation is no longer built on the the fairytale of the, ‘happily ever after with Prince Charming’, but rather it’s built on the happily ever after in Eternity with Christ.

That call to foster parent came back, but this time we want to glorify God in this plan, not ourselves. I don’t even know how we could think of ourselves as superior people! We are so flawed!

We took our first placement about a month ago. She’s a sweet 3-year old who requires a lot of attention. More attention than we are even used to giving our three bio-daughters.

We are selfish human beings and even though she’s a little who needs so much TLC in this trying time in her life, we ( the collective three bio kids, myself, and husband ) are all riding on the struggle bus. The wheels on the bus go round and round… round and round… “STOP, LET ME OFF!”

Oh wait, I can’t get off the bus!

If it weren’t for praying to Jesus every single hour of every single day since this child came to live with us, I don’t know if I would make it. I don’t know if Jeremy would make it.

Our prayers go something like this; “Dear Heavenly Father, I know that you are holy, and are in charge of all things and have big plans for all of us. I know you have arranged for this child to be in our home, and it’s for your reasons. Please, give us the love we need to love on her. Please, give us patience to deal with the meltdowns and tantrums.

Please Lord, help my other kids understand that we are trying to do this in your Name because you call us to love the orphans.

Please Lord, help ease our anxiety. Please Lord , help everyone to feel loved today. Jesus, please forgive me for my meltdowns, my outbursts, my cussing, my selfishness. I need the Holy Spirit to use my mouth to speak your words to this child and my other kids.

Thank you lord,

Amen.”

Trust me when I say, I knew this was going to be hard, we weren’t fooling ourselves. Are we cut out for this calling? I don’t know.

Are we suppose to just be here for this little girl, or foster others in the future? I’m not sure.

Should we have said yes to this one? I think so. I know God is not calling us to be comfortable in our lifestyles, and that’s one of the luxuries the family is mourning right now.

In the meantime, I’ll keep leaning on and asking for forgiveness from Him. That may be the whole point to this.

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