Last night as I rocked our baby girl to sleep, the reality of our future with her hit me. The fact that she may not live with us forever has always been true, but as I looked around her room last night - her crib, her dresser, her folded pile of pj's and blankets on the nightstand - it became all the more real that this might not be her room for very much longer. One day she might have a very different room.
We are fostering to adopt her. This means we are licensed by the state and assigned by the court as a safe and loving temporary home for her away from her more unstable environment; and if the court deems it to be in her best interests, our hope is to become her forever home. But there are no guarantees that she'll stay with us - that she'll grow up with our daughters as her big sisters, that we'll walk her to school on her first day of kindergarten, celebrate her losing her first tooth, teach her how to drive, send her off to college or walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. We hope and pray for these things, and we love her now as if these future memories are certain, but there are no guarantees that she'll ever know how much we have grown to love her, or how desperately we longed for her to become a part of us forever.
THE ONE GUARANTEE WE HAVE
In fostering to adopt this precious girl, we choose the pain of possibly losing her if it means she has gained the benefits of us having had her. We will willingly embrace the sting of a very great loss if it means she has known the kisses of a very great love. While we mourn the certain possibility that she may be removed from our home, we accept the joyous privilege of giving all of ourselves to her while she is here.
We understand the possibilities of what could come, yet speak very little of them. Much is communicated in our silence - the truth is too difficult to talk about. It's almost as if just maybe, we ignore it long enough, the likelihood of her leaving will decrease.
I know we can provide her a good home, a safe and loving environment, possibilities and opportunities that she may not otherwise have available to her if she were not with us. I know she will be loved here, cared for here and protected with every ounce of our energy from things that are dangerous, harmful or unhealthy for her. Yet, for all that we may be able to provide, God's ability to be good to her in a difficult environment is far greater than any good we could offer her in a comfortable one. No amount of "good" we can give her can compare with the goodness of the sovereignty of God in her life, wherever she may end up living it. There are no guarantees in foster care, except one - God is sovereign in the life of this baby girl. He is good, and He will be good to her always, no matter where she lays her head at night.
FOSTER CARE AND THE GOSPEL
In the end, our call is to fully love her while we have her and accept the costs we may incur as worth it for the gain she may receive. This is nothing more than what Jesus has done for us. He joyfully laid down the infinite value of His own life so that we might know the immeasurable worth of being fully and unconditionally loved in Him. Foster care is a beautiful expression of the Gospel. It demands a selfless, costly and potentially painful love, for the sake of a child gaining much as you willingly give all. As we labor to love this baby girl with the love we ourselves have received from Jesus, we do so in a cloud of uncertainties and unknowns, but with the confidence of one guarantee - God's sovereignty in her life is for her good now, and always. We rock her to sleep each night with this certain hope.
- Foster Care: Loving a Child That Might Leave
- Counting the Costs of Fostering or Adopting
- Busyness, Obedience and the Perfect Time to Foster or Adopt
- Three Things Foster Parents Don't Have to Be
- Wrapping Around Foster and Adoptive Families
- Ten Simple Ways Your Church Can Serve Foster Families
- To Foster and Adoptive Parents: Reframing Your Season of Struggle
- Foster Care is Spiritual Warfare
- The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Marriage in Foster Care
- Defining Success and Failure in Foster Care
- Foster Care and What I Fear Most For My Own Kids
- Making Orphan Care Normal in Your Church
- Developing a Holistic Orphan Care Ministry in Your Church
- Foster Care: Why the Church Can Stop Outsourcing Child Welfare