“ You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me.” – Acts 20:34
I admire and thank God for the people who are willing to become foster parents. It is not easy. It is an exciting adventure. No doubt about it. It also has its fair share of trials. To be honest, it can be like boarding a rollercoaster with so many twists, turns, and loops that you feel it’s never coming to an end.
But every day foster parents across this country are opening their doors to children, guiding them and helping them reach their potential. Every day they invest their love, energy and prayers to give these kids the home they need. And when you watch from a distance, the sacrifices these parents make to first reach these kids, see their progress and witness their development, brings a smile to your face. Foster care is just as much about changing the story of the child, as it is changing the story of the foster parents.
It is easy to view foster care as simply bringing a child from an unstable place into a better one. While that is in part the case, it is more than that. When a child is welcomed into a foster parent’s house it is actually the child that is inviting the parents into their story. Foster parenting has the ability to warm your heart and turn your life upside down all in one.
You will become attached. It happens all the time and it won’t take long for it to happen. You can try to fortify your heart, because it would make it easier for you to detach from them when the time came for them to return home. It probably won’t work. Foster parents have told me that it was nearly impossible not to love the children they are caring for. It just happens. You get hooked and that’s not a bad thing. You cannot have these precious children in your lives and not be moved by them. You cannot open your heart to them and not have it transformed by them. The experiences and memories will always be a part of you, and a piece of you is now always a part of them. Mark 9:37 says, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
The need for foster parents is great. Yes, there can be challenges, but there’s an overwhelming need for loving people to step up to the plate. There are unexpected blessings if you do. You could be positively rewriting the story of a child’s life while rewriting your own.
- John 14:18 says, “No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.” What does that mean to us today?
- What, in your view, are the qualifications of being a foster parent?
- Do you believe the child or the foster parents receive the bigger benefit?