Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why Would You Do That?

I recently shared our desire to be foster parents with a close family member, to which her response was, "Kristy, Why would you do that? You have three kids of your own to raise. That is hard enough." It made me think...she is not the first person who responded that way, we have gotten that response several times. Each time it causes me to pause and catch my breath. With all of the grief resurfacing with Asher's birthday I have really thought hard about my answer to that question. Here is what I came up with.

Howard and I are determined to take God at His Word. He TELLS us to care for the orphan. While that may not mean EVERYONE should take in orphans, it does mean we should ALL be doing our part to care for them, no exceptions. God's children are not burdens. They are gifts. Each of them. EVERY.SINGLE.CHILD, in the system and out is a gift. ALL OF THEM, no exclusions. How do YOU think God would have us care for His gifts? I am certain he would have us take them in and love them like our own. EVEN and especially when much is at stake and it is inconvenient.

We have a small home. The foster children will have to share rooms with our own children, and we have chosen for that reason to take only children under Luke's age for now. Only small children because, our children are also gifts and we don't want to put them in harm's way nor do we think it is appropriate to ask a teen to share a room with a four year old. We do have limitations and we are looking out for the best interests of everyone involved. We have chosen an agency that we feel very confident in and we are nearing the end of the process and can't wait to have more kids in our tiny home.

Another comment I keep getting is "You guys have already been through so much, maybe it is time to just rest and take it easy." My response is, "I don't think so." I don't think God calls us to sit and bask in our own comfort. He asks us to step outside of our box and live our lives in a way that honors him. We have been through much. God has prepared our hearts for this very moment. He has. I have no doubt that having children come and go will hurt. I have no doubt that it will stretch us to our very limits. In my experience, when we are stretched that far, we have no choice but to lean hard on God, and that is when blessings abound. God has given us five children and taken two away. We know all too well the pain of losing a child. That is not to say that it ever gets easier. Our hearts will break. I can only assume losing a child you have loved even when they are not your own flesh and blood will sting. We do know and stand firm in the fact that God has been good to us. He has picked up the shattered pieces and put them back together one chard at a time.

I know that sometimes we will have to give up a child who will be going back to a home that is less than ideal. I know it is going to be hard. I also know that no matter who you are, if you are a mother who's child has been taken, by death, by a social worker, or a stranger, your heart has to break. While it will be hard to let little ones go back to their homes, I have to take comfort in the fact that when a child is able to return to his or her mama, that is one less mama's heart that is broken from loss. Sometimes, that situation won't be good, and God will still be in control. We live in a broken world where awful things happen, our system is full of children who are living that reality in a way we cannot even imagine, God calls us to love them, not to ask the cost. The cost is high, but these kids our the future.

Why would we do this? Because we trust in the One who tells us to. Because we have seen first hand the gift that comes in each and every child. Because we know that there is beauty and blessing in pain and letting go, and simply because He commands us to. Obedience is not something we can do half way...either we obey or we don't. God is calling and we are up for the challenge.

Only our Lord could write a story where a grieving dad sits up for hours the night before his dead son's third birthday pouring over bunk bed plans so that the can, on his son's birthday begin to build the beds that will hold "the least of these". A dad who wants more than anything to honor his son and obey his Father. This family will spend this day, Asher's third birthday cleaning and preparing our home for His gifts that will bless our family as much as we hope to bless theirs. We have big hopes, big dreams and big plans, and his Word tells us that whatever we do, if it is His will, we will succeed and we know he is calling us to this. We know it will be hard, we know our hearts will break and we KNOW that he is ABLE!

19 comments:

Emily said...

Just a big fat AMEN from me, sister. :)

Tori said...

awesome girl! what a blessing it will be!! and what a blessing ya'll will be! praying for you guys!! can't wait to hear about the excitement of another little one!!

Liz said...

I've never commented on your blog before, but I've been reading it for some time. And I just want to say....AMEN! I loved what you shared today, and agree with you whole-heartedly. :) Blessings to you as you continue forward in this hard but beautiful task!

~Ashlea~ said...

I think you are doing a WONDERFUL thing that not everyone is meant to do. I think God "calls" people to do different things in life which is probably why some people don't understand why you have chosen this (or why this has chosen you :) ).

I pray God's blessings on your family and the strength and courage to help these children in a way that not many can.

Dorsey said...

Now days there are very few parents doing an awesome job in the parenting department. "Why would you do that?" Maybe, because you are a couple of the few that are doing a great job, so God is laying it on your hearts to foster. Listen to God, he can use your willing spirit to accomplish so much for him. We are his hands and feet.

Sue said...

I too have never left a message. But I am today. We are foster parents and we too have had those same question asked of us. I love how you put it into words. Thats exactly how we feel about having our new kids with us. We have 3 bio-kids and 4 foster kids. Our oldest is 18 then, 16, 14. Our foster children are 5, 4.5, 3, 3.5. They are also permanent. I pray a blessing on your home and the love that you will be able to share with these kids. God Bless.

The Pittsburgh Hites said...

I second everyone else. AMEN Kristy, what you are doing is awesome, don't let anyone tell you different!!!

Traci said...

wow. You are such an inspiration to me!

Faith, Hope & Lovebugs said...

My husband shared this post with me and then I had to share it with everyone! You hit so many good points to why your fostering. I was an adopted foster child and because of the incredible influence that my parent's decision made on my life, and in return, my husband and I are now foster parents. We have our first foster child living with us and it has been such a blessing for so many reasons! God has been teaching us so much through our precious foster daughter and it was one of the best decisions we have ever made! :) Thanks for your post and heart for the orphans of this world.

Laura Anne said...

This gets a huge AMEN from me as well.

Fostering is something I would very much like to do if I am able.

Christinie said...

AMEN!!! You will NEVER be sorry! IT is a HUGE joy!! Yes there are heartbreaks BUT you will be blessed so much by this! Prayers for you in this new chapter!

Pipsylou said...

Ah, yes. The most demoralizing thing I've discovered about being a foster parent. The people who just can't understand why you'd do it. The very same people who preach certain Bible verses but not others.

Our culture is rife with people who claim to be followers but stop at certain points, the points where their own comfort takes precedence over what God wants from them.

That verse, whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me...always pops into my head.

And I know then that we don't need anyone else's approval.

We just DO it.

Sherri said...

I have never commented on your blog, but have followed your story for quite awhile now. I just wanted to thank you for telling us about the heart to heart dolls. I ordered the Ethiopian doll for my granddaughter who is adopted from Ethiopia. What a beautiful doll! she is going to love it. Thanks again! and by the way, you will make awesome foster parents!

Becky said...

We fostered for 15 years. It is a tough, ugly, sad, frustrating job. Each of those children were cherished while in our home and each got the opportunity to hear the Gospel! It was our little mission field!

You know, I often lament the fact that it took so much energy from our 3 biological and 2 adopted children, but my kids look back on those times as mostly happy memories. So happy that my youngest daughter was, and my eldest is complating - fostering!

The Smittys said...

oh yes. amen and amen. thank you for sharing the ups and the downs of this. i'm so glad patrice connected us! i will be praying with you as you join the Lord in caring for the orphan. i pray He continues to show you His favor!

Just Me said...

I've had my first foster placement for nine months as of tomorrow. It has been some of the most amazing, challenging, wonderful, stressful months of my life. I wouldn't change these nine months for anything, though, because these girls have been such a blessing to me. I know I have made a difference in their lives and so has the rest of my family. Some days are harder than others, but at the end of the day, I know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing...and you will too. I am excited to be on this journey with you :) I still think about you and your family all the time even though I have been really bad at communicating with anyone not involved in this case these days! I love being a (temporary) mom, and am glad I trusted God when He asked me to parent a teenager because I would have missed out on so much :)

I'm only an email, text, or phone call away. Hugs and prayers.
Amanda

Leah W said...

you are going to be a very good foster mama. i can hear it in your voice.

MamaFoster said...

you know when YOU have been called to do something.

yes, you will get hurt. and no, you will never regret doing it. i promise.

Monica said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tODYE_nt224

Though I do believe there is a time to rest; I think too many *stay* in that time as much as possible. If God is telling you to move, MOVE! and if it is rest, then rest. God has laid it on your heart to foster children, looking after the orphan in their distress. Be encouraged! He who gave you this desire of your heart will continue to work it out!
May His glory shine through your family into the lives of the "least of these" He will bring into your home!
Press on Friend! Your husband is correct in his view that you wouldn't be coming against opposition if not a threat to the enemy :)