May is National Foster Care Month & we were first-time foster parents for the entire month. So, I figured I’d take a sec to write about our experiences so far with our “Littles.” For confidentiality reasons, we aren’t really allowed to mention names or post identifying pictures online.
James & I have been thinking & praying about foster care/adoption since 2009. It was something we spent a lot of time preparing for, as well as preparing our kids for. I felt that we were fairly prepared & knew what to expect. Despite all the preparation, my head understood what to expect but my heart didn’t get the message. The first week we had the Littles, my heart broke in ways I had never experienced. I also watched my kids begin to understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are, cry when their toys were broken & act out cause they weren’t receiving as much attention. Some of these moments left me wondering: am I strong enough for this, are my kids ready for this, was this what God was calling me to do?
After awhile things got easier, there were more good times than sad, everyone was sleeping thru the night & adjusting to the new routine of life. I rejoiced over small victories, savored all the extra hugs & kisses, & loved hearing the Littles insist on calling me Mommy. I was falling in love with them, loving them as my own kids, but preparing myself to see them go.
There are dueling emotions that come with doing this. Loving them as your own but withholding a part of you cause you know their time with you is temporary. Moments when I want to keep them & wish I had the right to, then moments when I wonder if I will continue to do foster care. These are emotions that you can’t fully understand until you are in this position.
It is not easy doing foster care, but I think more people should be opening their homes to kids. In Alaska there are about 1/3 the amount of foster families as there are kids in the system. I know many families that have welcomed kids into their homes, I love to hear their stories & about the lives they have changed. The news only tells us stories about bad foster homes, no one writes articles about the good ones. There are many good ones out there, I hope you get to hear their stories.
In one of my more challenging moments I wondered if God was calling me to do this. Yes. The need is the call. I had to trust Him to do this. We went into this fostering process knowing that Christ calls his followers to care for the orphans, but in the back of our mind thinking that it would be easy because we were following God. It is not easy but God is not calling us to life of ease. I know that He directs my path & is my strength as I follow it.
This is my first time blogging instead of just posting pictures, I had help getting my thoughts together. I hope you enjoyed reading it & hear my heart thru my ramblings.