5 Things I’ve Learned in Six Months of Foster Care
Project 1.27 mom and foster parent, Rachel, took the time to share her thoughts with us. We wanted to pass along her wise and inspiring words. Enjoy!
Today we celebrate the babies living in our home for six months. What a six months it has been! To say it has been a challenge for our family would be true, but what would be more accurate is that it has unmistakably been the hardest time of my personal life. I wanted to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned during this time and what I saw was a very intimate relationship with Jesus form on new levels. I am positive anyone who has endured a trying time or taken a leap of faith into the unknown may be able to identify with any or all six of the following.
His grace is sufficient
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Over the past six months, I have seen how truly sufficient His grace is. When I wake up in the morning begging for energy to homeschool girls, run babies to visits, make all the meals, do the laundry, get groceries, touch base with hurting friends… His grace is sufficient. When I am feeling frustrated at the behaviors of hurting bio parents and the babies… His grace is sufficient. When I am lonely and feeling isolated… His grace is sufficient. When I am weary of living in limbo… His grace is sufficient. And, perhaps when I have felt His grace the most is when I feel like I am failing in relationships with precious people in my life. On my worst days, what more do I need than His grace that is abundant?
He has given me eternal eyes
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Thomas Chisholm
God has used the past six months to help give me eternal eyes. I can feel the temporary scales coming off every time I am brave enough to hope for the babies. I am becoming brave enough to hope that no matter what happens in their story, that God has a future planned for them. I am hoping that no matter what home they grow up in, they will someday choose to follow Jesus and know the power of His name. I am also hoping that even though the first years of their life have been rough, through God, they can heal and learn how to trust and love others the way we were created to.
I am human
For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. Psalm 103:14
I’m sure I should have learned that prior to the past six months. What I have learned is that my humanity is an obstacle in itself. I get exhausted and frustrated. Being tired is certainly not a sin, but it totally has shown me my weak frame, and deep need for a Holy God and compassionate Savior.
Our life work is for His glory - Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. Psalm 115:1
Sure, a passion has been stirred in me for the orphan. But my life work is not for the orphan. I will walk in these works for the glory of His name. I have learned over the past six months that when I go out of the way to meet a bio grandparent so they can see the kids, it is not for them, but to His name. When I am overly flexible so a visit can be arranged for the parents, not for them, but for Him. Truly, my works must be to Him, not to me or anybody else.
I can’t rescue my children from heartache, nor should I
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
It was about the third similar conversation with Arick (my husband) in a week that finally broke me down.
Me: It happened again. Because of XYZ, the girls can’t do what they have been so excited for.
Arick: Oh man. Should we meet somewhere and get breakfast?
Me: Just ate.
Arick: Meet at a park?
Me: Too cold.
Still small voice: Just go home. Let Me make it up to them. Let Me fill in the void when it’s hard.
I’m learning that in order for the girls to trust God when things are hard, things have to be hard. Oh, and I ALSO have to trust when things are hard. When we are at the end of our rope, there is more of God. The past six months have taught me this and how to parent this.
The joy of the Lord is my strength
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Yes. The past six months have left me tired, sad, and frustrated….but the truth is, the joy of the Lord is my strength. At the end of the day, how many celebrations we have! How many times He has paved the way for us! How many ways He has shown His love and provision! So, yes! We are celebrating six months of foster care because we are celebrating six months of seeing God’s goodness. For six months the babies have had nutritious meals, for six months they have laid their head in the same crib every night, for six months they have had big sisters to play and laugh and read with and for six months prayers have been said over them to a mighty God!