So. We only have ONE MORE CLASS left in our training to become foster parents!
I haven't written much here about our decision to go into fostering. It must be one of those things that is SUCH a big deal to us that I don't even have the words to write about it. But, as our classes draw to a close, and our paperwork steadily winds to an end, I am realizing the space of time between "before fostering" and "after fostering" is rapidly closing....and it gives me a sense of urgency to try to share about our journey, our hearts.
Ever since I was a young girl, I have always been sure I would adopt. I would pass hours imagining the circumstances leading up to the adoptions, the moments following. However, as my husband and I would talk about adoption, we just never came to a place of agreement or peace about it.
A little over a year ago, I was browsing through my Facebook page, and came across a horrifying image of a baby's body, moments after being aborted. While tears rolled down my cheeks at the thought of life ending in such a torturous way, I also found I was feeling a sense of--could I call it anger? Perhaps an emotion between frustration and anger... as I realized how easy it is for all of us to just hit the "share" button, and sit back self-righteously--having our lives in "perfect order", undefiled by "those sins".
I wondered what those images did to the already-wounded souls of women not so different from us who one day decided that was the best option they had. Who, perhaps feeling pressured into it, perhaps believing the lies so smoothly fed to them... made a decision that has haunted them ever since. Do those images, those words of pious uprightness, minister the love of our Savior to them?
I began thinking then about how often we are guilty of sitting around in our comfy circles, gripping our coffees and talking on and on about what should be happening. What is wrong with the world. How right we are. Endless talking... with no action. "Faith without works is dead."
We are so good about sighing-- "wishing" we could do something... and convincing each other that "there's really nothing we can do". The problem is too big. I am too busy already. "Let's say a prayer for that..."
While I know that not all of us are to do the same things as the other... I also know (from living inside my body) that it is sooo easy to just avoid service so as to remain comfortable. I don't want comfort to become a god.
As I pondered these things, I began thinking--what can be done about the sacredness of life? And, immediately I thought: "Honor the lives that are right now here with us in this world."
As I thought of orphans and children in the foster care system--I realized: These lives are perhaps the very ones that the "learned" of the world would have advised should have been aborted. That thought shook me to my core. I realized that--setting aside whatever caused each child to be placed for adoption or fostering--at least their mom decided to give them the chance to live. What a gift life is--and what a gift it is to be used to show love to each life.
So, Rey and I began talking about looking into opening our home to foster children. We both felt pretty quickly that this is where God was leading us and began taking steps to educate ourselves on what was involved in fostering.
A lot of that information you can find for yourself online... but the classes to become foster parents has really just opened our eyes to the tragedies that thousands (I believe it's over 50,000 kiddos in the US) are suffering at the hands of those who are supposed to be protecting them.
It is an ugly truth. The glaring awfulness of it is enough to make you want to turn away from it. Shield your face from the knowledge, turn your back because it's easier to ignore it than it is to face it. But, how can we not face it? How can we not educate ourselves?
I know that the honest truth is that not everyone can--or should--foster/adopt. But, I know there is a WHOLE lot more that we can each be doing for our youth. Educate yourself on the situation. Call some adoption/foster agencies in town and ask them how you can help. Maybe even painting/decorating the family visiting room at the agency. Perhaps they will tell you about a program you can offer your services as a after-school tutor. See if your church has a ministry for the parents who are adopting and fostering--maybe you could offer to bring them supper.
We all need each other on this. We really do.
I must now share that as the time grows closer, I have felt myself growing more tense and nervous. We have stated we are willing to foster a child between the ages of 0-24 months, but that's the only specifics we think we have. It's like being pregnant, but not having any idea when you're due--or if you're having a newborn baby boy--or a toddler girl. I also know that we could be receiving the gift of a child with special needs--or the gift of an easy-going baby. I know schedules will change, family dynamics will shift. It's a lot going on!
As I was in church this morning, I realized that my anxiety was really rooted in a whole lot of fears about the "what-ifs" of our situation. I also know that we will find ourselves under the scrutiny of many and in roles we haven't been in before and grow tense just thinking about it. Recognizing my emotions being based in fear was a big help for me--because I was really able to.... again... open my hands and surrender this to God.
From a song in service this morning:
"...Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always...
.....I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord "