Today marks exactly four months since the day we brought Little Miss home.
I want to be able to look back at this time and remember what it was like being foster parents. I also want to be able to be transparent and real with my readers and bring you along on our journey, so I thought I’d do a little four month update and dump all the thoughts that are swirling around in my head.
First off, Little Miss is 4 and half months old (we brought her home at 3 weeks old), and is doing really well. The first three months consisted of almost constant crying. Around month 4, things got better, but we still deal with a lot of crying. I don’t know how much of that can be blamed on her rough start to life, because it really could just be because she’s a baby. And babies cry. Her Momma is in a little bit of a mess right now, and isn’t making too much progress towards getting her back. If you think of it, I’m sure she would appreciate your prayers. It is looking like Little Miss will therefore be moving out of our house and being adopted by some relatives. I really can’t say any more than that, but that is her current life situation. We really have NO clue on the timeline of that, but we are thinking she won’t be with us too much longer.
Yes, that makes my heart ache. It’s been four months. We are bonded with this precious little thing. We often refer to “the girls” growing up and then realize that one of them actually won’t be in our home for her growing up years. We call them sisters and always laugh about what good friends they will be. Are you crying yet? Yeah, me too. It will be sad but when it all comes down to it, I will say this: IT IS WORTH IT.
We have fostered one child. Only one. And yet the amount of information I have learned is incredible. I have learned about the system, I have learned about sin. I have learned about my own selfishness. I have learned what it means to give up for someone when they can give absolutely nothing in return. I have learned that I am a patient woman, that I am strong and that I am incredible for raising both these girls. I have learned that my husband is a rock, I have learned that Tera is the best big sister in the world. I have learned that God is always faithful, and that he has a plan. I have learned that I am never alone, I have learned what it really means when it takes a village.
Someone told me the other day after reading my “no” post that if we only ever foster this one child, we have made a difference. That comment has stuck with me and I will never forget it. Sometimes I feel like I keep having to give, give, give. But we have given and we are better for it.
Some of the things that have really surprised me about fostering is our relationship with the birth Mom and our relationship with the caseworkers/social workers. Little Miss’ birth Mom is a kind, respectful and understanding woman. She has problems, but don’t we all? Going into foster care, I really thought I had to hate the birth parents. I mean, they made horrible choices and they can’t even take care of their children?!? But my opinion has completely changed on that. Sure, she has made bad choices. But I’m not better. I’m not a better human. And I am happy to temporarily care for her child while she gets to a place where she is capable of doing that herself. She is not the enemy.
And neither is the caseworker. I cannot even explain how many horror stories I heard going in to foster care. Caseworkers have no idea what they are doing. Caseworkers are stupid. Caseworkers take children away for no good reason. Etc. Etc. And I understand that sometimes that does happen. But that is the exception, not the rule. I have never met people who work so hard with so little praise. I have never met people who work so hard for so little money. I have never met people who deal with the horrors and the sadness of CPS and still come out fighting for the rights of these precious children. Caseworkers are not the enemy.
You know who is the enemy? Sin. Sin is the enemy. Our world is so broken, so fallen, so ugly. And I’ve never been more aware of that than through being foster parents. If there was no sin in this world, there would be no need for foster parents. It’s heartbreaking and it’s sad, but it just reminds me that this world is not our home. We will never find ultimate comfort or peace when we look at the world. But I do have comfort and peace because I’m not looking at the world. I’m looking at Christ who came to redeem ALL the sin. And I’m looking at heaven where we won’t need foster parents because there will be no brokenness, no sin, no anguish.
These 4 moths have gone by soooooo slowly. I feel like I have been in a total fog. I have friends that had 3 month old babies when we first got Little Miss, and suddenly the other day I realized that their kids are almost 8 months old. Um, what? When? I have literally been in a fog. I feel like I’m maybe starting to emerge from that fog now…heres to hoping!
Fostering is the best thing I have done with my life. It is also the hardest thing I have done with my life. We truly feel that God has called us to this as a ministry. And we truly feel that God is equipping us each step of the way. And the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will. Part of that concept leaves me feeling so encouraged and safe, but part of that concept also leaves me feeling terrified. I mean, what if God asks us to do something even harder than this? What if He is preparing us for something even harder? What if it never gets easier? (Romans 8:27 and Romans 12:2)
from Goose and Gemma
Continue to pray with us and for us that we would be equipped for this task. Four months in…! He is faithful, and we are learning!