November 12, 2016
In the early years of our marriage, my husband Robi and I decided we would open our home to others. While doing full time youth ministry we had our first opportunity; one of “our kids” wasn’t getting along with his mom and was going to live with his dad. His dad said he could stay, but that he wasn’t going to stop smoking pot just because his son was staying with him. With his mom’s permission, he stayed with us for a few to weeks as they worked things out. Ten years later I called Children and Youth Services to officially become a foster family. I was so excited and full of anticipation I could hardly get a coherent sentence out. They placed children with us anyway! It has been quite a journey. Someone accurately described it as trying to put a puzzle together… while riding a roller coaster.
Kids in foster care need a safe place to heal. And while healing is often messy, it is always good. We pray it has been good for the “bonus” kids we have been able to love while in our care. I know it has been good for my biological children. They have learned to share in a unique way, they have learned that tough stuff happens to kids through no fault of their own, and they have learned that while sometimes you get to see the end result, other times you just get to plant the seeds.
My life changed since fostering and ultimately adopting. It has humbled me as I learned that I can’t “fix” hurt, only God can, and always in His time. I get to marvel every day that my 5-year-old daughter calls me mama just as sincerely as the kids to whom I gave birth. My husband and I get to chuckle as we walk into her kindergarten class this year, being a good 15 years older than the other parents. And we joke that we will probably never, ever be “empty nesters.”