Being a foster mom is a strange thing. It feels completely natural to care for this child and yet I am reminded repeatedly how unnatural this situation actually is.
I am "just" a caregiver, but I am also a mother.
I mother this child and yet I'm not.
She doesn't know the difference, and honestly neither does my own heart.
When I said goodbye to my first little foster newborn about 5 years ago (who was actually my fourth foster child) I wondered if I had done something wrong. Was there some sort of foster parenting trick I hadn't learned, was there a secret that would shield me from the hurt? Was I just not cut out for this sort of thing? I was convinced I was a failure at fostering simply because I loved him, and I didn't want him to go. I didn't want to send a tiny baby out into the unknown. It was a painful letting go.
When something feels really bad it's natural to assume that it is bad, that we are doing something wrong. I felt a little …
Today I'm going to reverse that title and write some thoughts on what a church needs from a big messy family like mine, or yours. I often hear parents lamenting that they aren't getting what they need from others, or don't have community, or who isolate themselves because it just feels easier. There are many people talking about what special needs and adoptive families genuinely need from churches. What I don't see or hear a lot of is the opposite. What our churches need from us. Specifically those of us with big, complicated, non-typical sorts of famlies.
First of all I want to acknowledge that you are tired. Not only that, but you may be utterly exhausted 100% of the time. You are busy caring for little ones with various demands and needs 24 hrs a day. Nothing is ever easy. Just leaving the house to go buy some milk is a huge ordeal that expends an absurd…
Four years ago we were packing our bags and waiting anxiously for the final notice of our travel to China. We did Christmas at home knowing we had a son across the ocean and we travelled early in the new year to meet him.
When we made the decision to open up our hearts and family to this little boy in a land far away we knew that he would come with many unknowns. Many of those caused me some fear in the weeks leading up to our travel date. Would he grow to love us, could we be the parents he needs, would our other kids adjust well, would our family crumble into chaos and would this adoption be the proverbial final straw that sends us all to the looney bin? We moved forward with eager and trembling steps knowing that this is what God was leading us to do. More specifically this was who God was leading us to.
When we brought him home he was six years old and had been through a lot. An abandonment as a toddler, two different orphanages, and five foster homes. He has cerebral palsy…