Three Things Foster Parents Want You To Know

SHEA PATRICK|GUEST My family has been fostering for the last eight years now, and we have adopted two children out of foster care. I will be the first to tell you that I’m not an expert, nor do I have some official badge that allows me to speak on behalf of all foster parents. Every family’s situation and experience are vastly different. However, as I have been in foster parent groups or interacted with other parents who foster, I have heard common themes. I’ve heard similar stories. I’ve heard foster parents say things that the church needs to hear. Three Things Foster Parents Want You to Know We are not “good people.”  This statement is one of the things that I most often hear when people find out that we are foster parents. While it is a very sincere sentiment, it is not correct. In fact, fostering many times reveals more sin in my own heart — just like marriage and the parenting of biological children does. It is a truly sanctifying experience. We are sinners in need of a Savior just like the children that come into our home. We are not THE Savior and not THEIR Savior. Fostering is entering into brokenness, knowing that we are all broken by the effects of the Fall and our own sin. In fact, fostering is choosing to step into someone’s brokenness. Foster and adoption care is counter cultural in that you are choosing something that will break your heart and choosing not to protect yourself. Fostering is pointing these children to the only hope that any of us have in this life — Jesus Christ. So why do we do it? Because we know that Jesus will show up in power in these broken places, even as we seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus to these children (Matthew 25:40). We get attached (and that is a healthy thing.)...

Three Things Foster Parents Want You To Know2022-05-04T23:17:36+00:00

A Letter to My Daughter’s Birth Mother

In a world of seven and a half billion people, it seems impossible that my words will ever find you. Still, they've been on my heart for years now and today I feel compelled to send them out wherever they may go. Maybe they will find someone else who needs to hear them, or maybe, the same sovereign hand that brought a precious baby to me will bring these words back to the one who bore her. So I send them out and trust that God will do with them whatever He sees fit. You have sent out and trusted in far more unimaginable and enormous ways than I can ever comprehend.This is why I write. She is playing on the floor beside me, the one who has your eyes and your smile, and your laugh. I don't know your name, and you don't know mine, but those small pieces of you I do know—I know them so very well. They are memorized like a piece of my own heart now.You must be so beautiful, because she is. My husband sometimes says that there is an empty seat at our table, meaning maybe there is still another child out there for our family. He does this to be funny, in truth. But I admit to sometimes noticing that empty chair. Except it's not a child who is missing, in my mind. No matter how much she smiles, your empty chair in her world will always be there.Loss is like a haunting. It's a vital cord being cut, the ends left loose, never to be retied again this side of eternity. That cord searches for its other end nevertheless, with a gaping openness where there should be closure. Sometimes it looks like seeing a face in a crowd that isn't there. I remember searching for my own mother's face when she left this earth too early, and I have to wonder: are you on the other side of the world today haunted by the absence of a little girl? Do you see an empty chair too and wonder?...

A Letter to My Daughter’s Birth Mother2022-05-07T23:18:43+00:00
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