Thursday, May 30, 2013

May...Foster care awareness month. Who knew?!

So I found out a few days ago that May is foster care awareness month.
Funny how we don't know some of these things.
My friend and I were chatting on the phone.
She's telling me how she was mowing her neighbor across the streets lawn.
I say to her, wow that's awesome!
She proceeds to tell me how her husband died recently.

I say to her "that is so nice of you."
Her response...
"Oh who cares!"  [I'm not joking, this really was her response. She's crazy!]
I said "um...Jesus cares! and Its a really nice thing!"

She proceeds to tell me its Foster care awareness month. And we start talking about how the Lord calls us to care for widows and orphans.
"I said and you are!"  You are caring for that widow across the street.
I begin telling her about a conversation that had taken place this last weekend with a couple who had said," i don't know how you do it, I would not be able to let the children go."
"It would hurt too much."

I proceed to tell this couple how the Lord spoke to me with our first foster child and our second..both with very different personalities and feeling the sadness of neglect and being unwanted, and the other feeling the effects of His mothers choices while He was in the womb... Jesus spoke to me. Clearly. We don't love at an arms distance. We love like Jesus loves.  Whole heartedly.  Which if you do that you WILL get hurt. It will hurt to say goodbye. It will hurt to be disposable to a child. It will hurt when they hit you. It will hurt when they act as if your not good enough. It WILL hurt. But Here's the thing, if it doesn't hurt, then we are by all means doing something very wrong. There's a song by I believe Jon Forman that says "if it doesn't break your heart it isn't love."
So so very true.

Some might say, I'm glad jesus hasn't called me to foster care or orphan care. But see He has. He has called everyone to care for the orphans and widows. And maybe that doesn't mean your home becomes a licensed foster home, but maybe you support a friend who is. Being a shoulder for them to cry on when their feelings are hurt...or maybe you send a monthly check to an orphanage[like Ebenezer Grace Children home] or pray your guts out for these kids that feel unwanted. Or maybe you make a meal for the very tired and worn out foster mama who has been dealing with a tantrumed child all day...everyone is called to be a part.
Or maybe you do as my friend is doing...and mow the lawn of a widow across your street.
Today I was especially reminded of this truth that everyone is called to be a part somehow. My sweet husband got up at the pulpit today and shared with the congregation just a 5 minute glimpse of the kids in ebenezer grace children's home.
Friends were crying. Lets be honest, I was crying.
I sat in the back row holding our young super fiesty foster daughter with tears in my eyes with so many thoughts and feelings and emotions as I watched that my man stood up their advocating for these orphans. And To see our Ethiopia video again was just so surreal. To remember all the crazy steps we took because we knew the nudging and leading of The Lord and his Holy Spirit. All the obstacles we faced and preserved right through them because of His great love for us.
And then to see almost one year later how The Lord [by His grace] is still using us with this orphanage and to raise money for them and hopefully bring a crew to them next summer. Only Jesus! And to see the body of Christ step outside their comfort zone and hand over checks out of the nudging of the Holy Spirit and people buying jewelry to support this orphanage and asking questions about foster care. Only Jesus!
If it doesn't break your heart it isn't love. So true.
And just a little tidbit of my day about Foster care...
I had little "n" by my side after service playing with her Dora book and phone. A interested family comes up and asks about adoption and foster care. How long is the process to adopt through foster care. There's was so much I wanted to say about Jesus' will when it comes to adopt through foster care...not every child is going to be his will for your family to keep forever. The woman proceeds to ask to hold "n". I've never felt more awkwardness before...I hated having to look at this sweet lady who just wanted to hold a baby in her arms and know if she could feel like her own the word "no. I'm so sorry, but no."
The look on the woman's face seemed saddened..but as I spoke to her, i let her know she is still working on trust and love, and to have other people come in and hold/care/feed her is very confusing for her. We need her to know we are her parents for now., as long as God will allow..and that she needs to know we aren't going anywhere and neither is she.  I proceeded to tell her little "n" clams up at church, in big groups...wondering if this is yet "another" transfer to a new home...that every foster child we've had goes through stages..and this is the stage she is at. Learning to trust. Learning to love.

The woman understood. I hated to say no, but my job is to do what is best for her and our family first and foremost. I pray this woman listens to jesus' heart for her family, and takes the steps of faith that foster care require.
Thanks for listening to my heart on foster care.
please feel free to ask any questions...I don't have all the answers but I can share with you all what I do know...and have learned throughout the years.


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