Questions arose today on the permanency of our new foster child.
For almost 4 years we have had the amazing opportunity to care for orphans. We are in the process of renewing our license. It was a busy day, the guardian ad litem and the Department of Health both stopped in for a visit.
When faced with this question of how we feel about a child in our home, we always answer the same. Love. We love the child like they were our own, from the moment they arrive, not from the moment we know they might be staying with us permanently.
Because love never fails.
We welcome them from the start with the attitude that this is the child God has given us, for a time, just as He gives any child to a family.
The eight children we have cared for over the last few years have needed love more than anything else. Most have come from families that are falling apart, most of them have suffered from extensive drug exposure either as infants or prenatal, most of them would never hear the name Jesus if they stayed with their parents. And all of them begin to thrive again in a home where love and joy of God is given and offered freely.
As foster parents our role extends also to supporting the family. We often run into them at visitations, court hearings, and for other reasons. While our love for the child is strong, working with the families can be the hardest part of a foster parent’s job. Seeing the issues …. while only wanting the best for the child … leads often to disappointment and serious concerns.
Each day we also try to reach out in prayer to the families. Specifically that they will be able to recover, that they will grow to know Him and follow His will for their life. And most importantly that God’s will be done.
We remind ourselves that we are not better than others. The love of Christ and the love of others are synonymous.
This is not to say we disregard behaviors and actions. We are proactive foster parents seeking a winning solution for the child. However, we remind ourselves that our job is to cheer for the well-being of the family, not to discourage it.
And we are able to serve both the child and family best if we remember that LOVE is the necessary link. Both love for the child and love for the family.
“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” I Corinthians 13:4-8