For the last couple weeks my Jesus has been burdening my heart. I thought today it is time to put it on paper…
What is our true calling as Foster Parents? Is it to start growing our family? Is it to fill that burning desire in our mothering heart to hold a baby in our arms and possibly be able to call that baby forever our own? Is it to love a child who no one else is willing to love? I believe all these reason are why people go into foster care. I also believe that Jesus loves the heart of foster care! My husband and I have two biological sons and Jesus put it on our hearts to start the foster care process. We did not have end goal adoption in mind- just to love as many children as God brings into our home, however long He sees fit to have each one with us. We got a call from the agency for a tiny baby girl. We talked about it and decided this was the baby Jesus wanted us to care for. That was 14 months ago and that sweet little girl is still with us.
In the past 14 months I have been to places and have done things that I never would have thought I had the guts to do. In doing all of these things my Jesus was with me every step of the way. He has shown me that there is another reason we were called into foster care. Yes, to love this baby with all of our hearts and show her what it is to have a family; but He has also asked us to love her momma. At this point some of you seasoned foster parents are cringing thinking, “Girl, you have no idea the things we have dealt with in biological parents!” You are right. I do not know your story… But hear me out.
So, you hold this precious child in your arms, seeing her tiny body thrash around in pain because of the drugs or alcohol her momma chose to use while she was developing. You watch this precious little boy act out in so many different ways because of the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse his family member inflicted on him. You wonder how could a parent let this happen? How could someone not love their child enough to protect them? In our hearts we quickly detest the person who chose to bring so much pain into their child’s life. We say things like “They don’t deserve a child and they need to pay for what they did!” It’s true- how could a person hurt an innocent child? But, for a minute, think of that parent. At conception and when she found out she was pregnant, that momma made a good decision. She didn’t kill that precious baby. She chose life! If it wasn’t for that first good decision that momma made for her baby, you wouldn’t be holding that newborn in your arms. You would have never had the chance to tenderly kiss her cheek and swaddle her in a blanket and rock that precious sleeping baby.
After that first good decision came many bad decisions, the ones that left deep wounds on these children’s hearts. But let’s once again go back and look at the life of the momma. Maybe she wasn’t nurtured and cared for as a child, she wasn’t shown the love of a Mother or Father. She turned to drugs, alcohol, and sex for a reason. Often as foster parents we do not see the whole picture. We see a hurting child because of bad decisions of parents. What if that momma did drugs because in her life the only role models she ever knew were drug addicts? What if that momma knew her boyfriend was abusing her child and yet he was the first person to ever show her ( what she thought) was true love? Her heart longed so badly to be loved that even at the expense of her child, she chose to stay in that relationship. What if there is a reason that in every situation that bio parent lies? That is a learned lifestyle. That momma of “your child” probably had to lie all her life to protect herself. There was no one there that ever protected her. No matter how it hurt anyone else, she learned to lie. cheat, and steal just to live.
Yes, these precious children who are brought into foster care not by their own choice but because of the choices of their parents, are hurting kids. But may I add their mommas and daddies are hurting kids t0o- just in adult bodies.
What would Jesus do with these parents? What would it look like if we looked on these bio parents with loving eyes instead of condemning eyes? If when they see us for the first time, they see the compassion of Jesus in our actions! How would it feel after so many times we sinned and messed up if our Jesus looked at us with condemning eyes and a “how could you” attitude?
I know these people are hard to love, and at times we want to throw our hands up and say “Enough already!” But our Jesus never does that with us. Neither does our Jesus love the sin. In fact He HATES the sin that we do, that these bio parents have done. But He loves us and He loves them. I think He is asking us to show them His love. Our first responsibility as foster parents is the children, making sure they are protected and cared for, loved, and cherished! But I also believe that as Sons and Daughters of the King, we are also asked to love the biological parents. You may be the only Jesus that bio momma or daddy has ever seen.
When we think of the future of these children- if God chooses to allow them to stay in our homes and allows us to be their forever family- what a blessing! I do believe, though, that these children will always have a connection with there Bio mom and dad. That bio momma was the only one who ever felt your baby kick in her womb. She was the only one who ever felt the flutter of your precious babies hiccups. IF she was a mean, cursing, rough voice or a seldom heard, soft spoken voice, hers was the first voice your baby knew. I believe there is a bond there that can never be broken. No matter how much hurt that person caused in your child’s life, that bond will somehow always be there. Protect that bond. See it as a real thing. It is hard because out hearts want to say ” Come on, they hurt you! We loved you, cared for you,raised you!” But I believe our Jesus designed that bond and when a child is conceived in love and cared for all his life by his parents, that is a beautiful thing. I don’t believe that in a child who wasn’t able to stay with his bio parents, that bond just disappears.
I feel like I have so much to learn and I ask God to teach me. I want to live every day of this journey with His love in my heart. I want to truly live my life as the Hands and Feet of my Jesus.
Rose Ann Wadel