Fostering...and the following statement. "I don't know how you do it...I could never let them go." Let me share my response with you...yes, it is hard. Actually, it kind of feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. But this isn't about me...and if I forfeit the pain, I forfeit the love. I think my response may sound a little raw. But those words get tired and my heart gets honest. I was talking to a foster mama friend over the weekend and asked her how she responds to "the question", she says "God could take any of my children at any moment...they are all His and there are no guarantees". I like that.
I have fallen madly in love with the baby girl in our home...our entire family has. I watch my husband dote over her, the way he talks to her, looks at her, she is his. I watch my children's eyes light up when they see her each morning, the way they compete for her attention, brag about her, want everyone they know to meet her. My heart will indeed break when she leaves...and then it will break 4 times over for each of my loves. This is a ministry...and it's hard, but it's beautiful. And I'm thankful that we are raising children who get to experience this kind of love. Their hearts are fragile and their pain will break me, but a love is being cultivated in each of them...a love that can't be taught. They are living it. They've embraced her presence from the moment she arrived...they have selflessly gave of their time with mom and dad without complaint. They are 4, 5, and 6. They bless me.
We love baby girl like our own...that's the only way to be a foster family...the right way. She's now 10 weeks old and we're watching her grow and do new things every day. She is such a blessing and has reminded me what it's like to be stretched again. Sometimes we get comfortable, safe, and way too busy with ourselves. And then God interrupts and reminds me how much I need Him. We don't get a lot of activity in our home...usually one houseguest a year. So it always feels both familiar and new to me. Each experience has been so different, but we have always been blessed with the opportunity to love on the mamas...something crucial to my mom heart. We must must MUST invest in the mothers of the children we get to love. How can we not? I haven't gotten to meet baby girl's mom yet...but I'm certain I will. Just waiting on God's divine appointment...it'll happen:) I want her to succeed...for herself and her child...we pray for her and try to help our children understand on a level they can reason with. Our two oldest were adopted through the foster care system and our daughter knows and understands her story. I know she relates to baby girl on a level I never will. She sometimes struggles to pray with us...for baby girl's mom. At 6 years old, she is processing things I assumed would come later. She is wise beyond her years...and loving without limits is kind of her thing. Someday she'll know how hard we fought for her birth mother...and that there came a point where God asked us to shift our fight...for our children. In this ministry (not the children waiting for forever families), adoption should never be the plan, and unless God speaks to you, it feels wrong to pray for it. But...sometimes...He plans for His precious children to end up with your last name. He saw fit to bless us bigger than we could have ever imagined...and I know this ministry blesses Him back.
So back to "the question"...it is hard. So hard. Some days kind of impossible. But the love is easy...and so needed. For us, having a heart for God and children were the only prerequisites for the "job". When you live and love outside yourself, you can trust Him. It will hurt...and He'll take care of you.
For His Glory,
Crazy Mama Crook