Saying yes

Convincing people to say yes is a big part of my job. Yes to encouraging a caseworker. Yes to working in our Blessing Boutique. Yes to supporting a foster family. Yes to mentoring a biological family. And Yes to becoming a foster family.

Yes to being willing to go wherever God has called them in order to help our the foster care community.

Sometimes, when we get involved in this world, we end up saying yes to some things that we never expected. *not all of these stories are from my personal family. They are all stories from people I know who are involved in the foster care world.

Yes, we will continue to think about all of the foster children who have come and go from my home. We will wonder where they are. We will wonder if we did the right things when we had them. We will wonder if we could have done more.

Yes, We will always think about a little boy who lived with us. He was sweet and kind and loving. And we had to ask CPS to move him because we could not drive the 2 hours each way in order to take him to visitation once a week because we worked full time and had 2 other children. We pray he has a permanent family situation now.

Yes, we will say yes to a teenager coming back to live with us even though we are currently “not taking any long term placements” because if not us, where will she go?

Yes, we will have a family meeting when we get a call about a little girl. And when our child says he doesn’t want her to come, we say no. We pray for her as a family and hope she finds a placement, but we have to put the needs of our permanent children first. Our permanent children need to know that they have a say in what happens with our family and that we will not try to save the world at a detriment to them.

Yes, our hearts will break when we hear that children are being reunified because even though we know that is the goal, deep down we had hoped we could add these children to our permanent family. But, we will continue to pray for them in the transition and trust that God is in control.

Yes, our hearts will break when a baby goes to live with his aunt. We know family placement is the goal, but we advocated for this little baby and we were the only people he knew. We pray that he will be able to go to sleep tonight and that someone will know how to comfort him.

Why?

Why do we put ourselves through this?

Because we have also said these yeses…

Yes, we will have front row seats as a boy who lives in our home transforms from a shy boy who tells us he doesn’t like people and doesn’t want to go to church into a teenager who leaps out of our car the second it stops in order to run into the church and doesn’t meet a stranger. That is beauty in brokenness.

Yes, we will rejoice with a mother who has worked on herself and now is able to raise her babies! There will be a hard transition and a bumpy road for all, but God is in the business of restoration.

Yes, we will watch our son…our son…who was once an orphan…we will watch him grow up. We will reassure him that he is not ever leaving our house no matter what he says or does and that we will love him forever. We will give him the foundation for understanding our Heavenly Father. That is beauty.

Yes, we will rejoice when a little girl gets to go live with her grandma after living with us for only 10 days. Although she was an excellent little girl and we loved her, we celebrate with her that she can live with her family!

“It’s the mercy of God that He doesn’t show us everything that will unfold in the foster care and adoption journey the moment we first say yes to it. All the hard would be too unbearable and all the good would be too unbelievable.” -Jason Johnson Reframing Foster Care

Sometimes foster care isn’t what we expected. Who am I kidding…foster care is RARELY what we expected! It’s hard. It’s heartbreaking. And it’s God’s Calling. We get to be on the front row of spiritual warfare. We get to be on the front row when God restores a family. We get to be on the front row when God creates a new family because Satan WILL NOT WIN! There is no way that we could predict all of the things we would say yes to, but we know that God’s plan is bigger than anything we could have imagined.

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:18 New International Version (NIV)