One of the greatest criticisms (and the most asked question) we received after announcing we were pursuing foster care certification was that becoming a foster family would "ruin our children."
They would not get enough attention.
Their needs would go unmet.
The demands of the system would burden them.
We would be too exhausted to serve them after serving a baby all day.
And so on.
I cannot speak for any other family, for each has their own story to tell. But I can speak for my own, and after witnessing my children sacrifice 72 hours to serve two foster babies, including one with intense medical needs, I would argue that foster care will not ruin my children - it will refine them!
While we have plenty of arms to hold babies, those arms have to work as well as play.
Pushing a stroller around the neighborhood, building with blocks, splashing in the bath, tickling feet, playing peek-a-boo, reading books, and making a baby laugh are highlights of the day.
But diapers must be changed, food prepared, clothes washed, 24/7 supervision provided, medicine administered, doctor visits attended, and crying resolved.
All aspects of child care, the fun and the frustrating, are life skills that must be mastered at some point.
So, why not now?
In an effort to give our children a voice, however, and not assume that I know how they feel or what they are thinking about our new world of foster care - I asked them!
Today's writing assignment:
Please get two pieces of paper.
On the first piece write, "The best part of foster care."
On the second piece write, "The hardest part of foster care."
List ten items on each sheet.
This is what Josiah (11), Isaiah (10), and Ellie (8) had to say.
❤ The BEST part of Foster Care ❤
Taking walks with the baby
Making fun memories.
Playing with her.
Helping her when she needs help.
She is cute.
She laughs a lot.
She likes to play.
Giving her a bath.
My mom gets to spend time with her parents.
Watching her play.
Taking her out of her crib when she wakes up.
Seeing her smile.
Looking at her cuteness.
Helping my mom take care of her.
⬥ The Hardest Part of Foster Care ⬥
Watching her so she doesn't get lost.
The breathing treatments. (respite)
Making sure she doesn't get hurt.
When they leave.
Learning a new language to speak to her.
Having to follow her everywhere she goes.
The bad moods.
Putting her shoes on.
When she cries Mom is the only one who can calm her down.
Carrying her everywhere when she doesn't want to walk.
When she is sick and needs medicine.
In short - PARENTING!
Our kids are learning what it is like to be parents! And what is the #1 factor of parenting?
There are a hundred and one things that can "ruin" my children,
but learning how to sacrifice for the good of others is most definitely not on the list.
When the Lord called Dennis and me to foster care He also called our children.
He is not just writing our story as a couple.
He is also writing one for Micah, Luke, Caleb, Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie.
And we pray they will be blessed by this experience, rejoice in it, and most importantly,
that it will be used to shape not only their futures - but their character. ❤
For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.’