Why am I doing foster care?
July 16, 2013
Why did I become a foster parent? People ask me that all the time, and it’s really hard to answer. It’s not because I don’t know why I’m doing this. It’s because I don’t know how to explain it without sounding, you know, preachy weird. I do not usually talk about God with random strangers. So how do I explain something like this? Because to be honest, the reason I became a foster parent is because God told me to. That’s right people, the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE spoke to a little wimp like me! I can hardly believe it myself.
(I can just see my brothers jumping up and down right now shouting, “She’s a wimp! She finally admitted it!” Okay, yes, I did. Yay for you. I can still beat you up any day.)
How can I be sure God spoke to me? It was quite simple. It came from my husband.
(Take off that big head, my dear, you were only the avenue.)
I had brought up the idea of foster care several times throughout our marriage, but Sam had never been interested. He had a lot of practical reasons why caring for foster children could not and would not work for us.
I was not so sure. So I asked Sam to attend a foster care orientation meeting with me, just to get more information. When we got in the car after the meeting, he was silent. He turned in his seat and looked at me very seriously. I was convinced that he was going to tell me that it was a waste of an evening. But he surprised me. Insead, he said,
“Foster care seems perfect for us. I think we should do it.”
His change of mind was so unexpected that I think I was silent for one full minute (clearly another sign of God’s divine intervention). From that moment on, Sam has been 100% confident that we should be doing foster care. He has not had a single doubt. So I can truly tell you that I have seen the power of the Holy Spirit combined with the decisiveness of a man. It is scary, people.
Although I had initially introduced the idea of foster care, throughout the licensing process I found that I was the one who was dragging my feet like a reluctant toddler who doesn’t want to do anything that anyone tells her to do. She thinks that she knows best. I thought so, too.
I had a long list of reasons why I was not ready to commit to foster care, all of them boiling down to really just one reason, which was:
I am scared shitless.
I guess in the end, we know that fear is not a good reason not to do anything. But we all have fear, that deep-down, gut-wrenching kind of fear. It is fear that wakes us up at night with those unspeakable “what-if”s.
And fear can run our lives if we let it. It runs our lives all the time. Unaddressed fear can easily become the master of our existence.
Well, God was having none of that with me. He exposed my fears quite unceremoniously and proceeded to hack at them with a machete, leaving me strangely more vulnerable and yet simultaneously more courageous. Does that sound weird to you? Yeah, me too.
So, in case you wanted to know, that’s why I’m doing foster care. I know that doesn’t sound romantic or exciting, but its true. God told me to do it, and I am obeying. One unknown day at a time.