God sets the lonely in families (Psalms 68:6a)
Great, then what?
Foster Care and adoption are amazing acts of obedience to God’s call. Often times though, the decision is the easy part. After all the background checks, paperwork, inspections, and interviews; the hard work begins. Caring for children who come into your life because of trauma can be more difficult than any home study process.
It’s important to be prepared for the realities of foster care, and understand that foster care is really hard. If you’re involved in foster care and you’re having a difficult time, you’re probably doing it right. Foster care is a system rooted in brokenness. The healing and redemption that foster care can create can’t happen without a child first experiencing something awful.
The ‘something awful’ that children in foster care experience sticks with them, and it can rear its ugly head through words, thoughts, and behaviors. When that happens, it’s easy to second guess your decision. It’s easy to feel frustrated and defeated. I know, because it’s happened to me.
Recently there has been a lot of ‘something awful’ behaviors in our house. All of the children in our home have experienced more than their fair share of ‘something awful’ times and it continues to affect their thought processes and actions, which in turn affects us. We remain secure in the call that God has placed on our lives, but that doesn’t always make the hard days easier.
Recently at church we sang the song Yes and Amen (Listen to it here) and it was a powerful reminder to me to look at the big picture. It’s easy for me to focus on myself and how difficult it is for me to parent kids from hard places. It’s hard for me to focus on anything other than the tantrums or the difficult behaviors. I can become overly reliant on myself, which only disappoints me because I feel like I fail more often than I succeed sometimes. (End of the selfish pity party)
The line in the song that really got to me was “my confidence is Your faithfulness.” Like I talked about in the last paragraph, I struggle to be confident sometimes when dealing with ‘something awful.’ Stepping back and looking at the big picture, it’s easy to see that God has been faithful throughout this whole foster care and adoption journey. The process of getting licensed was difficult, but He was faithful. The process of getting the boys into our home was difficult, but He was faithful. Their behaviors are difficult, but He will be faithful. The full bridge of the song is “I will rest in Your promises. My confidence is Your faithfulness”
Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3)
I don’t know how to make the hard times easier, but I know that we can rest in His promises, and our confidence should be in His faithfulness. (Full disclosure: this is something that I’m working on, and frequently failing at) If you’re going through a hard time in foster care or adoption, keep going. If you’re considering foster care and are nervous about the hard times and the something awful’s, we would love to encourage you and support you as we all do this foster care life together.