The first word that comes to mind for the first day of a new foster placement is “hectic.” There is often very little notice and my brain is usually going one hundred miles an hour. Do we have clothes? Formula and diapers? Is the bedroom ready? What do they like to eat? Have we prepared our kids well enough? What are the rest of us going to eat for dinner? Have I forgotten to ask the caseworkers anything important? And you better believe I’m making a million lists!
Often the first day is rushed and crazy with a million to-dos. But other times it’s hushed and heartbreaking.
Flashback to 2015. I vividly remember our girl Z showing up at our home in the middle of the night. We got the call that she was at the office. “Please bring her right over!” She came in with her hair in a puff, eyes frightened, holding tightly to the caseworker she just met a few hours ago. We kept the house lights low. Spoke softly and soothingly. Offered a snack and milk. Found some clean pj’s for her. And then I sang every song that I could think of with the name “Jesus” in it until she finally fell asleep.
Comfort and connection. In the midst of all of the crazy that is the first day, that’s really what’s most important.
Does foster care make me afraid? Yes. Very. Afraid for the kids we meet. Afraid for all of the ones we can’t help. Afraid of the system. Afraid for my adopted kids. Afraid for my birth kids. Afraid for my long term sanity. Afraid for our marriage. (Dare I say it? Sometimes afraid for my faith.)
Fear is natural and normal. But the SUPERnatural love of Jesus overwhelms and covers and conquers all of our fears. His love compels us (2 Cor. 5:14). With bravery and courage we can step into scary spaces. The children are worth it. The cross we are asked to pick up and carry alongside Jesus is worth it. The glory of God is worth it.
. . . strengthening the disciples by encouraging them to continue in the faith and by telling them, ‘It is necessary to go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.’Acts 14:22
Hardships are necessary?! That’s not a message you hear very often. But such a sweet reminder that our love & bravery are not in vain for the kingdom of God!