Foster care can be the saving of a child from the trauma of losing their first family.
I was getting ready this morning and thinking about our sweet foster baby (who’s not really a baby anymore). He’s been with us for over a year and he adores my husband and he loves our other kids. But we are working and supporting towards reunification and hopefully in the next few months he will transition home.
Yes, my heart will be broken and my soul will carry the grief-weight of losing him. But he won’t remember us. He will (oh please, Jesus, may it be so) be safe and cared for with his birth family. The trauma of losing us will be brief for him, while hopefully the gift we give him of learning to attach will serve him for a lifetime and our whispered prayers will carry him through whatever struggles are ahead.
But he will have his birth mom.
And he will have his birth dad.
And he will have his birth grandpa.
And he will have his birth aunt and uncle and cousin.
Foster care just might save him from the trauma of losing them.
We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. So then, death is at work in us, but life in you.2 Corinthians 4:10-12
Foster care asks me to carry death. Death to my faint hope of keeping forever the boy who has become my baby. Death to my own desires. Death to our tidy schedule and comfortable days. But, praise the Lord, death in God’s kingdom is not an end but a beautiful door into life. My death means that our sweet boy might be given life! His extended family might be supported. Beyond even tangible support, we might give them spiritual encouragement and life as well. So death is at work in me, but life is at work for them!
This is the beauty of gospel-infused foster care.