If you know me or have read my blog over the past few years, you know that several years ago the Lord placed a passion for orphan care on my heart, which I believe started when I truly realized the weight of my Dad’s adoption story and was even more accelerated once Joel entered my life back in 2010. Since then, I’ve done what I can to support Joel in Uganda, advocate for orphan care ministries, encourage families during their adoption process and share Jesus with orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa.
This journey has been a long road that, when I look back, I can see exactly how God has gently guided me every step of the way. Then last year, after spending the past couple of years working through a weighty reentry and settling into life in a new city, I found myself living alone in a 3-bedroom house. And He began to remind me—with quiet whispers—of His calling on my life.
So I began to pray, and then I began to research. And in my prayers and research, I found that He was calling me to something I hadn’t ever really considered—foster care. I hadn’t considered it, partly because I didn’t know as much about it as I do adoption, but mostly because I wasn’t sure I could do it. The thought of opening up my heart to someone who might call me “mommy” for only a short time, or might resent me because I am not their mommy scared me. The thought of potentially delaying the permanent adoption of a child so that I can support and encourage family reunification concerned me. And the concept of helping struggling parents learn how to be better parents, terrified me. I have never been a parent, how can I be expected to teach someone else how to be one??
He’s always on time.
“I always questioned if I was ready to adopt and then I realized no child was ready to be an orphan.” — Unknown
God swooped in to my internal, fear-driven dialogue and reassured me that of course I am scared and of course I cannot handle it on my own, but I am not alone in this! I may feel unqualified and unprepared, but what He is asking is that I just be there for these children—love them, show them Jesus, encourage them to grow and learn and make wise decisions, hold them when they’re hurting, show them grace, be silly with them, make them feel safe. After all, I should be the one to step out of my comfort zone, so that these children can find a place of comfort. They deserve it. Besides, we will have a family consultant and social worker and ministry leader and therapist and pediatrician and respite families and, most importantly, a gracious Heavenly Father to help us. We aren’t alone!
I know there will be days when I fail. I am going to say the wrong thing or react too quickly. I am going to be easily offended. I cannot expect perfection. I will have to pick my battles. But He has called me to love these children, no matter how long they are in my care. This may be the only chance they get to go to church, read the Bible and hear who Jesus is and what He has done for them. What is more important than that?!
All of this to say, I need your prayers and support. I have finished all of my paperwork, home studies and training and am currently waiting on the state to approve me, which could happen tomorrow or it could happen in 2 weeks. The whirlwind of it all is pretty paralyzing as I wait and wait but cannot do much else. So ultimately, I need your prayers. This entire journey is going to be a lesson in patience, unconditional love and selflessness. I need heaping doses of each. Practically, I need supplies and books and toys and clothes (I’m starting from scratch here). I don’t know what age or gender my first placement will be (anywhere from 3-11), so this can be limiting, but if you feel called to help in any way—and that definitely includes parenting and fostering advice—feel free to message me or comment below!
Also, I’ve got an Amazon Wish List going, if you’re looking for an easy and practical way to help.
The Body of Christ is a beautiful thing when it comes together for a purpose, and I am humbled that He has called me to play a small part in this purpose!
“Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, ‘Let’s go do that together.’” ― Bob Goff
If you have time, please educate yourself and watch the videos below for an accurate portrayal of children placed in the foster system.