Currently, we have the joy of raising two young children. We are so thankful to have this opportunity to provide them with a safe, loving home.
The #1 question that I am asked about foster care is “How long will yall have the children?” This is a valid question since foster care is “temporary” parenting. The answer to this question is “we don’t know for sure.” This is a vague answer; I want to bring more clarity to why there is so much unknown.
We would love to adopt. It is not the ultimate goal of foster care, but our hearts are completely open to adoption should the Lord allow it. However, before we would be asked to adopt these children there are many requirements that must be met. Firstly, after the children are removed from the home, the courts decide if the biological parent(s) will receive a reunification plan. This is a 6-month minimum plan where the parent(s) must complete training, home studies, drug-test, etc. If a non-reunification plan is assigned, both the biological father and mother must sign over their rights (unless the courts determine that the parents rights are immediately “terminated” by law due to dangerous circumstances.) Secondly, blood-relatives receive top priority. Yes, even above the rights of the current foster parents. The family is allowed to list relatives and these references must be given the option of caring for the children. Finally, if all parent rights have been terminated and no relatives have come forward to care for the children, we will possibly be given the opportunity to pursue adoption if the courts permit. The children are in our care until any or all of the steps have been met.
With all this being said, there is a lot of unknown attached to foster care. However, there is also SO MUCH JOY attached to foster care. The challenges of dealing with courts, families, and appointments are worth everything just to experience life (even if for a brief season) with these children. We love this season with our children. So much laughter fills our home.
In moments of anxiousness about the future, I dwell on the sovereign mercy of God. The Creator God of the universe knows EVERY detail of this situation. He even knows the exact number of hairs are on their little heads. He is aware of their plight. Every twist and turn of his or her story is under His control.
[Side story: We were “taking a short break” from foster care and felt a sudden, compelling prompting to volunteer our home again about a month earlier than we planned. Denying our desire for “comfort” and pursuing obedience to this calling, we called DEFACS to let them know we wanted to foster again. THAT DAY within hours we received a call about these two precious children. THANK YOU, GOD, for grace to be obedient!! We would have missed out on great joys that these children have brought into our lives.]
Not only is God in complete control, but also He is GOOD. His goodness is displayed in His mercy on our lives. Without Him, we have no hope. On days that feel out of our control (in reality, that’s every day!), I cling to the promise that “God loves these children more wisely than I could ever love these children.” How comforting!! As much love as I have for these children, I can rest in complete peace of the unknown because He loves these children infinitely more. The One who writes their stories loves them with a greater love than I could ever imagine. This is the sovereign mercy of Jesus Christ. He is both supremely sovereign and full of tenderhearted mercy. This is how we can walk this journey with joy. Jesus, only Jesus.