As I think back on why my husband and I chose to do foster care, I can remember the moment. We had been trying for several months to get pregnant with our second child. We had a 3 year old and had lost one to miscarriage a few years prior. When things didn’t move along as quickly as we expected, we thought maybe this was God’s way of saying “do this now.” The fact that we were both in agreement seemed confirmation enough for us. The day we filled out our application for Compass, the positive pregnancy test showed up. While I can remember the when, I didn’t realize until now how many pieces of the puzzle God was using in our lives to prepare us for this journey. He is so gentle, so patient, lovingly forming our hearts to love what He loves and to long for what He has in store.
First puzzle piece
Remember 20/20 and Nightline? (Are they still on?) I used to watch those with my parents regularly as a kid. The specials where the reporter traveled to Romania or Russia to visit the orphanages with babies filling the cribs are etched in my memory. (Thankfully, I had enough dolls to make my own orphanage, but I desperately wanted to bring the real ones home to my house.)
Second puzzle piece
In high school, I befriended a girl who was a foster kid. My parents and I used to buy her things she needed and bring her to our house and youth group. Our hearts broke for how she was on her own after graduation with absolutely no life skills to speak of. Her life has been anything but smooth since then.
Third, Fourth and Fifth pieces
Before my husband and I got married, we talked about our desire to adopt. In our twenties, one of our close friends worked for Compass, and, as a teacher, one of my co-workers and his family had foster kids through Compass. During the same year, a friend shared with me the horrors of child sex-trafficking. (It’s here, folks. Like on I-80. I cannot fathom the terror.)
So, with all of these events I am seeing my God laying down a framework for something big He is calling us to do. A way that we can make a difference, but, if I’m being honest, the changes He is making in me through it all are enormous. I will share more about that later, but if you are someone whose heart aches when you hear about child abuse, poverty, brokenness, the widow, the orphan, let me tell you there is a reason. When God asks us to do something hard, He is so faithful to provide us with exactly what we need to get started. He may just be placing very specific people and events in your path, as He did mine, to gently nudge you in a direction for some of the biggest blessings in your life.
I think it’s important here that I share we are oh so very new to this, and I get a sense that God is telling me “Wait daughter, don’t get prideful, I have so very much to teach you. You’re just beginning.” If it’s anything like what he’s already teaching me, it’s going to be quite the ride.