Sunday, January 29, 2012

a third pair of shoes

Becoming foster parents had always been part of our family plan.
But during the time that we trained and prayed about fostering, I never expected it to be like this...

I think God stirred my heart early on in life, and i didn't even realize it at the time. Growing up, my sister and I were always intrigued by the lives of orphans and needy children, and our frequent game of playing pretend usually involved the characters from the movie, Annie and the book series The Boxcar children. Hansel and Gretel was and still is my favorite fairy tale and many of the books that I loved to read over and over again involved stories of kids in need. (Prince and the Pauper, the Bakers Dozen, American Girl books (Samantha), Boxcar Children,  etc...)

As time passed on, God continued to expose me to the needs of kids all over the world, allowing me to take part of the spiritual enrichment and evangelism of kids in the slums of the Philippines to the orphanages and villages of Ukraine, to the at-risk children of the projects in Chicago, and now to the involvement of kids I work with in our small town of Iowa.

This time last year, God placed it on our hearts to open our home to kids who needed a safe place to live.
We're foster parents-part of America's "orphanage."
We get the privilege to love the unloved and tell them each how loved and special they are because of their Creator.
We get the privilege to feed and clothe the kids that may not have ever had that blessing.
However, as wonderful as it may sound, it's really really difficult.

You imagine before becoming foster parents that it's a beautiful way to serve others.
It's a way to touch the life of a child. 
and loving and caring for the child will be enough for them to succeed and pull through.

But all of a sudden, you become aware of a world that's full of hurt and pain.
The fears and nightmares of any child becomes reality once they are pulled away from their family and all they have ever known.
The doubts about themselves occur each moment they have alone.
The cries at night for the very people that wound up placing them in foster care.

And as foster parents, 
we find ourselves constantly on our knees before the Lord.
Asking for wisdom and guidance, because so many things are out of our control.
So often, we just don't know how to comfort and all we can do is hold the child as they sob in your arms.
So many questions that we are unable to answer.
So many fears and doubts that haunt these kids as they lay in bed at night, wondering, "Why???"

It's so watch these young kids deal with huge emotions and hurting more than their little hearts can handle. 
They are so burdened.
They feel so alone.
They think everything is all their fault.

We're praying, lil one. We're praying. 
Really truly emphasizing daily that you are not alone...

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you not forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

1 comment:

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

oh my goodness - you made me almost cry! what a beautiful post! praying for you guys! love you all. :)