I keep asking myself why? Why are we doing this? Stacks and stacks of paper work. Vigorous home inspections. Fingerprinting. Background checks. Physicals. Classes. Appointments. Poking. Prodding. Drama. Purchases in the name of home safety. Sacrificing all privacy. All to be foster parents. Really, when I’m asking, I’m asking God. Why? And He’s kind enough to answer me sometimes. When I’m willing to hear, this is the answer: Listen and obey.
It’s a funny answer because that’s what I tell Ali when she’s doing or about to do something disobedient. At first I may warn her playfully that we don’t stand on furniture but as she teeters near the edge of the sofa, my tone gets serious. “Ali, listen and obey! Sit down!” So when He said listen and obey, He got my attention. I know Father means business.
After another day of feeling knocked around, while I was getting ready this morning I asked the same dumb question again. Why are we doing this?! It wasn’t the same kind of loud and clear answer as before, but I had the immediate realization that they are worth it. These kids are worth it. Ladybug was worth it. Our Precious Ali was worth it. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if it was about my daughter. All the paperwork, time and prodding from the first time around … looking at those sweet faces, especially the one I still get to kiss everyday, remind me that these innocent kids are so worth my plight.
My plight? And here’s where I gave myself a real (much-needed) kick in the pants: Seriously?! Do you want to tell a kid who has been emotionally and physically abused by the adults who are supposed to protect him, who has been taken away from the only people he’s ever loved, who has been bounced around from stranger’s home to stranger’s home with his few belongings in a trash bag, who is way behind in school because he keeps getting moved around, who doesn’t know how to express himself because his emotions are all mixed up…do you want to tell HIM about your plight? About all this dreadful paperwork you’ve filled out and how much time all these processes and appointments consume. Do you want to tell HIM how hard your life is? How hard you had to work to get to where you are? Good grief, woman! Where is your perspective!
We’re in it for the kids.
Jason and I remind each other of this often. When we’re taking things personally. When we’re feeling unappreciated and unwanted by the system. When we get frustrated.
I’m amazed that I can still be so selfish after all this time; after all we have learned.
Thank God that everyday I get to snuggle a beautiful reminder of why we are doing this. Even though it’s hard, each and every child is worth it.
In high school, when I had something I wanted to remember, I would write it on the palm of my head…where I’d see it for a while and then it would eventually wash off, hopefully when I didn’t need the reminder anymore. These days I use my smart phone for notes-to-self but when I thought, where can I put the answer to this why question I keep having?, this is what I came up with.
What an unselfish daughter I have! I am so proud of you for following through with this even though you question and wonder why. You are a great mama. I watch you with Alianna, and I am amazed by your patience and gentle yet firm interactions with her. Yes, the kiddos are worth it, but you, too, are so worth it. I’m such a proud Mama.
Whew.. Amen and amen. They are so worth it. This weekend we have been on an emotional roller coaster ride…we thought Hope was gone forever, then we found out she wasn’t, then we found out we might maybe possibly get her back….I have had moments where I thought how badly I want to stop being jerked around, but every time I think about her precious face, I know I will continue to let them do whatever they want to or have to do to me. Because she is worth it.
I’ve never thought about it like this before, but you know that’s how our Father feels about us.
I’m proud of you guys too. We are cheering for you over here. Hang in there. They are worth it. If He’s telling to to keep going, I know He has something amazing in store for you guys. He showed up big time with Ali’s case and I know He has you guys coming back for round two for a purpose. I can’t wait to see!
thank you for sharing this! we are foster parents to an 8 month old baby girl, and sometimes in the middle of everything (the day to day stuff, the interactions with social workers, the endless phone calls and paperwork), it’s easy to lose sight of the why. but then I remember that we are, at times, their only voice, their only advocate. No matter how long she is with us, each day matters. It’s not about “how hard” it will be if she has to leave, it’s about loving them like Christ loves and being their voice.
someone sent me this video this week, and it’s truly an amazing picture of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWHJ6-YhSYQ
Hi I found your blog doing a search for Nashville foster parents. We just moved to the area and are trying to figure out our next step fostering, domestic adoption or another international adoption. Anyway I look forward to seeing how your foster journey continues!
I am foster parent too..only my case is easier since it is a kinship placement. The never ending paperwork and visits and court dates are awful but I can tell you that the right thing to do is not always the easy thing. You are defiantly doing the right thing. You are offering the most precious gifts of all: Love and a home, to the ones that need the most. The kids may never thank you but if you listen closely with your heart you will feel God thanking you.
Thank you for your sweet thoughtful words, Jenny!