Well now that we are not foster care providers anymore since our move mid September to South Korea, I’d say that when people find out that we did full time treatment foster care and also respite, they talk about how hard it would be and so therefore they conclude that they could not do it.
Well, I’m not going to lie- it IS hard. Some days are harder than others but the question is, would I do it again??? Without hesitation, my answer is absolutely, yes. Yes because there are so many children who, by no fault of their own as they are kids, are in unhealthy, neglectful or dangerous situations and they need a loving home and/or family to stay in/with. If more families do not open up their spaces then these children, because they cannot stay where they are once their situation is discovered, they may only have an option of going to live in a group home. I cannot say that that is a bad thing…of course, it is better than many things but …if I can open up our house, my schedule, and my heart to make room for a child then yes I will. I will do it even though it can be hard.
God I thank you so much for the opportunity to help. We all didn’t want to say “yes” when you called us at 9am through our foster care agency that Monday morning asking if we could take on the child we had for respite just the weekend before. Would we become his foster family? Some of us hesitated because we were used to the schedule that doing respite provided- we knew in advance how long they would be there and what was going on. We were like highly qualified babysitters in a way. Now we were asked to be full fledged parents. That means a lot of unknowns. How long will this last? Long term living is different….what if they don’t listen? What about school work? Appointments? Meetings? Visitations and all that comes with providing full time care? I though we knew what foster care was since we did respite for a little while but no– being the foster parents was on a whole new level of responsibility. I gained even MORE appreciation for the many foster families that I knew that opened up their home to more than one child (sibling sets) over and over and over. We only were asked to accept just one to our 3 bedroom home. But God knew and knows what He is doing. Even though my husband was not thrilled at all about doing foster care in the first place- the idea to look into it came from HIS mouth! Also, he is/was especially equipped for the task and deeply understood the need but he just didn’t want to inconvenience his life for another person. Nothing personal- he just wasn’t interested. However, he completed the 9 weeks of training and the 3 in home inspection visits and we worked together with the children who were placed in our care for respite….we, as a family, learned we could do more than we thought and kept each child alive (haha) and healthy in our care.
I’m writing this from Cambodia. Today is our last full day here in the river village #2 to share the Good News of Jesus Christ paying the price of His life for us to be back in a right relationship with the One True God with those who believe and accept His free gift of salvation. It is not according to works so that any may boast. It is only because of the grace of God. God opened my eyes and heart to the need to look into fostering and the more I learned the more I could not turn away from what was all around us.
If you don’t have this heart yet but want it I would say to you to continue to study God’s Word, the Holy Bible, regularly on your own and when you are in prayer with God pray that God would give you a heart like His. A heart of flesh and not of stone hardened by the world. Pray that God would give you eyes like His that see the lost and the hurting. Pray that God would give you a mind like His in that the things that He cares for and thinks about are the things that you would care for and think about. If you sincerely seek God, you will find Him and be prepared that He may take you on a journey you weren’t expecting. Either way, it will be good.
This morning I woke up to a message from our former foster child.
Read more about Foster care here: https://sejanashines.com/category/foster-care/