What I have learned on this journey so far is just how simple this question is NOT.
After we became certified last October and even after baby boy arrived in December, I couldn't even answer that question for myself. I thought I could, but I was wrong. Only after the INTENSE work the Lord has done on my heart can I even begin to answer that "simple" question.
There have been a lot of emotions over the last four months that I hope to write about one day. Looking back on the posts I began writing all those months ago... my heart was in an ugly place. I know the Lord put the brakes on those posts. I wasn't ready. I was in an emotional, bitter and frightened place.
And, if I'm honest... many days I'm still in that place. The difference between then and now is the clarity I've received, my eyes being opened WIDE to the condition of my heart and the sanctifying and refining work that has begun. I didn't even know, I was blind...
But now... I think I'm ready to begin mulling through the reasons we said "YES!" to foster care.
I think this series will be a continual work in progress as I'm still growing and learning daily about the reasons we have been chosen for this journey.
I think the question "Why?" means something different for every person who asks us.
For some, it's "Why risk your heart?"
For others it's "Why now?"
"Why not domestic newborn adoption? International adoption?" "Why put your daughter through that?" "Your family will change so much, why jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" "Why the added stress? You know how 'those kids' can be." "Why not try for more of your own first? Then decide if you want somebody else's later, when yours are grown."
Oh... so many questions. I know a lot of this is curiosity, a lot of it is a lack of understanding of who foster kids are and what the system is like. Maybe this series will give you some clarity, maybe it will give me some clarity. Maybe it will spark an interest that has been hiding in your heart to consider foster parenting...
I certainly don't mind answering questions...
But before I start, let me go ahead and let you know what this series will not do:
This series will not be specific to our current foster situation. I will draw from this experience and our past respite and group home experience, but every situation is different, and I will not share specifics about our foster son, his parents, why he is in care, etc. It's their story only. Please respect the individuals involved in this journey and just. don't. ask.
This series will not aim to guilt you into considering foster care or adoption. We know this is a calling that not everybody has been given. While we firmly believe each and every one of us has been called to care for orphans, we know there are many many faces of orphan care, this is only one. And even in the world of foster care there are many faces of orphan care that don't involve bringing a child into your home temporarily or long term. I would LOVE to share these options, and will dedicate a post to these other options very soon!
So... with these things in mind and with my emotions and brain in a some type of "readiness" mode, welcome to the "This Is Why" series! I hope it answers some questions for ALL of us.
**This post is part of a series of posts aiming to answer the question, "Why did you choose foster care?" If any of these words or these posts spark an interest in your heart to consider foster parenting, please contact me or visit crossroadsnola.org/foster-care for information about fostering in the St. Tammany Parish and New Orleans area.**