Foster Moms

Foster moms,

Two years ago I didn't know anything about you, what you were capable of, your level of perseverance, or the wide range of emotions your heart fought every day.
Two years ago I looked at you with admiration and anticipation...

Because two years ago I sat and I waited... and waited and waited and waited on the arrival of our first long-term foster placement.


Today that baby boy I was waiting to meet is much more than a long-term foster placement. He is my son. We experienced so much in the year and a half between the day we met him and the day he became our own. We cried, we loved, we grew in incredible ways as we were shown our sin, our lack of trust and the filthiness of the very core of our hearts. I can say without a doubt that foster care was used mightily in my life.. and used in so many ways beyond the gaining of my son. I would not have traded the hysterical crying or the fear that hovered in the background of everything we did. Not one minute of it. Because I knew that all of the hardships were worth it to the child who had been entrusted to our care, no matter how long his stay... and all of the fear involved in that very unknown is what God used most to teach me about His closeness. Closeness to a God who, because of my sin, I deserve to be so far separated from... as far as the east is from the west. But instead He drew me close to Him in those moments of deep sin, fear, and hatefulness. Instead He removed my sin from me... as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:10-12). He called us to and guided us through foster care, keeping us close by Him every step. Our fostering journey wasn't easy, it was anything but ordinary... it was painful, it was beautiful, it was just as it was meant to be.

And on June 1, 2016 our journey ended, and that precious eighteen month old boy became my son.

What a blessing my walk through the trenches brought me, as the King led me step by step to my sweet son. Jaiden has made me a more compassionate, loving, patient, flexible and certainly more active and attentive mommy. I just can't picture our family without him in it. He is an Ellzey, through and through. He loves his sister like crazy, he is a daddy's boy, no doubt, but when the thunder is just loud enough, he climbs right up in my lap and hugs my neck so tight and sweet. Yes... life has become comfortable in our neck of the woods. Today, my life looks crazy, active, fun, overflowing with hugs and kisses and love... and very, very comfortable.

Foster moms,
Today as I sit in my comfort, I am gazing in awe at your strength, your trust, your perseverance and resolve as you walk a path of unknowns. I've walked in your shoes, and I know your lives look very different than mine does right now. And if I'm honest, when I see the faith you are walking in, some days I miss those shoes that felt very ill-fitting most of the time. I miss them because of the way they made me reach for my Father's hand every minute of every day. I miss them because they consistently reminded me of my utter need for a Savior. I miss them because they taught me compassion for a group of broken and hurting parents toward whom I had never felt any emotion past anger. I miss them because they showed me my shortcomings as a mother and as a child of God and in turn brought me so very close to Him.

And I miss them because they were made purposefully by Him, specifically for me... and while they often felt ill-fitting, they were the perfect fit. He bent down into my mess, He placed them on my feet, held out His hand, and He told me to walk.

Into the unknown. Into the trenches.

Foster moms,
You are in the trenches, in the muck and the mire, in the sadness and devastation that sin has brought into this world.

Foster moms,
You are on the royal highway, walking hand in hand with the King, hearing His very voice, feeling His firm grip pull you through those trenches that He created your feet to walk through. He created YOU, foster mom, with that child or those children in mind. He set these moments in motion and placed you together for the specific span of time that only He knows... and your trust in His sovereignty to give you love and compassion and peace and grace and mercy... that will stick with the families and children He has placed in your care much longer than you could possibly know.

Don't take these days for granted. Don't let yourself forget the most joyful moments or even the most painful ones, don't let one minute slip from your memory. Hold onto the closeness He has drawn you into and don't let it go when your journey ends. Because when things get comfortable, it's easy to forget how much we need to be close to Him every day. Even on the easy days.

And can we be honest? Even our easiest, most comfortable days often look pretty ugly. And the worst place to be is in our own trenches we dug for ourselves, without the King's hand guiding us and pulling us through them.

Foster moms,
Two years ago I didn't know anything about you, what you were capable of, your level of perseverance, or the wide range of emotions your heart fought every day.
I know now...
...and today I look at you with far more admiration than I did two years ago.

Thank you for the role you are playing in my life as I watch the Lord work through you for the sake of His children. Thank you for being vulnerable, for loving children and their families the very same way Christ has loved you and for revealing Him to each person you share your journey with.

Thank you for reminding me of His closeness, today and every day.

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."
Psalm 139:9&10