Friday, May 27, 2016

If Not Us, Then Who?

May is Foster Care Awareness Month and I wanted to at least recognize it before the month closes out because its such a part of our lives, a part of who I am. 

Our family has been licensed, with at least one child in our home for more than four years. Though the hard and messy don't ever go away, we've had a front row seat to watching God do some neat things. Most days I feel incredibly unqualified but God's grace and mercy somehow cover that (I spend a lot of time asking Him for an extra measure of both!). 

Foster care is a costly endeavor and requires great sacrifice and daily dying to self. Its just plain hard. We regularly question what we are doing but it always comes back around to the same question as we consider the great need....if not us, then who?

He trusts us enough to use us in this capacity and though I don't often don't feel up to "the call", He is always faithful to equip and enable us and give us the strength for one more day. 

The Archibald Project is an adoption blog that I sometimes read (who doesn't love a good adoption story??) and this month they did a fantastic job highlighting foster care. Here are a couple favorite quotes from the month:

Being a foster parent is worth the risk...My pain, my loss...they dissolve before the pain and loss of these children. My pain, my loss dissolve in light of the good my loss will yield. If I'm afraid, so a child feels safe; if I if I cry, so a child learns to smile; if I give of myself, so a child learns to receive.

I was certain I'd be too emotionally unstable to handle loving a child relentlessly and then saying goodbye. And you know what? I totally am. I'm way too emotionally unstable for this. But if I could emotionally handle it, something would be wrong with me. 
I think it's easy to forget that: foster care--100 percent of the time--begins because of a tragedy. It is never pretty, never tied up with a bow, never predictable. It's messy. 
But the mantra that runs through my mind on the good days and on the bad days is this: if not us, then who? 

But we are too afraid, in our humanness, of heartbreak and goodbyes that we can't bring ourselves to do something about it. Just because something is difficult and will (I guarantee) cause many nights of tears and anxiety...foster parents have the opportunity to shed those tears and carry the fears so that the child won't have to any longer. We get to sit in the uncertainty for them.

I may not be able to help all the foster kids in my county, but I sure can affect the life of one. And to that one, that’s all that matters. 
When I think about the generations that might be affected because I chose to help just one, I know I can make a difference.

I always thought I couldn't do it. I couldn't handle giving a child back to whom I was attached. And I've learned that I can't handle it, it breaks me. But I'm an adult, and I can handle being broken for a child who has known trauma and suffering. Foster Care isn't about me, it's about loving someone who desperately needs to be loved and feel safe.

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