When Phil and I began our fostering journey, we knew not what we were doing. Our hearts and our hope were to help children in need…to provide a home…a safe place. And we have done that. But God’s dream is always bigger.
It seems there is a beautiful movement in many churches to get involved in foster care. At first blush, it would seem that people are becoming foster and adoptive parents. You know, the whole caring for orphans thing. But what lies beneath this movement is richer and deeper…and straight from the heart of God. People are embracing the ministry of reconciliation…helping not just the children, but the biological families. It is a messy, messy business…filled with joy, anger, frustration, and hope. Oh, and drugs. Always with the drugs. Within this movement is acknowledgment of the wounds created by rescue.
Though the number one reason people do not get involved with foster care is the fear of losing a child, we are realizing that the greater tragedy is that children are ever removed from home. That God’s dream for family has been fractured. That a child will always want Mom and Dad. No matter the abuse. And people are no longer ignoring that.
And so, removing a child from abuse…from the smells, sights, and sounds of home…break something beautiful within a child. And so, along with the healing of the wounds of abuse, we hope to aid in the healing of the wounds of rescue.
“You will always be second choice.” Those were the words presented to us during an early training for foster care. That statement took my breath away. Really? I did not accept it…at first. But I let the idea sink deep into my bones…at least as a possibility. This idea has shaped how Phil and I foster. We embrace second.
Today, our hope is for healing for our daughter, Denver. We hope that she knows she came from love…imperfect and flawed. And she came to love…imperfect and flawed. Together with her biological family, we move forward…toward healing.
It is messy.
It is awkward.
It is beautiful.