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The honest truth about foster parenting

Yesterday I sat in a courthouse with friends as they celebrated the finalization of their adoption. The journey has not been easy, and that sealed certificate does not mean smooth sailing from here. But God is good and trustworthy and is writing a beautiful story of redemption in their family. He is big enough for this.

Today we sat in a different courtroom and wanted to scream as the system seemed to fail our foster love yet again. The system.

The system is not a person who has wronged her. The system is a broken collection of human beings- forgetful, distracted, budget-constrained, doing-as-they-were-told people who sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture but rarely is it malicious.

The system is not a person. But the system is broken.

This week I’ve been thinking about how often people come to us and express that they are considering being foster parents. Should I tell them the truth?

The truth, my friends, is that adoption is not charity- it is war. (Quoted from Russell Moore in Adopted For Life). It’s war. There is a real battle raging and the enemy hates these little ones. You will not escape this fight without getting roughed up, knocked down, deeply wounded in the process.

You are not alone. The battle is the Lord’s. But the battle is real.

Do not step into this half-heartedly. Blindly. Naively. Do not start on this path believing that you are the savior who will change the world.

Enter it humbly. With shaking knees. Fully dependent. Completely aware that Jesus is the One doing the saving. You cannot rescue all the children in the world. You may not even be able to rescue the ones in your own home. That’s not your job. Your job is to respond when He prompts you, go where He leads you, fight when He says “charge.”

You will be powerless. Knocked down. Broken. Dismayed. Infuriated.

And God will still be good. And He is still victorious. And there is hope. And His love is real.

This week has been amazing. And it has also sucked. Pardon the word choice. It’s the one that fits. And in both courtrooms, God was on the throne. He is good. He is big enough for this.


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