Q & A about Fostering

I can’t even begin to tell you just how many questions I have gotten over the past ten years about Foster Parenting…everything from, “Why are they in the system”, to “How do you let them go”?gkjdgjlkdf

This page is an attempt to answer some of those question maybe even you are having.

Unlike some foster parents, I am pretty open about foster parenting.  I think knowledge and education are the first steps in growing in regards to any situation..

So, instead of getting offended, I welcome the questions. I think we need to be open about the realities…

Because the truth is, there are far too many kids waiting for homes…

So, why don’t you pull up a chair and let’s talk about it. I’ll try to be as honest and open as possible. Let’s go…

What kind of Kids Are In The System?

Many think there are only “messed up” kids in the system.  That is entirely not true.  I have seen perfectly healthy infants, and children who their grandparents simply couldn’t watch them any longer come into our home.

Also, because our family specialized and actually requests children who are racially diversity (My husband is Hispanic and this is where our heart is)…the reality is….most of the children requested for placement were white, light hair and light eyes.

Despite the stereotypes the media might show us, most of the people who do drugs and lose their children are not of color. (At least where we live)  You might be surprised, but abuse and addiction are no discriminator or respecter of person, economic status, or color.

People also think they can’t get a baby through the system.  Think again!

We have had nothing but babies, until we took in a twelve-year-old, simply at the Lord’s leading.

What people don’t know is that you can actually request race, gender, age, and anything else you can think of for a placement.  (At least here in Washington).

There are so many kids coming into care daily and far too few foster parents.

How do you let them go?

There is no easy answer.  It’s hard.  Very hard. Still over and over, God reminds me, “Nothing we hold is ours”.  He has taught me the repeated lesson of open-handed living, and how true love gives, blesses, and releases…because true love does what’s best for the other person.

And if it’s best for a child to find an adoptive home or go back home…how can we stop or not trust God’s Sovereignty, over the situation?

Regardless of how it seems, fostering has little to do with us (the foster parents) and everything to do with following the plans and purposes of God, walking in the Love He has for all children.

What about the system? Aren’t they a pain for work with?

Awww…great question!  I am not going to lie, it’s not always easy to work in the system.  But despite all the horror stories, there is also a lie…”Everyone in the system is bad”.  Not true.

There are some very good people who work for the state.  However, being wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove is always a good philosophy.

But then, there are those times that you have to fight.  Lay down your rights, your wishes, your plans, your purposes, and get down on your face with extended fasting and pleadings.  There is no greater warfare than in the arena of orphan ministry.

And to be honest, there have been times I have just known, the state is moving in a direction that God is not intending.  It is then that you grab your armor, get on your lawyer, logical, facts based boot straps…and fight in love of course, with everything you have got!  A life depends on it!

The Lie of the Troubled, Older Child

You may be thinking, “this foster thing is something I might be able to do!”  But like me at one time, you might want to put stipulations on what words for you.  Don’t feel bad.  Don’t question.  Go with your gut and follow wherever He is leading you…

But let me warn you.

Just when you think you are following will, God might call you to take an older a child, a child with special needs, or a child that doesn’t “fit” into what you think you can handle.

Still not sure it’s right for you? Wait. Pray.  Petition God. He will show you the way.

And please, if you are even a little inclined to taking an older child, please realize there is so much joy in investing in a life that will remember God’s love through you, what you say, the example they see in you.

Seek Him.  I trust beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will lead you…

Don’t believe the lies of the enemy.  Every child is deserving of a home free from abuse, a life of love, safety, hope, and a future that doesn’t include pain and abuse.

And please remember, there are over 1/2 million children in foster homes in the United States. Many , far too many will never experience the reality of living in a forever home.  Would you consider starting the process to change that statistic today?

Before going, make sure to read some of Rich Faith Rising’s fostering posts here. You can find some really good book suggestions here