Updated: Aug 14, 2021
No child comes into out-of-home-care without the story of a ravaged family.
In some cases restoration and repair trump chaos and destruction. Some families heal, others never seem to and some see-saw in between.
When we say yes to foster care, we say yes to children, and if we are willing, yes to their family.
The yes (read love, serve, sacrifice for) family (and children) is costly, purposeful and rewarding.
A yes to family can be a yes to building relationships with aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
This journey is varied.
For me, it has looked like shared photographs and regular Saturday phone calls.
Like park playdates and cups of tea.
For some of my friends it has looked like cancelled catch-ups and hours of uncertain waiting.
For most of us it looks like disregulated children who have to process hellos and good-byes with people who make them feel safe and those that don’t.
It looks like reaching out, forgiving, repenting, trying again.
Like hitting brick walls, being misunderstood, appreciated and discarded.
“Fostering a Family” has been something I’ve been discipled into.
At every stage I see how inadequate I am without Jesus.
At every stage I see how much I need the perfect Jesus to live through the imperfect me.
The only reason I have love to give is because I have received (and continue to receive) love.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:10 & 11 NIV)
In a Faith and Fostering podcast I interviewed my friend about this idea of “fostering a family”.
She shared about learning not to take things personally.
“I thought about what it would be like for me to have my children forcibly removed,” she said.
“To not make it about what I was feeling – you really need to analyse how you’re feeling and really think through how you’re going to manage yourself."
“When she would criticize parenting or blame me for certain things I was able to not take it personally. I was able to see it as pain and as a reaction to the horror of her life.”
Written by Terri Thomson