A week or so ago I posted about thankfulness, but I’ve never written specifically about the support I’m thankful for throughout our foster care journey. It’s been on my mind with Christmas fast approaching, and so I wanted to take the time to look back on the many ways we’ve been blessed by others.
I don’t remember a specific conversation with my parents about our decision to become licensed for foster care. That’s probably because the when and how of us getting started spanned a couple years and was a gradual settling in process. But as soon as we got moving on the paperwork, my mom started classes right alongside us to become a substitute caregiver so she could watch any potential foster children when I was at work. Now, my mom works a full-time job herself and was still willing to go through the training and watch kids on her days off to save us on daycare costs and hassles. That’s amazing; that’s invaluable.
When we started this, we knew our families would be morally supportive, but this was our venture and our undertaking. It was a decision made between my husband and I, and ultimately, it wasn’t based on our family’s approval. Therefore, we didn’t have any expectations on them as far as their involvement was concerned. We made the decision for our immediate family unit (meaning myself, my husband, and our son), and while support was welcome, it wasn’t a requirement for us to move forward.
We never asked our family and friends to be involved, but they came forward anyway. When our first placement arrived, my parents were there. Throughout that placement, they brought over meals, helped with housework, babysat, and loved, a whole lot of love. And when that placement left, they did it all over again with the next. We had friends who prayed and gave us clothing, coworkers who switched shifts around to give me a couple weeks off, and a church that had done this many times before and understood… all of it.
I never expect family, friends, or strangers on the street to share the same passion for fostering that I do. We are all given different gifts in life, and not everyone can or has a desire to foster. When we said yes to foster care, it was with the understanding that this wasn’t something our extended family had signed up for. With that in mind, the love and support that we received from everyone that hadn’t voluntarily chosen this journey but stood with us anyway was, and is, one of the most heartwarming things I’ve been able to witness.
It gives me the warm fuzzies that the baby we have right now has such an amazing extended foster family. It’s the kind of family that scoops her up as soon as she enters a room, will pray for her well-being, and distant relatives who have never met her before but call to ask what size she’s in so they can send a Christmas present.
I love at church when people will ask to hold her. Unless you are a cesspool of infection, the answer is YES! She deserves to be loved on and doted over. It takes a village to build the community of support that I want for her while she’s in our care, and I could not have asked for a better village. Through this experience, I have seen the love of Christ in new ways, reflected in each person who has poured out their time, energy, and love. I am beyond grateful and overwhelmed by what God can do through us. Thanks to everyone who has supported the kids and us on this journey!