How Does Foster Care Affect Your Children?
Two years ago, our family started the domestic adoption process in which we planned to adopt a healthy infant. As often is the case, the Lord had a different plan for us. Our perspective changed when we heard Him saying, “It’s not about bringing a child to your family; it’s about bringing your family to a child.” This whole idea sent us on a journey to foster care which culminated back in April when we joyfully welcomed two little boys (brothers) into our family. A few months later, their sister joined our clan changing our family dynamic significantly. Our kids are 7, 5, and 4 and we now had a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and a 1 year old! Yes, that is 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1! Craziness!
A question we are often asked is, “How has this affected your children?” Actually, we have all been affected! We have been stretched. And, honestly, there are times when we wish things could just go back to normal. Sometimes life feels too complicated, too messy, and too hard. Yet, we would do it all again because this is what God has called us to, and He is changing us in the process.
The first day our foster son joined our family, our daughter asked him, “Do you know Jesus?” He stared at her blankly then but now when we talk about how Jesus loves him, his eyes light up. This is what it’s about! And when I struggle, I have to remember that this is why we’re here. As parents, I think it is natural to want to protect our kids from anything hard or uncomfortable, yet those challenges may be the very thing that teaches them to trust in Jesus.
Our kids are serving the “least of these” right along with us. It has been amazing to watch them care for their foster siblings as their own. I love hearing them pray for the children in foster care who don’t have families to love them. I love watching them wave each other off to school or run to one another after they have spent time away.
So, how have our kids been affected? Better than I ever could have imagined! Their eyes have been opened and their hearts have been changed. They are experiencing first hand how the Lord abundantly blesses obedience. They are literally being the hands and feet of Jesus to their world, right in our home.
“Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon… Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes”
Hi, I’m Jami! I love Jesus, and I just want to know Him more! I have been married to my man Clint for 10 years, and we are both passionate about foster care and adoption. Currently, we have six kids in our home (ages 7 and under!)–two daughters by birth, our son who we adopted from Guatemala, and three more we are fostering. Though I am always behind on laundry and sometimes feel like one more dirty diaper may just do me in, I receive exponentially more hugs and kisses too. How can one argue with that?! I love connecting with other women especially if a cup of coffee with whipped cream is in hand! I also do that through my blog and when I’m speaking to women’s groups or at orphan care events. My heart is to be a voice for the voiceless and mobilize those around me to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world. Life is abundant and God is faithful!