We got the call this morning. It’s official: we are licensed foster parents.
Our social worker asked, “Are you guys totally ready?” I can assure you I am not. Is that even possible?
Losing It All
A click of a button to end the call leaves me in a panic over what I'm about to lose. The loss of quiet. The loss of just the two of us. The loss of children who will go back home. I know I signed up for this, but the weight of it feels heavier than I expected. It is hard to imagine giving up so much of myself when I could easily press the breaks and hold on to the much simpler life I'm living now.
I am reminded of Jesus’ words to the apostles as he sent them out, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
The truth is that I signed up for this long before I signed off on my home study. Long before I set up bunk beds and put a rubber ducky by the bathtub, I committed my life to the ministry of a man who gave up far more than a little bit of sleep and sanity. He gave his life, and he asks the same of me. As surely as he has called us to this task, he has called us to lose ourselves in lifelong pursuit of him.
The Center of Foster Care & The Face of Loss
As the reality of this calling to foster care sets in, I’m trying not to forget that loss is where this whole process begins. Every child in the system already experienced unimaginable loss as they were removed from the only family they had ever known—for better or for worse.
My own sacrifices are barely recognizable when I consider the trauma of this moment, and as I seek truth in this mission, I'm finding that these losses–the ones that belong to foster children—are the real center of this story.
A few months after my husband and I began the process to become foster parents, we witnessed the aftermath of a crime that brought us back to the center of what foster care means. Our neighbors were involved in a domestic violence incident that left their two teenage daughters without parents, and left us completely humbled.
In just our pjs, we ran outside into a horrifying scene of chaos, confusion, and unbelievable fear, but we were most struck by the reality that no warm bed or smiling face could possibly make up for the loss these girls experienced. We began to understand what the face of trauma really looks like, and how small foster parents really are in light of the big picture of trauma.
Today, as I try not to stare at my phone in anticipation of a ring, I picture my neighbor’s faces as they opened the doors to their new bedrooms for the first time after that night. All the things I am afraid of losing are overshadowed by the redness in their eyes and the tremble of their teeth. I hope that, even when it’s hard, I won’t forget the depth of loss for children whose lives have been torn apart like this. They aren’t ready, and they will never be ready.
The comfort of Jesus’ words in the wake of loss is knowing that even the most broken children can find life and rest in the gospel. In the following chapter in Matthew, Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Healing in foster care is so far beyond what I can provide, but there is real comfort in knowing the God who gives rest—rest that is enough for kids who’ve lost it all.
This is our prayer today: Lord, give them rest.
 Matthew 10:39, ESV.
 Matthew 11:29
Thanks for stopping by! This space is personal and precious, but its also a place for honest conversation about foster care, self-development, and the occasional poem. Dig in for a dose encouragement and sincerity, and definitely come back soon!