Our little guy only lived with us for two weeks. He came, we unpacked, he went to his summer program, we swam a few times, cuddled often, my kids read to him constantly, and then he left. For some reason, God has given me the ability to have very difficult conversations with kids with grace and dignity. This was one of those times. I had to be the one to break the news to him that he would be leaving our home to live in another state with someone he may or may not know.
This is the life of foster care. My family was so heavy-hearted when our little friend left, but not because we had grown attached to him or felt sad for ourselves. To look at my children and tell them that there was no way to know about his future was difficult. I'm grateful that they are experiencing real life ways to know and trust that God is sovereign and God is good even when we don't know the outcome of a given situation. Chad and I can tell them all the time, but for them to get to move head knowledge to experiential heart knowledge is invaluable.
You know, I had always had a plan for the size of my family. Before Chad and I were married, we thought we would have five kids, then we adopted Esther. Quickly, we decided four would be a nice number. After Kyle was born, three became our new ideal. God knew what we really needed and apparently He thought it would be really funny if we had twins...Morgan and Carah. I cried for a month when I found out I was carrying twins because I was so afraid. I definitely did not think I had the qualifications or skills to parent four kids. But, God is sovereign and God is good. He knew all along that we wouldn't be stopping at four.
One of the biggest reasons I drug my feet in getting back into foster care is a fear of how many children I will actually end up with. God has graciously given Chad and I a way with kids. I'm not the person that kids run to for fun, silly voices, cute games, or treats from my purse, but our home is a place kids can find secure love, consistent boundaries, attention, affection, and appropriate discipline. As much as I'm afraid to admit it, I have a feeling we will have countless kids come through our home. God has not shown this to me to be His plan, but I believe He has asked me to surrender to His will for our family. I'm terrified that I will be the old woman who had so many kids she didn't know what to do. (Hopefully, I won't have to live in a shoe.)
For now, we are keeping our placement open for a young boy. We are praying God will allow us to adopt a boy at some point. Our family will keep believing that God has a sovereign plan for our family and that He is completely good.
Please know that saying God is good does not mean that I think he will give us a life of ease and comfort. His goodness means that He wants us to become more like Christ who gave himself up for us. He doesn't promise that our lives will be easy, exactly like we hoped or planned, or that we will get what we think we deserve for all the great things we think we are doing. His goodness includes giving us joy, hope, peace, never abandoning us, and mostly pointing us to Himself where we find ultimate satisfaction.
More thoughts are coming...