Advocating for foster care is a passion of mine so I jumped at this opportunity when God urged my friend to send me a text one day. A couple of months ago, my dear friend Monica invited me to share my fostering journey with a group of young Chinese university women. They arrived in Southern California just the night before for a 2-week cultural trip. Baby S and I arrived at an enormous, gorgeous home in the hills of Yorba Linda. Karen welcomed me in and offered her daughter to help watch my baby girl. Sure! Of course Baby S would love to play with your daughter. Thank you so much!
I entered into the kitchen/family room area and listened to Monica’s presentation of how her family grew from 0-6 children through foster adoption over the past 9 years. It’s such a beautiful story of how God wove each child into their family and I always love hearing it. Afterwards, the young women asked a few questions for Monica to answer. Then, Monica posed a question of her own. Do you want children someday? Not one nod or raised hand.
WHAT?! How can it be that among a dozen young adult women, none of them want children? Instead, it seems that the cultural norm among the educated is to pursue a career and comfort with no room left for raising children.
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
I am sad that although the Chinese culture values family very much, the younger generations are being brought up to believe that having no children is better, whether it is a result of direct or implied expectations.
The collegians listened politely to my testimony and asked a few questions as to how we make the foster children part of our family. In a country where blood relationships are prized above all and orphanages still exist, they couldn’t reconcile how we would desire to bring in babies unrelated into our family and love them as our own. Please pray for the young people of China and many other countries, that God would capture their hearts for Himself and grow their love for children.
If you would like to read it, here is my journey I shared:
Our Fostering Journey
I had always had a heart for children, helping and teaching them as a teen, visiting an orphanage in Albania during college, then becoming a music teacher. Before my husband Jeremy and I got married, I had asked him if he would ever want to adopt one day. He said sure.
God worked in both of our hearts to start thinking of adopting after our second son was born. We were looking for a new church during the summer of 2007 and three of those churches had some kind of presentation on adoption and fostering. One church had a flyer for our foster agency. Another had an adult woman share about her life as an adopted child. The third one had an Adoption Sunday devoted to bringing awareness to orphans in the world.
God has adopted me as His child. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” When I was 10 years old, God changed my heart from serving myself to a heart that believes in Jesus and lives for Him.
In the Bible, John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” I am now a beloved child of God, destined for a life of hope and heaven.
Ten years ago, we started actively pursuing fostering-to-adopt. My first son was 3 and my second was 1. Within a few months, we had our first placement, a happy little blonde girl named Lauren. She was the same age as my second son so it was perfect that she could also participate in all of our little kid activities.
Since then, we have had 11 foster placements. Most of them were babies, some toddlers, and 1 teenage girl.
Our current baby is here with me. Her name is Samara and she is 11 months old. She was living in a group home for about a month when I received a text message late last May. I was in the Vancouver airport waiting for my plane to take our family home. We said yes right away.
She has been such a bright light in our home! Our boys LOVE her and she makes them smile and laugh all the time. They know how to feed her, play with her, change her diapers, and change her clothes. They will be wonderful dads one day.
Many people say that fostering is too difficult or too heartbreaking. But I say that Jesus gave His life for me. He DIED for me. So being a mom to a child who was not born to me, but who needs a home, is nothing. I am merely doing my job as a daughter of God who is caring for those in need.