I’ve been reading Kisses from Katie, a book chronicling a few years of 22-year-old Katie Davis. She loves Jesus and is devoting her life to living in Uganda and serving the people there. In addition to that, she is in the process of adopting 13 girls! Talk about faith!
As I am nearing the end of the book, this segment rings true for me as our dear Jackie moved to live with another family last month.
“And God, who sees and knows what is very best for her and for the rest of my family, allowed her to go live with someone else. For the good of me, for the good of her and the rest of my children, for the good of His Kingdom and the glory that is His. So I trust Him. I cling to His promises. I believe in His goodness.” -p. 256
But because I am human, I still grieve over the loss of a family member. We dropped off our last photo book on the doorstep of Jackie’s new home on Christmas night, as we were driving back home from Northern California. Jadon asked, “When are we going to see Jackie Jeh-Jeh again?” “I don’t know…” The boys know she has moved out, but don’t understand why. I’m not sure I truly understand why, nor all the crazy emotions that go along with being a foster teenager. Judah still refers to the empty bedroom as “Jackie Jeh-Jeh’s room.” Josiah treasures the memories of biking and playing monopoly with his beloved big sister.
It hit me that J would move out the day we arrived home from our extraordinary visit to North Carolina. That night we had an adoption appreciation dinner for foster families at Olive Crest. After dinner, the tears wouldn’t stop as I listened to everyone’s stories of successful adoptions, etc. Of course I was happy for them, but my heart was in pain and my emotions were raw and fresh over our family’s situation. I cried for weeks before and after she left. How can someone I love so deeply just get up and move out? But it’s not about me, or her, or my family. I have to trust that God allowed this to happen for the good of all of us, and ultimately for His glory.
Jesus taught me how to keep loving even when love didn’t come back. He gave me a daughter. He gave me a teenage daughter! Nothing fit “our” profile at Olive Crest except that she was Chinese. He didn’t promise that we would receive love back from others. His commands are to love God and love others. So we loved imperfectly and we gave imperfectly. I still feel like a failure, but I know that we tried our best.
And we will continue our call as foster parents. Maybe we’ll have a baby boy next, a toddler girl, who knows? We didn’t start out wanting to be foster parents, but truly God called us to be, at least for this chapter in life. And He knows we are weak, unable to do anything without Him.
Thank you Jesus, for dying for me on the cross, and for showing me true love. Please help us to give our lives to others, too. We selfishly want to be comfortable and not be inconvenienced. Help us to move past those desires and continue serving You by loving children who need a home and a family.