EncouragementNational Foster Care MonthNew Placement

A child in foster care wants and needs your messy life

You’re a saint, people tell me. 

Well, no I’m not. Let me show you what can happen in my ordinary family and how the Lord still uses us to provide a loving home for children in foster care.

As I sat in the airport with my family waiting to board our 3-hour evening flight home from our vacation, our foster agency’s intake coordinator texted me. We weren’t even home yet! I guess she had noted on her calendar that we would be returning that day and would then be open to a new placement. A 3-month-old baby girl needed a home.

She had been living in a group home since birth.

Since BIRTH??? Was there really no other foster family available to take her in?

She needed a home.

How could I say no? So what if we were hosting gatherings two nights in a row right after we returned from our vacation? I had one day to get the family rested and recuperated before the huge events, right? We certainly didn’t need more time than that. It was decided that we would pick her up from the group home bright and early Sunday morning…tomorrow.

But what I didn’t anticipate was the turmoil that occurred on that day of rest. The boys fought. The intake worker and I worked out the pickup details via text. I yelled at the boys. They cried. We were tired and unable to think rationally and respond rightly. I sought prayer from sisters in Christ. Then, when the crazy bad day ended, my dear hubby and I started arguing.  What a MESS.

I felt as though a monster climbed into me and took over my mind.

Can we say spiritual warfare? I don’t remember the last time we fought like this. There was no gentleness nor meekness about me that late night. I didn’t care that God tells us in Proverbs 15:1 that a gentle answer turns away wrath. I roared and I was mean. I wanted to say the meanest things I could possibly think of to the one person God gave me as my perfect life partner. And here we were planning to take in a new baby.

No, we are not saints…not even close.

After many loud and vicious words flew between us, my beloved husband asked for forgiveness, telling me he loved me. I did not respond and cried myself to sleep, still feeling hurt and angry. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger? Umm yeah…I did NOT care.

This is the depravity of mankind in me. There is no one good, not even one. Left to myself, I would selfishly serve myself in all I do, justifying every foolish action to please me.

But God…

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly paces in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:4-7

His mercies are new every morning. I woke up, still puffy-eyed from sobbing, and hugged my husband when he walked over to my side of the bed to say goodbye before he left the house for work. Please forgive me for everything. I’m so sorry. I love you.

I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you, he assured me.

God [is the one] who restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. – Psalms 23:3

Repentance, forgiveness and restoration are so beautiful in all relationships. The Lord softens hearts and brings us back to Him and to each other, using our broken vessels for His awesome purposes. Didn’t He use David and call him a man after His own heart even after David committed adultery and murder? What comfort He brings into our crazy and messy lives. More comfort came in the form of my precious prayer partner, who came over to listen, empathize, talk, and pray.

We are sanctified sinners who, by the grace of God, provide a temporary home to a child in need.

So I told the boys the plan. They beamed with excitement at the thought of their new baby sister. They loved her already. We all love her already. She needs a family, even one as messy and as prickly (at times) as ours.

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