Part 1: Love Gives
Love gives…because God gave.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
“How can you love a child who isn’t your own?” some people wonder. How can I not? If God loved me enough to send His son to die for me, how can I not be willing to care for a little one who bears His image? A tiny one who was detained at birth at the hospital, a toddler who came to my door with no shoes or socks, a teenager who desperately needs love but insists that she cannot give it…
How can I not love them as my own? Their birth mothers, who were meant to care for them, could not…did not. My bio boys, when they were just a little younger, thought that we cared for foster children because their parents had to work a lot. Oh sweet boys, if you only knew why. If you only knew about the neglect, abuse, and brokenness in these families that led to the point of the child being torn away.
Love seeks the good of another and not of ourselves. Love serves others and asks nothing for ourselves.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4
And how I fight it at times. 10 hours of supervised birth parent visits a week? And I’m supposed to supervise? Are they crazy? What about my schedule and all I have to do to homeschool my boys and take them everywhere they need to go? Am I really expected to drop everything and submit to the court order? Well, yes. I have to be the one to take the child to see the birth parents. The agency and the county are short-staffed due to a tight budget so there is nobody else available to sit there at the visit. Sometimes I take the boys with me or find someone who can watch them so I can fulfill those required number of visitation hours.
We have learned to be more flexible than we ever thought we could be. We don’t make it to every class or every practice and we throw a rigid schedule out the window. When I finally sit my tired body down for just a moment to rest from a busy day, I hear the baby crying from her crib…and I sigh and go to meet her needs.
But this is not really sacrifice. It’s not about me. It’s about joyfully giving to the One who gave us His all.
So we give. We change diapers, feed and hold them, read to them, smile at them, pray for them, wash their clothes, talk and play with them, take them to a myriad of appointments. Through all those actions, pieces of our heart leave us and start to grow in the child. My heart is no longer in me, but dwells in another. We give our time, our resources and give some more, even though we might get nothing back…even though the child might not ever love us back…because God gave us Jesus.
Because everything belongs to Him anyway. Jesus died, giving His life for us, so that we might live.
And we pour out our lives right back to Him for His glory.
Stay tuned for Part 3!