The Faithfulness of God in Obedience
Dear friends at Jacob’s Well,
I was asked to share about our experience of being foster parents and how we’ve seen God through this journey. It is my prayer that God will give me the words He’d like me to share and that those words would stir in your hearts in some way.
This was not an easy or quick decision. My heart had been burdened for years to adopt. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010 is when this journey began. I would cry over these children most nights longing to help those that no longer had anyone to call mom or dad. However, this was not a shared burden of my husband, Rob. This burden stayed with me and didn’t go away. Why would God put this on my heart and not Rob’s? I really struggled with this. Please understand- this is not to speak badly about Rob AT ALL. This was just a lesson from God. He was preparing Rob in His own way and I didn’t even realize it. One night while I was doing a devotional that was centered on life and feeling “restless,” I was writing about my frustrations about feeling stuck in life. I wanted to adopt and Rob didn’t. I literally just asked Rob again if he’d prayed and thought anymore about adopting. He was silent. I looked on at him in bitterness as he continued to look at his phone. Well, after a few minutes he looks up from his phone, and I kid you not said, “ Ok, I’m willing to adopt from Haiti or the Dominican Republic.” Uhhhhhhhh WHATTTTT?!?!?! Yes, I cried. He was on his phone because he had just been looking at adoption agencies. Thus began the process of figuring out what to do next.
After looking into different options of adopting internationally, it didn’t seem right for several different reasons I won’t get into now. Many times Sunday mornings during services at Jacob’s Well, the thousands of children that needed homes in NJ kept coming into my head. We eventually decided to become licensed foster parents with the intent to adopt. We talked to our three kids and they were all in.
Foster care’s main priority is reunification with the biological parents. This process can take as little as months but also up to years. Sometimes parental rights are terminated and the children are eventually adopted. We started the process of becoming licensed foster parents in September of 2015. After a short orientation meeting, a resource worker was assigned to our family. She came out to meet us at our home and the process began. We filled out paperwork, attended around 27 hours of training, and had a homestudy and home inspection completed. We were licensed in January of 2016. This process can take longer depending on whether you get in all your required paperwork or if the caseworker is a little slower moving. We were ready and determined so we moved quickly on whatever was needed of us.
After a few children came and went, we felt it was time to move so that we had more space to do what we knew God wanted us to do. God was faithful and provided a home with plenty of bedrooms. We dedicated our home right away as it was clearly God’s hand that brought us here. It was His home to do His work. To this day, we have had a total of seven children in our home that have stayed all different lengths of time. The shortest amount of time was 24 hours. These children have since moved on either to a relative, back home, or to a different foster home. It has not been an easy journey. We get attached and have to say goodbye. We have to put up with the hardships that come with this messed up system. But we have had the privilege to welcome and love on God’s beautiful children that are hurting and need love and care. We know we can provide that solely based on our trust in God to give us the strength we need. It is truly humbling that God has called us to do this. We see the ugliness of the world affecting innocent children, but we can’t ignore it. I’ve heard and read about so many stories and fear kept creeping in, but I am so happy that I didn’t let fear win!!
We now have two beautiful girls staying with us for however long and they have brought such joy into our home. We have been blessed by them. It isn’t always easy. It can be challenging and uncomfortable. But when I think about the hard that they’re going through? It’s so much harder than MY hard. So I can do my hard if it will help them through theirs. We pray for the parents of these children and that they would eventually return home to them someday. We have an ongoing journal with their parents so that they know we are praying for and supporting them.
God taught me that His timing is perfect. I am so thankful that we have a God that promises to provide for all our needs. He has called us to do this work for Him and through our obedience we have clearly seen His hand! It has been a beautiful journey with Him! He also provides for my biological children to love on kids. They have been amazing to watch through this. And no it hasn’t been easy for them all the time either. But they continue to desire to foster
I hope this encourages you in whatever God is calling you to. He calls each of us to obey Him and His word and then leads us in how to do that specifically. Please don’t let fear hold you back from going forward with what you feel God is leading you to do! If anyone is interested in talking to me or Rob in more detail please do. We would love to talk more! And if you’d like to go online and reach out to start the process or find more information the link is: www.state.nj.us/njfosteradopt/foster/parent
Thanks for reading!
Your sister in Christ,
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