I believe that adding to our family through foster care and adoption will be very powerful, and quite possibly, complicated. I am aware that my opinions are without full experience yet we began researching this option many years ago and I believe that it was something we, as a couple, were called to do.
I find people responding to this in a variety of ways. First, there is the “Are you crazy?!” My response is simply, “A little bit.” I really am a little afraid of what four small children will mean for my sanity which is already wavering at times. However, I believe that we will never regret doing it, but we may regret if we do not. I also say that we’d like to do it while we are too stupid to know otherwise. We are already knee-deep in small children, so what’s one more? (Don’t worry. I’m really not that naïve. This is just me reassuring myself.)
Second, there are the very complimentary responses such as “That is so wonderful. It really takes special people to do that.” When I hear this, I am always very thankful yet I feel a little awkward because I am not extraordinary and I am not doing it all for nothing. As a parent, I am well aware that children drain resources- mental, physical, and financial. However, our children fill our lives with experiences and emotions that can never be measured. I want to add to our family in this way to help a child in need, of course. This is what called us to do it. However, I also want to experience all of the rewards that come with loving another child as our own.
Then there is the, “I could never do that.” My response to this is, “That’s OK. It is not for everyone to do.” Believe me, I too have fears on how well I will raise a child who may or may not look like us, may or may not have special needs, and may or may not get to stay with us forever. I remember when we were trying to decide if we were going to pursue foster parenting, when our (at the time) 5year old daughter, Caroline asked, “What does fostering mean?” Wow, how do you answer that? I, again, did not have much time to think and said, “Fostering means that we will love and care for a child for as long as he/she needs us to.” It was like an "Ah-ha moment." Why couldn’t I explain it that simply to myself?
Believe me, I do not mean to over-simplify this complicated and very personal issue; I merely have to make it understandable for me and our family. At some point, I heard Joel Osteen say, “God will not put a dream in your heart that he is not prepared to back up.” I believe this to be true and I trust God. I do hope,however, that God does not trust me very much. :)