I would like to say a few words to those of you who have, are in process or considering, or who believe they will foster/adopt. This was spurred on by a regretful post I read a few days ago. The post is here, if you care to read it.
Let me start by saying that I believe God calls people to foster/adopt. I believe that it can be His perfect plan for some. However, I also believe that some get pressured into it by the Church. There are so many ways to care for orphans. Please, please, do not for any reason choose to foster/adopt a child out of guilt from a pastor, family member, or misinterpretation of Scripture. The only reason to bravely step into the life of a child is because God has called you to do that. Only God should be the one calling you.
Said blog post started off wrong to me when she complained of not getting any congratulations. Okay. I get that those may be the realities of fostering, but why would anyone celebrate depravity? These children are being taken from their biological parents because the State deems them unfit parents. What is there to celebrate about that? Can the Church step in here for another way to care for orphans and have a “Blessings Closet” for such occasions? Can a member of the community donate all of their gently used baby items to this new mom?
Consider the motivation of the next statement, “Instead of a baby shower and well wishers I was greeted with paperwork, prying questions, and weekly investigations.”
If you are fostering to be celebrated as one who cares for orphans, maybe you should rethink that. I mean that seriously. Caring for children is extremely hard, and when you mix that with them being taken from their parents when they do not understand why, it can be excruciating. These children might not see you as caring but as the one who kept them from their parents, whom they love. Do not foster out of obligation and do not hesitate to get involved out of fear. Those are two sides of the same coin.
Also, if God has called you to foster/adopt, His purpose is not for you to save anyone. You can’t. You can’t save one child. You may better their circumstances, yes, but is that really saving them? What happens to the children in a woman’s care who had a savior complex but was blessed with human, sinful children? These children may never be thankful. They may have other ideas about your rescue of them. It may look to them like you have kept them imprisoned from the parent they love.
If you are choosing to foster/adopt children out of anything other than God’s call and His love, then don’t. Choose love, and pay for a home study of a couple that is called by God to foster/adopt. They will be so thankful that you are partnering with them in caring for orphans.
Perhaps most importantly, God’s reason for calling you to foster/adopt is not for you to pay for anyone’s sins, as if you could. This writer made the choice to say how she is paying for the biological parents’ sins in bold face type. This was the worst part for me. Only Jesus pays for sins. His blood. His choice. You, foster parent writer, do not. If your attitude is such that you believe this, you are misleading yourself. How dare you minimize what Christ did on the cross! How dare you hold those innocent children to their parents’ flesh!
You are not, have not, will not pay for biological parents’ sins as a foster/adoptive parent. Please, remember your own sin here. You are not perfect. You needed God too.
We were all dead in sin, but God…
Those people who disappoint their children and don’t show up and leave them in cars and do drugs while they are pregnant are your equal in the eyes of Christ.
He died for every single one of us.
Don’t begrudge a biological parent his sins; teach his children why they should choose Christ. When they long for their father; introduce them to your Father. If they fight and kick and scream, give them room to get it out in a safe place for their anger where there is grace for their deeply wounded hearts. When they let you, talk about what they love about their parents and affirm them and their feelings. They will grow up. They will grow wiser. They have the right and should be given the freedom to make their own choices about their biological parents. When the children you have been entrusted with cry out, cry with them. It hurts you because it hurts them because it’s depravity. Depravity sucks. It will eat you alive. It will make you do things you never thought you would.
When asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” I don’t know of one child who has ever said, “So strung out on drugs that I abuse my child.” Nor have I heard, “I want to abandon my child,” “I want to disappoint my kids over and over again.”
Separation from Christ is not a goal, it is an outcome.
I have also, consequently, never talked to a biological parent, whose child was taken from them and heard, “I felt really good about screwing up to the point of losing my kids. I hope I can do it again some day!” Hurt people hurt people.
I beg you to see these biological parents who are relieved of their rights because of their behavior as eternal, spiritual beings and not failures. Grieve their choices with those children. Know God better because of what you experience, but don’t, please, don’t pretend that you are saving anyone or paying for anyone’s sins.
Know the truth, friends. If God is calling you to foster/adopt, He is calling you to that because He loves you. You. He is pursuing you. He longs for deeper connection with you, more intimacy. Any calling God puts on your life is about oneness with Christ.
Too often I see people step into foster care/adoption because they mistake God for J.F.K. “Ask not what God can do for you, but what you can do for God.” I know the answer to that question.
Nothing. You can do nothing for God. Apart from God you can do nothing (John 15:5).
But you can partner with God. You can join Him. You can respond to Him. You can be with Him. It’s not about what you do or don’t do. It wasn’t then, it’s not now. It’s about God, His call, and His completion of His work.
If God has called you to foster/adopt, He has called you to do something you are incapable of. You do not have enough love to give, but God does. If you are going after Him in this calling to know Him more, then you are going after the prize.
Being called ‘mom’ is not the prize; a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus is.
Really solid words my friend. There are no rewards worth having besides the eternal ones, and those are often hard to identify. Thank you for encouraging us to have the Fathers perspective.
If the parents of a child that is adopted are judged, spoken of in bad ways that child will also feel judged and see themselves as bad because they know they are a part of the parents they came from. If you reject the parents you reject the child. That doesn’t mean you let abuse happen but how you talk about someone is powerful.
“Hammer don’t hurt’em”