On Being a Foster Mom part 2
Friday, April 8, 2011

Love is not self-seeking. 
                            1 Corinthians 13:5

That's what Father God whispers to me when it seems too hard.  When it seems like my heart won't possibly be able to take it.  When I think that I will never, ever be able to cope when it comes time for this foster child to be taken out of my home and given back to his parents, or to whomever he'll go to next.

When I start to feel that heaviness in my chest, and worry that the heartache of that experience -  of "giving him back" - that it will be too great a burden to put on my family, then Father God drops this verse in my heart again.  Love is not self-seeking.  And I know that this journey that He's called us to won't be free of pain....but simultaneously feel such conviction that living to ensure the absence of pain in my life is not the life I want to live.  And so we choose love and the likelihood of pain over self-protection.

I know this isn't the answer He would give everyone with that fear; that question that I'm asked nearly daily, "How will you ever give them back?"  But for me, this is the answer that He brings loud and clear: Love is not self-seeking.

There are foster children in this city that need love.  No one questions that fact.  To be able to provide that love, but then refuse it because "it will hurt me when I have to give him back", would be choosing to protect my own heart at the expense of withholding love from a child.  Choosing "me" over "them."  For me, to continue to say "I can't foster because I wouldn't be able to handle giving them back", meant I was knowingly and willingly seeking my own self-protection over offering love and hope to a child.   God changed my paradigm, and every time I tried to utter the words, "it would just be too hard to give them back", my heart translated those words to "making sure I don't feel hurt or pain is so very important to me, that I will not love these children."  And that refrain of "it would just hurt me too much" when uttered from my mouth, started to sicken me.  

I choose to love without regard for self.  I do it badly sometimes, with moments of self-pity and fear and worry.  But I forge ahead in my imperfection, and ask God to show me how to love like He does.  I ask Him to help me trust that He will be my comforter and friend in those times of pain.  I worry, "Is this too much of a burden for my children?  Is this unfair?  To let them love and care deeply for a foster child, then experience the pain of no longer having them?"  But I give those worries to Him and trust that He will use this time to teach my children from a very young age that He is a God of comfort and peace that passes understanding.  I pray my children will know that love is always the best choice, even if it hurts.  



Blogger Allison had this to say:

Dear friend, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing this, as the pain I might endure is what keeps me from so much. I am going to write this on my heart..."love is not self-seeking".

April 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM 

Blogger John had this to say:

As I wipe away the tears, I have to tell you that I am blown away by the wisdom expressed in this blog and thank you for sharing your thoughts and beliefs. I, like Allison, will write on my heart that "love is not self-seeking", but add to that "love is always the best choice, even if it hurts."
Your Uncle Skip

April 8, 2011 at 5:42 PM 

Anonymous Vanessa had this to say:

Thank you for sharing ... this is truly an amazing journey for your family! And, what a perfect verse to lead you!

April 8, 2011 at 8:49 PM 

Blogger Sweet Yet Sassy had this to say:

Wow. How quickly you have made a difference in my thinking. Thank you for this! You are so right.

April 12, 2011 at 11:18 AM 

Blogger Mary Beth had this to say:

As others have said, thank you for your thoughts. Our family is also a foster family ~ two years ago next week we got our first placement ~ and 10 kids later, we are faced with losing our current little one sooner than we anticipated. A family member passed a home study and we'll go to court in a few weeks where a judge will most likely rule that she be sent there. Thank you for speaking truth to me!!

April 15, 2011 at 1:36 PM 

Anonymous Christel had this to say:

Wow! I am speechless in the best of ways! Praise God for your heart and for your family. I know your children will grow up a people of impact!

November 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM 

Blogger Jon had this to say:

One of the hardest things I have had to do was watch a 3 year old return home. None of us wanted a child that young but he instantly found a home in our hearts. Yes it was a little selfish not wanting him to go. As you said, though, it is not a reason to withhold loving them in the first place.

November 17, 2011 at 12:19 PM 

Anonymous Anonymous had this to say:

Hello. I have been fostering a baby girl since she was 3 days old. She is now 9 months and the possibility of having to give her back soon is breaking my heart. I knew that when I accepted to take her into our home, we would have to give her back one day, but I couldn't refuse to help an innocent baby who needed love...how do I cope with the pain of losing her?


February 9, 2012 at 12:16 AM 

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Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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