I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently: lots of funny looks and tiny head shakes. Its not something I write about on the blog, but since there’s interest, I’ll answer. People don’t get why I’ve opened up my home to a foster child.
I understand that. I really do. And maybe I can explain it to you and maybe I can’t. I went through a process to get here myself. Basically it boils down to this.
Love is always worth it.
But to open yourself up for heartbreak? People tell me “I couldn’t do that.” Well, I’ve said that too, so coming from the other side, and with no malice, let me just say, yes. Yes you could.
We choose not to.
I mean, there’s nothing glamorous about it. You voluntarily allow a child into your home whose parents are probably less than stellar. They come with lice (or worse). They don’t know how to eat at the table properly. They probably cry for parents you wish could be locked up for decisions they’ve made. It means child services in your home, scrutinizing you in ways no one does for a biological child.
But take a second to consider the alternative.
Where else would they be? A fellow foster parent recently posted to her Facebook page “We don’t do it because we aren’t afraid of heartbreak, but because we are afraid of what would happen to them without us.”
Foster kids are generally at the bottom of the social ladder. Who really wants these kids? Less than a week after the ink dried on our license I was holding a five month old in the middle of the night, tears streaming down my face as I both fed him a bottle and scrolled through my Pinterest account looking at pictures of Prince George. Just a few months apart, but the world ADORES the Prince of Cambridge. No one wanted the tiny life in my arms.
He literally was “the least of these.”
In the hard moments that’s what I cling to. This little guy isn’t just a foster child. He’s my little piece of Jesus, right here in my house.
But apart from all of that, people still want to know.
Will I get my heart broken?
It already is.
His tiny smile and great big losses. The phone calls for another child who needs a home. Every news report. Every Amber alert. All heart breaking.
If he goes back to his bio parents I’ll cry because I will have lost him. If we adopt him I’ll cry because he will have lost his bio parents.
Heartbreak is really just part of living.
But hopefully I’m teaching all my kids a really important lesson. Be compassionate. Take care of those who are weaker than you. Share.
Because I’ve looked into the eyes of an unwanted child and I know.
Its always worth it.