"I am already working in a ministry; I don't have time to add anything else."
"I can't do that to my family; It will be to painful."
"I don't want to work with their birth-parents; They are difficult."
I am ashamed to say that these are all quotes from me with regard to fostering children. I said these things in my head and out loud over and over again while we were doing our adoption classes and finishing our home study. And then Jesus got to me. He began to ask me questions that were painful..
What if the people I want you to serve are the least among you?
What if I don't want you living "safely"?
What if uncomfortable and hard are good things that will bring you closer to Me?
"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee: or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto thee, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
I have such a wonderfully safe life. I have so much. I have a wonderful church and family, but when do I really even come in contact with the "least?" "I have come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor...." Shane Claiborne
I spent a whole morning crying over the things that had thoughtlessly come out of my mouth. I really don't know any poor except the occasional homeless man that I hand a few dollars to.
A child is abused or neglected every 84 minutes in Virginia.
every 8 days, a child dies from abuse or neglect.
Some of the factors related to abuse/ neglect:
*Young parents or parents with inadequate knowledge of child development and appropriate parenting skills.
*Parents who have received inadequate parenting from their own parents.
*Parents who are depressed or over concerned about their own adequacy.
*Parents whose attachment to the child is impaired or non-existent.
Jesus asked me, What if your family gave a child a safe home and then helped in the training of the parent so they could put their family back together? What if you took the knowledge that your mother gave to you and taught someone who didn't have any? What if you pointed them to the One who is Love and changes lives forever?
We started the foster parent classes this week.
I don't want to preach at anyone. I just want to share the passion that God has given to my family. This will not be easy for us, but I am excited. We get to obey God in a new way. "Obedience isn't a lack of fear. It's just doing it scared."
(Jen Hatmaker, 7, an experimental mutiny against excess)
We are keeping our home study with our current adoption agency; we would still like to have another child of our own.
We are working on becoming a foster family. (more background checks, forms, and homestudies: YUCK!)
I am praying for God to help me to be patient through this process. (We started last September.) It is a little like changing your major in your junior year of college!
"The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'
Martin Luther King Jr.