It isn't a ridiculous question, and I am asked it quite often. But it is a hard question to answer when it comes from the parent of the child in your home- especially when you are in the Foster to Adopt program. Not just any old Foster parent program. It's hard to answer and say "because I want to be a forever family to a child in need whose parents can no longer take adequate care of them" Hmmm.... I know her well enough to know that would not have gone well. So I gave the same answer I do when I'm uncomfortable and don't know what to say- I cracked a joke and brushed it off. Something about being legally insane to willingly get involved with DHS and court systems and the state of Iowa. Not altogether a lie, but definitely avoiding the truth.
Unfortunately God wouldn't let it rest. That answer was not good enough for Him. While I didn't appreciate the nudging, I do appreciate that He knows me enough to know that if I am going to be honest, I need to do this via letter. So I did.
Here is my answer to her:
And then, the million dollar question. Why did we become foster parents? I know I avoided answering, and it isn’t always an easy answer for me, but I feel as though I owe you the real answer. I have very personal reasons for doing this and honestly my answer has changed in the 3 years since we began. I was very blessed to give birth to two of my own kids, however that was a miracle in and of itself and after those two, I could not have anymore. I knew I wanted more kids and adoption has been on my heart since I was young, because I never thought I would be able to have any of my own kids. We looked at a lot of options and I prayed about it a LOT. We very definitely felt God calling us to look at the waiting kids here in the US. So, we took our classes and got our license and then we waited. We have done a lot of waiting. Yes, my first selfish reason for doing this whole process was to be able to adopt kids for our family. However, after being in this system for a few years, God has shown me the reasons He brought us to this point. I know that I may never add any of our kids to our home forever. We may never be a forever family. And that is okay. We are able to be there for children who need us. We can offer them safety, stability and love when their world is turned upside down. I am seeing how corrupt the foster system can be- families who have no business taking care of anyone else’s kids. People who don’t offer love, but wait instead for a check. My heart is for these kids. Kids bounced around from one place to another. Kids being treated like a burden rather than a joy. And that is why I am here. That is why I renew our license and put up with the state’s crap. I love kids, I love taking care of kids. Are we the perfect home? Not a chance. I have failed placements in my home. I had to see my limitations and have them transferred. But I am here to try. I am doing what I can. A small thing in a big world that needs a lot.
I just can’t be the person grumbling about the foster care system or feeling so sad for kids who need a place and not do anything about it. So, you may worry that my goal is to keep your son, but that is not my goal. My goal is to help him for a time in his life when he needs it. Has he stolen my heart? Most definitely! Look at him, how could he not?! My desire is for Charlie Brown to have the best life he can possibly have and to know at all times that he is loved. No matter where he is. And that is the honest truth.
Okay, this was probably more information than you wanted, but like I said, I feel as though I owe you the full truth. I do also hold to my original answer: you must first be crazy, or it just won’t work in this system.
I will find out Wednesday what she thinks of my honesty...
James 1:27- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress
John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you
Linking up with Jen and Michelle today...