I thought foster kids were going to be "bad", and that it would negatively impact my biological children.
I've since learned that the kids are not bad. They have struggles that are rooted in trauma, but each and every child has stolen our hearts. As for our children, they're better at fostering than we are. They have joyfully welcomed every child into our home, share their toys, and love them unconditionally. They are in the middle of this with us, being the tiny hands and feet of Jesus every single day.
We have been foster parents for about 2 years. We always wanted to adopt, but were completely oblivious to the crisis going on in our own backyard. When we first heard about foster care I was certain that it wasn't for us. A few months later, after a message at church, I turned to my husband as we pulled out of the parking lot and said, "I think we're supposed to foster." He replied "I've been waiting for you to say that."
The next day we contacted an agency and have been on this wild ride ever since.
We've fostered 6 different children so far and I often say that it's the hardest thing we've ever done, but the best thing we've ever done.
Being a foster parent has made me so thankful for being a part of my family and growing up in a great home. We see a dark cycle being repeated; a lot of birth parents were part of the system when they grew up. But humans are never too far gone! There is healing and restoration if you can rally behind a bio family to encourage and support them and help break the cycle.
I wish everyone could understand that foster care is not about you. It's messy, it's hard, it sucks when a kid leaves your home, and there are days I wonder why we followed this calling. But it's not about me. It's about children who if you say "no" to are sleeping on the floor of a DHS office tonight or staying in an abusive home. It's about parents who were never taught how to be a good mom or dad. It's about second chances, grace, and healing. It's not always going to end the way you want, but if you fought for the child, loved them, and gave them a safe place to call home you did your job. And yes, that's definitely easier said than done.
If you find yourself making excuses about why you could never foster, stop and think about the root of them. Chances are, if you're like me, they sound something like: "I won't be able to give them back, I'll love them too much, we're already so busy, our house is small and my kids will have to share a room, it's going to cost so much money and time." Then remember what I said about "it's not about you." Once I realized all of my reasons for not doing it were because it required some sort of sacrifice on my end... I had no more excuses.
God didn't call us to comfortably do ministry, he called us to jump into the mess and get dirty.
Is my children having their own room more important than taking care of a child with no home? Would you tell them "I would let you live here but I will love you too much?" Probably not. If you can't foster then support foster families, mentor the children, babysit, cook dinner, do something. We don't all have to foster, but we should support these children and the families and adults caring for them.
Their lives literally depend on it.
Taylor, Foster Mom
Instagram: @taylorketron (above photos from Taylor!)