Everybody has a story, and 'different' doesn’t mean wrong or bad. This world is filled with hurting people who need someone to step in and just provide them with support and not judge them for doing things differently. God didn’t call me to judge…He calls me to love, give grace, and show kindness.
I’ve been a licensed foster parent with Buckner now for about 18 months. I have fostered a sweet 22 month old, twin 6 year old girls, and currently am fostering a two year old. About 6 years ago I took some time off from work to determine what was next for me in life and during that time I spent some time working at an orphanage in Uganda. Through that the Lord stirred in my heart a passion for advocating for orphans and working to ensure that every child had the right to parents who would love them and take care of them. I honestly don’t remember how it came to be that foster care became my focus. However, I do remember knowing that I felt called to help in some way and realizing that I want my single life to mean something more than just extra resources to shop and travel and extra time to dedicate to hobbies. I have the time and resources now and a home for a child. Why wait until I get married, because truly I could wait forever? So, I started the process and here I am now! Sometimes it still feels quite surreal that I’m a single mom because this is not quite how I thought my life was going to play out!
Right before each placement, in the moments where I know they’re coming and I haven’t met them yet, I have a full on “What the heck did I just get myself into?” moment and begin to imagine all the worst case scenarios. The rollercoaster of emotions in foster care in seriously no joke!
I want people to know that sure foster care is hard, but what in life isn’t? It doesn’t take a “special” person to do it…it just takes a willing heart. I’m no different than anyone else and it has nothing to do with the type of person that I am, but more to do with what I’m willing to let the Lord do through me. Half the time I’m struggling through it and if people could hear the thoughts in my head it would be clear that I’m no saint, I’m human just like they are.
I fail every day as a foster parent and I’ve never been more aware of all the selfish and ugly parts of myself until I became a foster parent…although I’m told that is just part of becoming a parent in general. There have been days where I’ve wished I could give them back and have my life back with all the freedom, money, and no responsibility. However, it typically isn’t too long before I’m reminded that my life really doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to Him and He is the author of my story and He is who determines the chapters. I get the joy of living the story, but I don’t get to call the shots. And when I’m really honest I know that I want my life to mean more than freedom, money, and less responsibility. I want to know that even though I fail constantly, that I worked to bring glory to the Lord…and if that means changing yet another diaper, missing out on time with friends because I have no babysitter, being at the mercy of CPS at any given moment, breaking up sister fights, or crying til it hurts after saying good-bye...then it is well worth it.
I’ve been reminded that the Lord is loving and gracious and in between my lowest moments He gets creative in ways to show me that He is here and walking this road with me. When it begins to feel like I’m making no progress with a child, that is usually when one of my kids will randomly grab my hand or when one will say, “Miss Christy…when I smile like this it means that I’m proud of myself,” and then I know it is all worth it.
Remember that anything new and unknown is always going to be scary, but don’t let that stand in your way. Fear is normal and I think fear is a symptom of a lack of trust. Love is worth fighting for and struggling through…the children the Lord has created (every.single.one) is more than worth it! It just takes a willing heart.
Christy Haston, Single Foster Mom