It’s really difficult to explain why my husband and I, parents of 4 young kids, would ever want to take on something as serious as foster parenting. For years and years this has been on my mind, but I told myself it was something I would take on when my kids got older and life was less difficult. I needed another kid like I needed a hole in the head, but there it was, over and over, every single day. A single thought that I simply could not get out of my mind. I NEVER talked about it, but I thought about it so much and it made me so nervous that it would make my heart race and I’d lose many hours of sleep.
I had SO MANY fears.
Why or HOW could we ever take this on?
What would people say?
What would our families think? They’d think I had officially lost it!
How on Earth would I ever give a baby back after caring for and loving it for so long? I couldn’t, that was my answer!
How would my kids deal with this? Would I be robbing them of much needed attention?
How would my husband deal with this? Could we do bottles, diapers, waking up in the night all over again?
I’ve already gotten rid of all my baby things!
I simply cannot do this.
And then it started to happen… the God winks. It seemed that every place I looked, I would see something about foster care. I met families just like mine who were fostering babies. Foster parenting was constantly coming up in books and podcasts. I’d see families with foster kids all over the place and I just knew that this was God trying to tell me something. He was telling me to trust Him, that He would provide for me if I did this work for Him. Why? I have no idea. I just knew that I would obsess over this until I tried it. I had no choice, I had to do it, AND I was somehow also 100% positive that this would all work out and everything would be fine. I can’t explain it, I’ve never had this type of “knowing” before. It was a sense of calm- I knew that my plate was full already, and God was about to gift me a bigger plate to hold all my new responsibilities.
I went to my husband first, of course. I cried and explained all my thoughts. I said that of course he could say no, but I really knew this was something I was supposed to do, and do it now. He hugged me really hard and said yes, without hesitation although I knew this was the very last thing he wanted. That was God’s wink too. In hindsight I now know this- I accepted God’s challenge and He was clearing the path for me. He helped my husband open his heart, and opened countless doors for us along the way that made this experience come together seamlessly.
So we took the classes, became licensed, and have had a sweet little baby living with us for the past 3 months. This has been a ROLLERCOASTER, but this is what I know for certain… The gift this has given us as a family is far greater than the amount of work this takes. What I have witnessed with my kids is the exact opposite of all my worries. I have never seen their hearts open up like this, and I have never felt this much pride in my entire life. I can’t even properly put it into words. I know this sweet baby is going to eventually leave us, and we’ll be heartbroken. I don’t know what is going to happen but I “know” on the deepest level that we’re all going to be ok. This is part of the journey and God has taken care of us during each and every step of the way.
I had wanted to wait to talk about our foster experience- partially because it’s quite private, but also because I was afraid of what people would think. For some reason I’m really being pulled to write this. SOMEONE needs to hear this today. Someone needs to hear the GOOD that can come out of answering a calling, or facing your fears. Your thing may not be about foster parenting. Your thing might about getting in to see a doctor, or leaving a job, or even a relationship. It doesn’t matter what it is, I just feel like someone needs to hear my story about what happens when you listen to those little God winks. Those aren’t coincidences, so stop telling yourself that. You are being told that you will be taken care of. Not that it will be perfect and all sunshine and rainbows (trust me, there are no sunshine and rainbows during a 2am feeding!) just that it will all be for a big reason and you will be better for doing it.
Yesterday I read an Instagram post from one of my favorites, Ed Mylett (@edmylett) that said,
“When we push through a huge fear, on the other side of that fear, almost always a gift or a talent we didn’t know we had is revealed to us.
Isn’t that crazy? It’s 100% true.
How ironic is it in life, that almost all of the blessings we end up receiving are on the other side of some significant fear or obstacle? Could it be that actually these fears or obstacles are actually hidden gifts?”
This really really spoke to me. A gift indeed. Someday I’ll tell you all the nitty gritty about this foster experience in great detail, but for today I just want to encourage you to pay close attention to your God winks. You may think you can’t do it, but you can. God wouldn’t plant a desire in your heart if he wasn’t going to provide the means for you to get there. It will NOT be obvious. It will not be easy. It will be worth it and potentially one of your greatest blessings. Don’t ignore it. I am so happy that I listened to mine.