“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17
One huge stumbling block for families considering fostering is this question: “How would fostering affect my biological children?” That is why we decided to include testimonies from individuals who are now adults, about what it was like to grow up in a home in which their biological families welcomed foster children.
After reading these three accounts, we think you will agree that the effect is not what you may expect…
Love Goes Beyond Bloodline: By Lindsey of Kansas City, MO
When my parents became foster parents they made sure we were prepared for the change in our home. My mom taught my brothers and I to love and treat each baby or child that came into our home as if it were our own sibling. This was our family’s mission field. I believe that every child that grows up in a Godly home desires to share the love of Jesus and make a difference even when they are young. For us it meant loving these babies back to health, playing with them, and giving them a piece of our heart never knowing how long they would be a part of our family.
I will always remember the baby girl who came into our home with two broken legs and fractured ribs. She was in our home for almost 3 years. During that time, I became very attached to her. All the while the reunification process with her family was going on, and after 3 years it finally happened. I wish I could tell you that it was a happy day but it wasn’t. It was a hard day because for almost 3 years this precious baby girl only knew the unconditional love of our family and church family. She had been deeply touched by the love of Jesus. The family dynamics in hers would be very different and she was old enough to know the difference. In that moment we had to let go and let God. God brought her into our home for a season. I rest in the hope of knowing that the very same unconditional love that she experienced in our home is still available to her through Jesus.
I didn’t know then, but the Lord was preparing me for the wonderful life he had in store for me in the future. The same day I married my husband I became “Mom” to his two biological children. I am very grateful to my parents for being such wonderful examples as well as training me in all the skills I use on a daily basis raising my own children, but most importantly they showed me that love goes beyond bloodline.
Home of Safety and Love: By Josh of Kansas City, MO
We Believe in a God of Miracles: By Madison, Dallas Baptist University
I am an eighteen-year-old, biological daughter of a family that has participated in foster care for over fifteen years. Ever since I can even remember, my family has been having children come in and out of our home. When I was younger, we always had teenagers in our house, and once I became a teen we had babies in our house. Now I am eighteen and have one biological brother that is twenty-one, and three adopted siblings that are ages one, two, and three.
Most people look at my family and think that we are crazy, but I would not want it any other way. My parents have instilled a passion in me for the children without homes. Our household lives by the verse Isaiah 1:17, taking very seriously caring for the orphans and pleading the case of the widows. Growing up this way quickly taught me that life is not all about me. I remember the first time we adopted, waves of anxiety had come and gone all day and I felt a little bit of jealousy begin to creep in, then I paused and remembered Jesus had a perfect plan for my family and this little precious baby boy without a home was a part of it! I remember in the midst of all my crazy feelings declaring to God: “great is Your faithfulness”. I remember feeling comforted. I remember Him feeling so near. I remember His encouragement. I remember His mercy. I remember His listening ear and His assuring voice. I remember His grace. He was my guide when my tears blurred my vision. He showed me that my family was a beautiful picture of how he intended adoption to be.
My family has been through much heartbreak with children in foster care and failed adoptions, but we believe in a God of miracles – and let me tell you…the three children we have adopted are complete miracles! I am so grateful that He doesn’t ever leave my family to fight for ourselves, but rather pursues, protects, restores and lives inside of us. He continues to bless us tremendously through the lives of the children in foster care.
Monday: For the Love of a Mother; Safe in the Arms of The Father– Becky Shaffer shared her testimony of growing up in the foster system and how those experiences shaped her as a mother.
Wednesday: 10 Things I Forgot About Life with Strangers– Becky Shaffer will give practical advice about fostering from the perspective of someone who has lived it.
Friday: Voices of Foster Mothers– We will hear from several foster mothers about the greatest joy and the greatest challenge of fostering.