In the early 2000’s I was pastoring a large church, with two small children. I was enjoying life and ministry was hitting on all cylinders. One day out of the blue, Kathy came home and shared with me that she felt God was impressing her that we should consider being foster parents. Deisy was 15 at the time and had started attending the church we pastored.
We prayed and fasted and we said yes to God’s leading. A short time afterwards Yessenia, Deisy’s older sister also came to live with us. We followed the same process and welcomed her into our home.
It changed our lives. This is what we learned:
- We have understood that foster parenting was for us both a challenging and rewarding experience.
I do not remember any time, before or after, where we have prayed and fasted so much. Teenage fostering (is that even a word) was at times stressful. It required patience, prayer and perseverance. Now, if you fast-forward 10 years to the present day we can see the growth, the maturity, the connection and we thank God we did it. Foster parenting will test you but it will make you stronger. One of my two foster daughters has a master in Social Work. The other one has her own business. They are not perfect (what child is?) but we are proud of them. My greatest satisfaction?
They don’t hate God, church or religion.
They have a spiritual connection that they can pass on to their children. For that I am thankful.
- We decided not to make any differences between our biological and foster kids.
All of them went to private Adventist Schools. If one got ice-cream, all of them did. We treated them all as part of the family, and intentionally made them feel like they WERE NOT temporary visitors but permanent residents. The state gives an allowance for foster parents, but the expenses were higher, once you factor in Adventist Education. Since we are huge supporters of Adventist education that was a non-negotiable. I was proud when they graduated from PAA and one from WWU.
- We have concluded that it is worth it.
Whenever I am going through a hard time in an area of my life, I ask myself this question: is it worth it? When I look back 20 years from now, will it matter? Will I regret it? Being a foster parent was worth it. We aren’t able to help all the kids in the world, but we were able to help 2. When we get to heaven and see them and their families we will look back and remember that the effort and pain is well worth the reward and the pleasure of living with Jesus forever.
Maybe God is calling you to adopt or be a foster parent. It is not for everyone, but, who knows, it may be for you. If you want to talk more, we’d love to share more of our experiences. Just send us a message.