I can’t believe it’s been a month. So much has happened in that month. The details of the life of the Whitby’s isn’t important. What is important is what we have been learning. One major decision that has been made is the decision to foster parent. I’ve gotten many different questions on our decision. Are you unable to have more of your own? Have you always wanted to foster? Don’t you want to adopt? How will you be able to give them back? And the statement that always finishes the conversation is “I could never do that.” This final statement always makes me smile because I too have made that same comment. I understand where the questions come from so I don’t in any way wish to injure anyone’s feelings or opinions with my next comment, but it is a truth I have come to realize for myself and it must be shared. The questions asked most address my comfort level and my personal desire. To live in those doubts and questions would be selfish of me. It would, in my opinion, be to diminish the needs of children who are broken in comparison to my own personal comfort level. They do not address what God has called us to nor does it address His desire for His children to reach out to the hurting and broken.
James 1:27 states that Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit the orphans and the widows in their affliction. As I pursue a relationship with God I find that my heart is being opened to those who are hurting and in need. Our heart tends towards children. We understand the chaos abuse causes in a child’s life. We understand the work and healing it takes to get from victim mentality to growing and thriving and living a full and rich life. It isn’t easy for the child nor is it easy for the people who will minister, love, and care such a child. It will be a most difficult challenge to love a child who isn’t mine. It will be the challenge of my life to teach such a child how to trust and love only to say goodbye to that child. It will most likely break my heart to give that child back to someone who may not have their best interest at heart. BUT if I have planted a seed in their hearts that Jesus loves them then I have accomplished a grand task. If I can confirm to them that love exists and it exists for them then we can have hope for their future. To love a child is a great thing. It’s a great thing for me, but it is a GREAT thing for the child.
So to answer the questions…Yes, we can have more children. Yes, we have always talked of fostering, but the timing was never right. No, our focus isn’t to adopt at the time because we’d like to keep our home open to children who need us. However, we will be open to adoption if we feel that is the path set before us. I don’t know how we will give them back. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes. AND I can’t do this in my own strength. God’s strength in me will be what inspires me.
Here’s a final thought that was posed to us on the first day of our classes. I almost didn’t make it past the first class, but I’m so glad that we returned with determination and open minds and hearts.
Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. ~Matthew 25:40