Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Cost of Being a Foster Parent

How do you do it?
I don't think I could do that, it would break my heart.
I'm not strong enough to deal with the heartbreak.
How do you give them back?
Isn't it hard?
Doesn't it just tear you apart?
You are stronger than I am.


I've heard it hundreds of times in 9 years, sometimes daily. And here is what I've learned in almost a decade of doing foster care for over 25 kids...It is hard. Of course it's hard. When God calls us to do something, to serve, to serve Him, he doesn't say - oh and I have something for you and it should be pretty easy so go for it. No, He says, "...to look after orphans and widows in their distress" James 1:27. It doesn't say, when it's convenient and easy...look after orphans. In 2 Samuel 24:24 King David says, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." Sacrifices in the Old Testament were a form of worship and an action of obedience. "I will not sacrifice that which costs me nothing." My dear friend Laura Parker who chose to listen and obey and sacrifice for orphans said, "true worship and obedience comes with a cost." I think that is true. There has not been a doubt in my mind in the last 9 years that THIS is what God has called our family to do. To sacrifice for orhpans.

So to answer your questions: YES it is hard. YES it breaks your heart. YES it tears you apart. God never said obedience was not going to come at a cost. If God asks of you, He WILL provide you with the strength and the tools to obey. He will. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes you cry and sometimes you want to give up and sometimes your chest aches with pain but He WILL carry you through. Laura also said, "I'm trying to embrace the sacrifice, instead of bartering my way out of it." Me too.

Have you ever felt the tug on your heart to become a foster parent but thought it would be too hard? Too much sacrifice? Too inconvenient? Go back to that place in your heart and listen. Listen to what God is asking of you. It's not for everyone. I really get that. I get that God has given us gifts to be used for his glory. Hopefully we can know what it is that He wants from us and how to use those gifts for Him. But maybe, just maybe, He is asking you and your family to sacrifice for orphans. Just ask and listen. Embrace the sacrifice for whatever it is he has called you to do to serve Him while on this earth...don't barter your way out of it.

(If you want more information about foster parenting leave me a comment and I'll hook you up with a great Child Placement Agency)


  1. Thank you for saying what I have been feeling but haven't verbalized. I have had 9 children join our family over the past 2 years, it has been absolutely crazy and exhausting but I truely know in my heart it is not with my strength but His that we keep on going, and keep on loving kids.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Holy Cow--you have a blog!!!! I can't tell you that I just felt like I won the lottery! Really, so glad to get caught up this way in your world, friend.

    And, as always, YOU INSPIRE ME to love more like Jesus.

    Absolutely, true.

    love you, from here,

  3. Shelly - Crazy and exhausting is true in our lives daily. But God is true and real in our lives daily. Knowing that is a necessity in getting through each day I'm sure. Bless you for hearing his call and for sacrificing for orphans.

  4. Laura -- I'm so glad you found me and allowed me to post on your site. That was a privledge for me. I am just figuring out this blogging thing and writing thing. I am trying to find my voice and figure out who my audience is and to learn to speak truth in love. That is my goal. And you have taught me to be real and transparent and to use those things to hopefully inspire and encourage. Thanks for your blog and for your transparency that has taught me so much. We miss you.

  5. You SO inspire me, friend. Just another piece of God's beautiful puzzle...seeking the Hope He has for us...

  6. Thank you so much for this post, your words were used months later...I haven't posted here before but I wanted to share how your words impacted me: