Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Love in the Trenches

When God laid it on our hearts to become foster parents, I just assumed we'd do young children and, if we were lucky, maybe even get some babies.  But as we went through the process, it slowly became clear to both Shaun and I that God wanted us to foster teens.

I cannot overstate the inadequacy I felt at the thought of parenting troubled teens.  And, if I'm honest, I feared the tough stuff.

As it turns out, there is a LOT of tough stuff and I am completely inadequate.  But I've also learned the best place to be is at the END of myself and in a desperate place of need for God's grace and strength.  As I've leaned into Him, I've discovered what I already knew but now I KNOW...He is more than enough.

It certainly has been a journey!  Being a foster parent comes with a unique set of emotions and challenges that few understand.  

Although we give rides and do laundry and have late night talks and initiate hugs and advocate and schedule and sacrifice and love, still sometimes its not enough.

Although our kids may want to tell us we've been kinder to them than anyone ever has, or they've never felt so safe and secure, or they are starting to feel like the can trust again, they cannot.  Because then they will feel like a traitor to their first parents.

So we continue with our day-to-day, pouring love and time into them, expecting nothing in return, but oh so grateful for the scraps of love and appreciation that sometimes get snuck in.

This Mother's Day, I got a card that spoke words I would have never expected to hear in a lifetime of fostering:

Thank you for all you have done.  I don't know where I would be if I didn't come here.  The kids are great and I love the house but what is most important is you [are] my mom!  Love, R

I'll never know what it cost my son to pen those words, but I will always treasure them in my heart. 


Additionally, the fact that Z thought to text me to wish me a Happy Mother's Day meant the world.  Love earned in the trenches, in the very messiest parts of life, despite me, is profound and sweet.


Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17

8 comments:

Carrie said...

How wonderful {tear}.

Carrie said...

How wonderful {tear}.

Elizabeth said...

So, so precious are those words. Now I'm gonna cry! What a gift!!

Melody said...

Many tears over here! Much love!

Amy said...

Gulp.

The Bug said...

What a gift - a gift you give and a gift you get...

Meg A. said...

Wow.

Just, wow.

Michelle Curtis said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!