So we are nearing the four-month mark of being foster parents. At some point I want to get as many of my thoughts on the last four months (and events moving forward) in a blog or some other format, but for now, I figured I would include our introduction into fostering.
There is, of course, an element of uncertainty in fostering. Who will the child (or children) be? How old? For how long? We got those questions a lot from friends and family when we became certified to when we received placement last fall. We asked ourselves those questions too. Yet, the uncertainty is part of the point. When you are following Jesus’ call in your life, the tendency is to try and control it, make it manageable, something familiar or less risky. God understands that about us – how often does scripture talk about him calming the waters, calming our fears, asking us to trust in Him? But then there comes the point where He asks us to step out, to make our faith an act of doing and not just believing. There is a poem I read from John Greenleaf Whittier that sums it up:
Nothing before, nothing behind
The steps of faith
Fall on the seeming void, and find
The rock beneath
I love that pause from the second to last line “and find.” Where will we land?
Our first call for placement was for a 3-year old boy. Although nervous, we were somewhat prepared. A friend had already donated a race car bed. We have two boys – a 5-year old and a 2-year old – so we generally knew what to expect. And my wife stocked up on apple juice, Cheez-Its and chicken fingers after the call.
The next day we got a call that they found placement for the 3-year old with a relative, which was great news. In that same call we were asked if we would take placement for another child – a 3-day old girl. So in the span of less than 24 hours, we went from a 3-year old boy to a 3-day old girl. I’ll refer to her as Baby V.
We met Baby V in a hospital NICU. She weighed less than 5 pounds – almost half of what our oldest son weighed when he was born. I can’t fully describe the range of emotions I was feeling – a mixture of deep sadness over her situation, and yet joy over getting to see her and hold her, that God was fulfilling a promise to my wife and I through this tiny, precious life. “For your created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139
The uncertainty was still there. Still is, really. And yet had we never taken that leap, I would have never gotten to experience one of the greatest joys of my life. Funny how that works.