The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones

Have I ever mentioned that we have a two-story foyer? It’s not actually an important fact, but it has become a major facet of life around here. There is a small balcony over the entryway that the kids love the stand at and look down. I’m happy because the stairs are in the back of the house so the kids won’t fall down during this pastime, but they’ve come up with a way to make it just as nerve-wracking for me.

They don’t just stand there: they throw things down. On unsuspecting people.

I was carrying food to the dining room from the kitchen for dinner this week when all the sudden an empty raisin box landed in the mashed potatoes. I was actually really impressed with the aim of our one year-old foster daughter’s aim to be able to hit a moving target like that. Even more so, she was impressed by herself as evidenced by her maniacal laughter.

That seems to be my life right now: the two levels of my life are intersecting quite a bit. There’s just normal life and then there’s foster care.

This past week for us has been really focused on foster care: I’ve had home visits, discussions about extremely important court dates, and Brian and I spent all Saturday at a training event to keep up our license. It’s busy and is taking a lot of commitment.

And then on the other level, it’s just life. I find myself forgetting that my foster daughter isn’t legally mine some days. She’s been with us a year and a half now and I honestly see her no differently than I do our bio kids.

I’m constantly hearing that my foster daughter is so lucky to be with us as part of our family.

The truth is though, there is nothing about her situation that is lucky. She is not at all lucky.

I can’t go into the details of circumstances that led the little girls we have fostered to our home. These details aren’t mine to share here;Β putting their stories about the worst days of their lives out there isn’t protecting.

The single worst day of these kids’ lives is usually the day that they are taken from their families. It doesn’t matter what they have been through. It doesn’t matter how horrific the situation is. They are ripped out of all they know and from the people they love.

Imagine losing everything. Imagine having life change in the blink of an eye with a knock at the door. Imagine feeling completely powerless.

This is what happens every time a child is taken into care. Every single time.

It is a profound and painful loss which is why the social workers I know do everything they can to support a family and improve a situation before resorting to taking a child and causing such trauma.

I think that is why it bothers me a little bit when people tell me that my little girl is lucky. My heart aches for her which is why we foster.

I’ve decided that foster care is kind of like living with our two-story foyer. You never know quite what is going to happen next and end up in your mashed potatoes. It’s messy.

But it is also necessary.

That is why I don’t think I am a hero or a saint or a whatever you want to call me for being a foster parent. I’m just loving my girl.

It is just like how I love my bio kids. As parents, we’d go to the ends of the earth for our kids and so if court dates, home visits, and training events are part of the package… It becomes normal, living under this microscope.

I’m just blessed to be in a relationship with them. Life around here with the three boys and little girl is hilarious! You can read this and this and this and I’m sure you’ll agree because it is the kind of stuff you just can’t make up.

I also can’t make up how blessed I’ve been to be a foster parent. Serving is like that in all regards. It is good for us to put others ahead of ourselves just as Christ did. He of all people could have demanded to be served and loved and yet He first loved us and served us. In a lot of ways, fostering is just loving like Christ did… In doing this, I’m starting to understand Him better.

That is why my foster daughter isn’t the lucky one in all of this. We are the lucky ones to have her in our family.

We’ve just learned to watch out for falling raisin boxes… and Easter eggs, cars, Nerf gun darts, Legos, animal crackers, baby dolls, stickers, and sippy cups (this week’s list only!). Just try not to step on the Legos- those really hurt…

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28 thoughts on “The Lucky Ones

    • Thank you, Wendy! We definitely have been blessed- it was so sweet because she was jumping on me and giggling when you commented πŸ™‚ I love this girl and our lives are so much richer for having her be a part of them. As hard as fostering can be, I love soaking in moments like these! Relationships, though difficult, can be such a blessing. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  1. Agreed. What a blessing to you both that God united her with your family. We are all in need of grace and love, but my heart goes out especially to children like this. You don’t need to share her details for us to understand. God bless you and your family for protecting His sweet little lambs. I found you at Testimony Tuesday and am glad I did! ❀

    • Thank you! I’m so glad to connect with you- I love that link-up as there are always some of the best posts there πŸ™‚ I do struggle with not sharing the details of her story since I totally get there is a natural curiosity and concern there for most people, but then it’s not my story to share. Really, the details don’t even matter in all of our stories though anyway since God is the hero and the details just led us to Him πŸ™‚ It has been so humbling doing this because it just becomes apparent how much I’m in need of the same grace and love, like you said. Love your thoughts!
      -Sara

  2. I chuckle at the barrage of randomness that winds up being launched from your second story… and I smile because you’re a safe harbour for these little ones, flying raisin boxes and all… and you’re doing what Christ would do, being a harbour, a place to be loved without question, and to grow. Wonderful. I pray God continues to bless you for this ministry you have in your own home!
    And that as others watch, they become inspired to be the kingdom of God in their own homes too πŸ™‚

    • I love how you put that: the barrage of randomness! Yes, that is the perfect way to describe the craziness around here πŸ˜‰ You are so sweet and I so appreciate your encouragement! It is such a humbling experience to be doing this and having God use us in this amazing way- we feel so blessed πŸ™‚ We hope God can use our obedience!

  3. My husband and I have fostered for years, and I completely agree that we are the ones who are blessed most richly. It is truly a privilege to be able to care for these precious children. It’s interesting the things people will say sometimes. The comment that I find the most challenging is that “I could never do what you do. I’d get too attached” I also smile politely, knowing that there really is no point in explaining. It is enough that my heavenly Father knows how deeply I love the little ones He has brought into my life.
    Many blessings,
    Kamea

    • Thank you so much, Kamea! I’m so glad to connect with another foster mom πŸ™‚ Thank you for pouring so much into those precious kiddos- I know it isn’t easy. I completely understand about the “I’d get too attached” comment. I actually wrote a piece on that to explain my feelings about it since I think there is a big misconception about what it is that we do with our foster kids, at least in the good homes. They are no different from our bio kids and I love them fiercely. I think the best advice I ever heard on the subject was from one of our trainers who said that you aren’t doing it right if you don’t get attached. That post will be coming up in a few weeks so I’d love your thoughts on it when it comes out. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      • For sure! I treat my foster kids the same as my own. When they leave, we grieve their loss much like one would grieve a death in the family. It is so very hard. I’d love to read that post. Maybe pop by my blog and email me so I don’t miss it πŸ™‚

        Blessings,
        Kamea

        • It definitely is like a death in the family, I agree. When our last little girl left it took me about 2 months to be able to say her name without tearing up. I’d do it all over again though! I will definitely stop by and email you about that post! Thanks, Kamea!

  4. Thanks for sharing this intimate story about your life as a foster parent. I truly never thought that the foster child might not want to be taken from their home and how painful it must be. I would definitely say your foster daughter is blessed to have you because there are so many children trapped in a toxic home-life. Your daughter has been given the opportunity to be exposed to another way of doing family – God’s way. That’s amazing. May He continue to strengthen you and your family on this journey. Be blessed! – Kia

    • Thanks so much, Kia! It shocked me how traumatic this would be for foster kids when I put myself in their shoes 😦 because no matter what, their family is still their family, especially when they don’t know any different, and imagine having all of your security shattered. It broke my heart and I felt like we had to do something. We’ve committed to using whatever time we are given with a precious kiddo to love on them as Christ loves them. It’s been absolutely amazing! It is hard, but God is good even in difficult circumstances. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing about the ups and downs of foster care from your perspective. You brought joy to my heart today with your words- I can just imagine that little face as she tosses over the raisin box! Many blessings on your home and foster family:)

    • Thanks so much, Kristine! I wish I could have posted a picture of her face- she was hilarious and so joyful! I’m unfortunately not allowed to post pictures of her per foster regulations, but I wish I could share her more since she is such a little blessing! I’m so glad you stopped by!

  6. I can almost hear your laughter from here. You made me laugh! Thank you so much.
    I am happy you say you are loving her and your family is lucky to have her.
    May God Bless your kind heart and unpack so many gifts that little girl has brought to bless you and your family. May God also continue beyond your expectation bless you and all that you do.
    Thank you and many Blessings

    • Hi Ifeoma! Yes, we were laughing like crazy! I’m so glad that we could share that moment with you! You are so right- we are so lucky to have her! There are no words to adequately describe how much I love this girl and feel blessed to have her as part of our family; it has been so hard as well and I really appreciate your encouragement! Honestly, support like yours makes such a difference in us being able to do this! I’m so glad to connect here with you too! Loved reading your blog last night!

    • Thank you so much, Stacey! I feel like there needs to be a bit more transparency with foster care- there is so much mystery for people about it since it isn’t something that we regularly see. I think it takes a lot of the stigma away for kids πŸ™‚ Thanks for your encouragement and I’m so glad you stopped by! Can’t wait to check out your site!

  7. We’ve known several fostering families, and it is obvious that there are blessings to be had on all sides. I loved your post! Found you on a blog hop.

    • Thanks so much! I definitely agree that there are so many blessings all around in these situations! Thanks for being supportive- I appreciate it as I’m sure the other foster families you’ve known do to! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. This is so. beautifully. written and said! And so true … thank you for being just the kind of foster parent that children need. I had two who were also and they have been the best blessing in my life out of the tragedy and trauma that you understand more than most. God bless you!!

    • Thanks so much, Anne! I’m so glad to connect with you especially on this topic- you know first hand how amazing and hard it can be at the same time πŸ™‚ I think how hard it is makes the blessings extra sweet. Thanks for sharing your story too- blessings in all that you do with your two!

  9. Beautiful post, friend. I work in a group children’s home and it’s quite the challenge most days. In fact, the last two weeks have been the longest of my entire life, I believe. It’s so hard seeing the students we serve go through so much trauma. Thanks for your encouragement to see where the blessings are found. And thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

    • Thank you so much, Holly! I will be keeping you in my prayers with your important work at the group home- seeing the effects of so much trauma in the lives of kids is so hard. I find myself just wishing that we could just take it away from them. It’s positively heartbreaking and yet, it is such a blessing to be able to serve too despite the challenge. Seldom are worthwhile things easy. You are doing a great job and keep me updated about how it is going and how I can be praying!

  10. This is so beautiful. I had a friend who was a social worker. She said that no matter what the kids had been through – and the kids she worked with had been through hell, several times – they always loved their biological parents. They always wanted the approval and love of their biological parents. She said sometimes she felt like saying to them, “Why do you care what that bastard thinks about you? You’re amazing! They’re a piece of crap! You’re better off without them!” but of course she couldn’t say that. But her heart ached for them, because of what they’d been through, and because of the love they still felt for the people who had put them through it in the first place.

    My children each have a foster child in their classroom. The children are both in the same foster home. In the 2 years the boy has been in that home, he’s gone from being a very angry child who lashed out physically and verbally at everyone, to a child who only just sometimes struggles with anger, as we all do. He’s settled in and made friends and my daughter, who used to be bullied and hurt by this little boy, reports that now they are friends and he’s almost always nice to her. The foster parents have had the girl for about 12 months now. She’s gone from being very shy and withdrawn, not even capable of looking you in the eye and saying hello, to loud and happily boisterous, the sort of child who will yell “Hello!” to you from across the playground and then beg you to watch her dance or do something on the monkey bars. I’m amazed at how far the kids have come. It’s so wonderful to watch them just be kids.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story, Becca! You are making such a difference in these kids lives πŸ™‚ You are so understanding and it makes such a difference when you know the destructive behaviors are really the result of all the trauma they have been through. It takes so much time, love, and teaching to help them grow through all they have been through and to have the support of friends as well as just foster parents makes it so much easier to reach them. I totally agree it is so incredible to see them just being kids! Keep up the awesome work!

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