Monday, February 08, 2016

Strength in the Journey

When people say "I don't think I could be a foster parent" I understand because I didn't think I could either.  Years ago, after having our two sons, we were waiting to adopt locally and somehow found ourselves on a different path.  We had another biological child, our daughter Nya, and then became foster parents.  It came from the gentle prodding of a friend who encouraged us to love those in need in our own communities.  Slowly, what we had thought our family would look like, and the timeline we hoped for, morphed into something else...something unknown and unexpected. 


We did not take the most convenient path–we were led down one that involved additional hard work and dedication.  We purposely chose to alter our family dynamics to welcome someone we had never met; someone with their own family who would be "ours" for a part of their life. It wasn't clear to us what skills we would need to have or where the journey would take us, we just knew that we could do it, step-by-step, with God's help.  Throughout this process, we prepared our hearts, minds, and home as much as we could for this precious Little One.

{Sweatshirt by SHE IS Clothing}

I'll never forget the day we met this adorable child.  There, on our doorstep and in the social worker's arms, was the sweetest Little One–so much smaller than my kids had been at that age.  With nervous  hands, I reached out to this child through some of the toys that we have and within a few hours this cutie was asleep in my arms.   I remember thinking "What are we doing? Can we do this?  How will our own kids do?"  I realized that I could ask the questions but it didn't help to worry about it.  We prepared as much as we could, we would learn along the way, and besides, we weren't the ones in control.  Not only are we not the guardians (the social worker is) but it is God who we believe sees the whole picture and holds us all in His hands.


I am an emotional woman.  I will cry easily–both happy and sad tears.  Those highs are high and those lows are...low.   Many people ask, "How will you say goodbye?" and the answer is that I don't know.  What I do know is that I can do hard things.  I have done them in the past and I will continue to do them.  I have had to say good-bye to my mother, forever, and I'm still standing.  I'm not doing it alone.  I can only be so strong on my own, the rest I leave up to Him.  


Proverbs 31:25 says "She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh in the days to come."  I can smile about the past, present and future and although some of those smiles may be bittersweet, I know that I can do it through Him.  

The sweatshirt I'm wearing in the photos is the inspiration for this post.  SHE IS Clothing is a local business run by the lovely Kimberly.  I taught this beautiful woman years ago (yes, I'm basically 100 year old) and she has such a heart for sharing God's love (she also has an incredible Instagram feed.)  The SHE IS Polka Dot Logo Sweatshirt I'm wearing is super cozy with it's soft interior and is a reminder of the woman I want to be.  I am so happy to be able to offer you a discount code for 10% off She Is Clothing products: TALKNERDY10.  It cannot be combined with any other offers and you do have to pay for shipping.  If you order this sweatshirt, make sure to go a size smaller than you normally would; I'm usually a large and this sweatshirt is a medium.  Give yourself a gift this Valentine's Day.

Much love to you all.  You can do hard things. Be open.

Love,
Louise

3 comments:

  1. This is like my story too, as I didn't think I could do hard things, but I have learned that I can. I didn't even think I would be a good mom, but I have been. I have been with my husband about five years and our girls are 26 and 17. We felt like God was calling us to be foster parents. I had many doubts through the process. But then we got our little guy, just 3 years old and so tiny. He didn't even talk or know his name. In a matter of months he was very outgoing and telling me how to drive! He just needed love and attention. I didn't think I would be able to let him go, but he let us know that he wanted to live with his siblings and Grandma. I knew that would make him happy, and that we had done our part. I miss him and think of him a lot. My heart broke and I cried in church a few times. I pray for him. Now we are waiting for the next call that God will bring to us. What an adventure!

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    1. Kae, your situation with your little three year old sounds so similar to ours :) It is an adventure! I wonder how it will feel falling in love all over again and saying goodbye again etc...Thank you for all you do!

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  2. Louise, I could almost have written this post myself! Really! I completely understand your words. I get many people telling they could not do foster care, because they could not bear to say good-bye. I feel the same, and wonder how I will say good-bye. But I know that God will give me all I need, through each step of this journey. However crazy hard it is. But what a privilege to be on this wild adventure, and know that God alone is where my strength comes from.

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