Part of being pro-life is not only supporting mothers through their pregnancies, but caring for orphans and the children within the foster care system.
I recently interviewed a dear friend who has been fostering for about 5 months. May you really hear her heart and “find your something.”
Tell me about why you chose to foster children:
My husband and I both have always had a heart for orphans. We started acting on that by doing short term missions to serve orphans in other countries. As time went on and as God grew our hearts, we felt called to adopt from our own country. For a year, we pursued private newborn adoption.
All the while, we had been in close proximity to a lot of kids in the foster system. We saw the difference in need between the two modes of adopting. In the private newborn realm, there are countless parents hoping for a baby and the wait time can be a long road. On the other hand, there are thousands of kids in need of a home (temporary or permanent) in the foster care system and a huge shortage of willing parents/families to take them in.
So after a lot of thought and prayer, we decided to switch gears from pursuing domestic newborn adoption to foster to adopt. We are willing to temporarily foster children, too, even though our end goal is to adopt.
How many are you fostering and what ages?
We currently have two siblings, ages 10 years and 10 months. They have been with us for 5 months now and are currently on a reintegration plan, which means that the goal is that they will eventually be back with one of their birth parents.
What makes these kiddos important to you?
As Christians, these kids are precious to us because they are precious to God. God took us in when we were lost and alone; we are simply trying to mirror that.
These kids are not in the system by their own doing; they did not choose this. We try to view them with compassion and grace because they have been through struggles and hurts that nobody should have to endure, especially so young. The pain of separation from family, no matter how dysfunctional or unsafe their family is, is traumatic enough.
These kids are not to be forgotten. They are here (more of them than you know), they have futures, and they matter. Every child needs someone in their corner. Our goal is to be exactly that – advocates, encouragers, comforters – for the kids that come into our home.
What are your hopes and dreams for them?
Our biggest hope is that they would find hope. Both eternal hope in Christ and hope for their futures. We want them to know that they don’t have to follow in the footsteps of the adults who have been shaping them. They don’t have to fall into the same cycles that got them into the system.
We want them to dare to have dreams and to learn how to work hard to achieve them. And ultimately, that is what will break the cycle they’ve been exposed to. It’s amazing what hope, dreams and hard work can do!
How does fostering children align with pro-life beliefs?
I firmly believe that being pro-life is way more than simply being anti-abortion. Life is precious at every stage.
The sheer number of kids in the system is staggering. (Look it up if you want your heart ripped out.) On the one hand, it is discouraging to see so many kids who have been born into situations that cause them to be taken away. But the silver lining is that they were born.
Pro-lifers often stand at the doors of abortion clinics pleading with women to keep their children, but once they choose life the “support” usually ends. Why? If we plead for women to give their children life, we need to be prepared to step in if the life they’re born into is not safe or healthy.
That’s where fostering comes in. These kids’ parents chose life! Hallelujah! But now these kids’ little lives are at risk once again. Will we not step up? Life is precious not only in the womb but at every age and stage.
What would you like to encourage others to do for children in the foster system?
There are so many ways to get involved with foster care. One of my favorite foster care bloggers, Jason Johnson, uses the phrase “find your something.” Nobody can do everything. But we all can do something. Maybe your something is to become a foster family. Maybe it’s to babysit for a foster family (take it from me, that’s a big one)! Maybe it’s to provide diapers, clothes, play dates or meals. Maybe it’s to spread awareness about the need for foster families. Perhaps your role is to be a listening ear and a warm hug when a foster mom is at her wits end.
There is no reason everyone can’t be involved in some way. It’s just a matter of finding your something. And may I just take a moment to debunk the whole “it takes a really special person to do what you do” thing? While I appreciate the compliment behind that comment, I always want to say “it really doesn’t. It just takes a willing person. The kids are the special ones.” So there. I said it.
Do you have an adoption or foster care story that celebrates life?