Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Are they all yours?

I've mentioned before that this is one of the top 3 questions I've been asked for the last 2 years. It is the oddest question to answer. Please stop asking it. I definitely find myself wanting to ask other people the same thing so I get it. You want to have something to say other than your hands are full so you ask an impossible to answer concisely question. When I feel the urge I have to remember the awkwardness I feel as well as the weirdness of the "they" (at my side and in the stroller) who anxiously listen to how I respond to this really complicated question. I've given to just answer yes if I'm in a hurry because the story lasts too long. I am an analyzer and a truth teller at an unhealthy level (if it can be unhealthy to tell truth;)). But I am always compelled to splain myself to people. Even elderly strangers. Do they really need to know which children exited my vagina and which did not? I am not sure. So I answer lengthy and messily most times. As you can tell by this paragraph it makes for long outings at the mall when we are asked. My most simplistic other than the yes, is legally they are all mine. I say all this verbal vomit to say that I often want to just say we are a foster family. But I feel like such a poser. Refer to my truth telling statement above...

For lack of a better word, we are "fostering" without either the headache of the states involvement nor the helping of the states resources and financial backing. We are a rare anomaly that while our state agency has been involved for the majority of our case we didn't prepare for this by foster care classes nor do we receive the assistance or guidance from anyone really. We have been out here on an island, calling our fostering friends for assistance and lawyer friends when fostering doesn't apply. Because we are family of our niece and nephew things have gone a little differently. I don't say this because I think we need a gold star or are anything special persay. I'm pretty sure if you matched us up against the foster system there are so many pros and cons to both situations and well this isn't a contest and if it were it would be a really messed up one that no one would enter. I think foster parents are amazing. They SIGN up to do what we did a little less excitedly. They prepare and come to their situation equipped, whereas we had no preparation and simply stumbled into God's perfect plan for us and our family. But since we don't have a thing to call what we do, we say fostering, because people have knowledge of that...we aren't adopting or living together with my sister so we are fostering, because there isn't a better word. I always hesitate to say that because its not exactly accurate...hence the paragraph explanation. You needed to know all this, you just did. Most of what I've learned through this process though has given me a much better window into fostering and the great NEED for God's people to step up and out in obedience. BUT, I've also witnessed my own inadequacies and shortcomings. The areas where I believe I am indeed doing something special. But not so much am I doing ANYTHING, so much as me completely failing and CHRIST just filling in big ole huge gaps. At first I wanted EVERYONE to do what we are doing. Got zealous even to think that everyone HAD to foster to be obedient to Jesus. So much so that at another point I felt (still feel)that if our family doesn't foster after this we are being disobedient on His command. But my experience tells me otherwise. What we've done is right for us. I wouldn't trade it or change it for anything because even though I still don't see the big huge picture, God has allowed me to see enough that I know that I know that I know that this is what He had/has for us. But it has been a very hard task. I have not always handled it gracefully and I have a lot of things about my limits that I am still scared to admit because I do want to encourage others to do the same and if they knew some of the truly hard, nearly breaking places I've been they might not even try. In fact, having experienced some of those broken places makes it all the harder to sift through what God's will is for our family in the area of fostering the future. I set sail on this post in order to give those who did NOT feel called to foster another perspective, but my course turned and I've exceeded the attention span for most. So I feel compelled to ask you now to evaluate with me what God has for your in this area. I know most who are reading this are knee deep in babies as is so I really hesitate to appear the Junior Holy Spirit when I know there are those just trying to keep their head's above water...or puke...or poop. But for serious I think it would do us all good to evaluate God's role for us in this need. We ALL have a role just not the same role. Which is what I intended to talk about...maybe this way you'll hang around and read another post another day. Or maybe after this post you'll tuck tail and run. Either way God has you right where He wants you for His next big thing. Just submit. Surrender. I'm committing to do the same, in this season and the next.