You undoubtably started out this journey full of hope and excitement for the difference you could make in the world of foster care. Naturally you had your own ides of how this would look.
It may have been that you expected to see first hand the physical and emotional healing of that broken child you welcomed into your home, or it may have been through reunification and the healing of a family, you may have excepted that child to speak up and say “Thank you for all you have done for me” or expected to hear something similar from their parents.
Now you find yourself in the thick of the messiness of foster care. You may be dealing with challenging behaviors from the child placed in your home and you don’t know if you can help them through their pain. You may be dealing with difficult biological family members, trying your best to understand and navigate the child welfare system and court system, you are spread thin between visits, school activities and Dr’s appointments. You may have had to disrupt a placement and are reeling from the guilt associated with moving a child to yet another foster home.
Foster care is as beautiful as it is challenging. Our friend Jason Johnson puts it well when he says “You will love more passionately, hurt more deeply, grieve more bitterly and celebrate more joyously throughout the process of caring for vulnerable children then you ever thought imaginable.”
Please do not buy into the lie that because it is difficult you should not be doing this. It WILL be difficult and you WILL have to navigate uncomfortable and challenging situations and find yourself thinking that you can not handle this. Let me encourage you with this; though it is hard God will give you strength to walk out what He has placed on your heart to do. Isaiah 40:29 says He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. So when you are weak, when you are so weary that you don’t know that you can make it one more day, God’s strength will carry you and give you power to do what He has called you to.
Please also know dear weary foster parent that you are not alone! OneHope27 has a network of foster and adoptive parents who have been, who are right where you are and would love to connect with you to walk along this journey. In addition OneHope27 is connected to free to low cost counseling services in the greater Milwaukee area that we would gladly assist your family with setting up. You are not alone, you can do this, and together we can do so much!
– Charonne Ganiere President OneHope27, inc.