Blog post by Lauren Pittard
In regards to foster care, the question I get most often from strangers is: “But how do you let them go? I could never do what you’re doing. I’d get too attached!” If you think about it, this question could be considered offensive. But that's not what this post is about. Today, I’ll put aside my overwhelming urge to exhibit a great deal of sarcasm about “getting too attached” and broach another subject.
Today is about the people who are not strangers. The friends and family who love me, love Jesus and have good intentions. The most frequent question from those who know me is: “But aren’t you concerned about how fostering might affect your biological children?”
I understand the fear. Our love for our children is tremendous. We want to shield them from the wicked and the ugly, and guard them against pain. Too often we can confuse this calling to love and keep our children safe with keeping our children comfortable.
It’s a reality that by choosing to foster, you are inviting brokenness, trauma, uncertainty, and a complete lack of control into your home. In a nutshell, you’re inviting discomfort. In the last 21 months we’ve had 10 children from foster care in our home. At 10 years old, my only biological child has endured countless hours of infants crying in their car seats. She has changed diapers, fed toddlers, picked up thousands of sippy cups that have been launched like a rocket, and shared her lunch, her snack, her drink, and her Pelican’s SnoBalls.
My child is uniquely wonderful, and made differently than me. I’ve always loved babies. All I’ve ever wanted to be is a Mommy. I came out of the womb practically hugging a baby doll. But my daughter? Babies are the worst. They are loud, smelly, leaky, and inconvenient. She’s been uncomfortable for the last 21 months, to say the least.
But she has also learned to wait, to trust God, and to pray. In our short journey through foster care I’ve seen her heart expand and grow in ways I never knew were deficient. Through God’s abundant grace, she has lived with the broken and decided to love. In ways that I can’t comprehend from a 10-year-old’s perspective, she has died to self. I’m humbled and overjoyed at how the Holy Spirit has affected her through fostering.
On a recent Sunday, little “E” woke up around 5 a.m. sick with congestion. After fussing most of the morning, I tried to put her down for an early nap so she would enjoy going to church. The fussing went on and on . . . until suddenly I heard nothing. Silence. I went upstairs to check on the situation, and saw this: