There has been some craziness in my home lately. Last year my wife and I got certified to be foster parents. It was a 9-month process of training, inspections, and in-home visits. The state wants to thoroughly vet potential foster parents so they do not put kids in a worse situation then they came from. My wife and I were asked questions that dove deeper then we thought. But we understood why.
What we like about the goal of the system is reunification. They hope to help the birth parent get their life together so that they can get their child back. As Christians, we know that the only way for a person to truly get their life together is to give it over to God through Jesus Christ. So we pray for parents to get well and come to Christ. We pray for their salvation. We pray that they get their life to the point of receiving their child back to love and care for as they should.
This does not always happen. Sometimes they get the child back only to fall back into whatever issue got them child taken away in the first place. What will happen to the child then? What will happen to the child whose parents have gone off not to return?
My wife and I are foster to adopt. We want to be the answer for the “what if” situation. We will adopt that child. We know that this isn't easy. These aren't our children. Maybe one child has known their mom and will forever want that mom. Maybe one will never know their parents at all. Will this shape their lives moving forward as the grow up? I am sure it will. But what are we to do about it as foster parents? What are we to do about it as adoptive parents? We are to love them. We are to love them as if they are our own. We are to love them as Christ loves us.
As Christ Loves Us
As Christians, we have been adopted into the family of God. God the Father adopted us through Jesus Christ.
“He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:5-6
We did not belong to the family of God. By nature, we are children of wrath deserving to continue to live as exiles. We don't deserve to be grafted into the family of God. We do not deserve to eat at the same table with Jesus. But God brings us in. He calls us sons and daughters. He makes us heirs.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. ” Galatians 4:5-7
We can now call God “Abba! Father!” No more slavery to sin. No more slavery to the devil. We are now made heirs of the Kingdom of God when we repent and trust in the perfect life, sinners death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
My wife and I know we can never replace someone's birth parent. Some may come with only a bad image of their birth parent but they may still love them and want to be with them. Some may hate their birth parent for not staying out of trouble or abusing them. All that my wife and I can do is love them as they are our own. All our daughter can do is love them as a brother and sister.
Through it all, we want to point whatever child may come to live in our home to a heavenly Father. Our desire is to show the love of God to these children as God has shown us through Jesus Christ. We know we will not do this perfectly. We know that there will be trials and many tears. But there will also be days of joy and laughter. There will be days of grace and love. All we can do is pray to God to give us wisdom, strength, encouragement, and love to extend to all who come into our home. Most of all we pray that these children, and their parents, come to know God the Father, Who is the greatest Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. May they be reunified with their children. More importantly, may they be unified with God through Christ.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1a
Please keep us in prayer.