Second you need to know that I DO NOT subscribe to the guilt ministry that it haunting local churches right now and misusing scripture for DHS's agenda. I am currently asking our church, and doing research on it so I cannot conclude all my findings but I know this. Taking care of foster care children is NOT a command, and you WILL NOT answer to God on judgment day if you do not choose this route. Wheeewww I said it, I finally got it out there in the open. Many of my friends will disagree with me, and that's ok. Some may even discount me as a friend based on that one statement, and that's not ok but it is what it is.
Like I said, I cannot defend that statement TO IT's FULLEST, yet. But here's where it starts: (see, I use that symbol when it's important)
James 1:27 (ESV)
27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Ok so the basics are this: in the current foster care system where DHS (or ICW to be fair) rules in a very unGodly manner, refusing Him in EVERY way...how can you dive into being a foster parent and still keep yourself unstained from the world? Or your own children. Ahhhh and that is where my first point and distinction lies, see that last part of the verse is often left out. They only quote the orphans and widows part. Also, in this letter (and it is a letter to a certain tribe, or group of people) he's speaking specifically to the church, thus why he mentioned keeping themselves unstained. So, if my best friend within my concentric circle and church passes away and I do not help her children when I could...yeah I believe I'll answer for that. Not being a foster parent? No. I'm sorry but it's just NOT what the text says.
It is good if you're called. It can be noble if you can figure out how to stay that way within this system. It's absolutely needed yes. But it's not a sin if not.
*Falls back in chair sighing a sigh of pure relief for finally getting that out.*
So having said that let me get back to the subject at hand. I didn't realize that foster parents play the part of the abused, the beaten FOR the child when they are in our homes.
Maybe I'm being dramatic *say it aint soooo*, maybe I can't handle it like others can. But I seriously feel like every time I get bad news, or every time I see Bio making a REALLY BAD choice, every selfish move, everytime I realize they don't actually care about these kids (once again, because you never get used to that news and it doesn't matter if you see or hear it 43543 times a week, each time still shocks and rocks you to your core), every. single. time.....I myself feel pain and heartache. No. I'm not being selfish. I'm being protective. It literally feels like I'm leaning over covering this child taking these whiplashes and beatings on my own back so that she doesn't have to feel them. I'm taking every bit of bad news and information as a scar so that she doesn't have too. She hurts too, don't get me wrong. She doesn't know what is happening nor does she understand and that is very scary in itself. Not to mention her own pain from her past, and from missing her family and friends she once knew.
But I never realized that would be a particular part of my job. I was naïve and thought I could just love and keep safe and be "a soft place to land" like so many others say right along with me. But it's so much more, and so much more painful too.
I shouldn't gripe or complain. I should take these scars and lashes willingly...like Jesus did for me. But I'm not that good, graceful, or loving.
Pray for us. We need it.