So, the raw truth…at first I didn’t want to be a foster mom. As in, I said, “Never!” A string of excuses ensued…
“I don’t want to deal with government bureaucracy.”
“What if I fall in love and can’t let them go?”
“What if we can’t afford it?”
“What if it’s dangerous to our family?”
“How can I explain this to our extended family?”
“What if an angry bio-parent follows us home from a visitation with their child?”
Anyone else know what often happens when we say, “Never!” to God?
I’ve already shared several major steps of our journey already…our vision prior to becoming a foster family…our reality while in the midst…and our trust in God when it came time to say goodbye to our foster daughter.
But there were two things that helped me overcome all those excuses and doubts and fears. God spoke…and He gave us a community of support.
I was preparing a list of questions to ask Randy and Vickie Akins who run a non-profit support group in our area called Chosen Ones. As I readied myself to ask every question in the universe so I could convince myself that fostering was NOT what God had for us, God spoke so clearly to my soul, “You’re going to foster…and it will be okay! Trust Me!” That was it. I knew.
And “Trust Me” would become the theme of what He would speak to me throughout our entire journey of becoming licensed and living in the reality of fostering and, later, letting go. Trust Him. Not what I thought I knew…Not what I’d seen on T.V….Not what fear whispered in my ear…Just Him.
Then came the community of support through Chosen Ones…an overwhelming outpouring that I never could have imagined! Information on local agencies, answers to all my questions and more, real-life testimonies of other foster families, regular support meetings, fun events with other foster/adoptive families, a closet filled with anything we might need to fill in the gaps…clothes…toys…baby monitors and car seats for FREE, meals when we got our first placement, prayers over the phone, prayers through our Facebook group, prayers during monthly support group meetings…and more than I can even recall! The way they embraced us was amazing and so full of love and an eagerness to support us through this journey.
When I first heard the name of the group, “Chosen Ones“, I thought they were referring to the children that would come into these foster and adoptive homes. But after getting more information, I understood that the “chosen ones” were actually the foster or adoptive families! These families would be chosen to care for children who needed a home, either temporarily or forever. To be one of those chosen ones was one of the most humbling things I’ve ever experienced.
The scope of this amazing grassroots organization is immense…their vision huge and continuing to grow! They have expanded from just one support group to several and they continue to meet with local churches to establish new Chosen Ones groups throughout the area. Randy and Vickie amaze me in their willingness to serve and go wherever God has called them to go.
If you are a family considering foster care or adoption, I encourage you to pray for God’s direction and timing. Read our story here and here and here. And, contact Chosen Ones for more information to help answer your questions! If you are in the DFW metroplex, come to an informational meeting or visit a support group for families considering or already actively fostering or adopting.
If you’re already a foster or adoptive family and you need some extra encouragement, support and resources, consider checking out Chosen Ones!
If your church is looking to begin their own foster/adoptive care ministry, contact Chosen Ones for information on how to do that!
If you just want to help in some way by volunteering your time or resources, here are some of their needs! You don’t have to become licensed to foster or adopt to make an impact!
As for our family, for some health and other reasons we have taken a break from fostering and are waiting for God’s direction on returning to it anytime soon or perhaps further down the road. In the meantime, we will continue to be a voice of encouragement to those considering foster care or adoption. We were definitely and immensely blessed to be “chosen ones”! We miss our foster daughter…keep her pictures up…talk about her often with our kids, family and friends…and continue to pray for her health and safety and blessing!
In case you haven’t heard, I am publishing my first book, entitled Refining Identity: Now Found in Christ which will be released this Fall! To see more about this resource, be a part of the publication project or pre-order your copy, visit our FundRazr campaign! God bless!
I don’t know about you, but I for one have walked (several times, in fact) down a road of wondering who I am…who I’m supposed to be. I’ve tried to answer that question myself many times, with each instance leaving me feeling like I’ve failed. Again.
I’ve tried to define myself by the “hats” I wear…and by others’ expectations…and by my strengths…and by my weaknesses…and any number of things that this society suggests define identity.
But, when I stopped…and asked God who He said I was, I stopped walking in circles and began to actually walk on the path of my destiny. He began to reveal to me His perfect design and steps I can take as I trust Him.
During this process, He also gave me a heart for discovering identity in Christ alone and sharing that with others…to see people set free from incorrect definitions. If there is anything that we need to properly have defined, it is our true identity. It shapes our decisions in every way. We MUST know!
God, in His amazingly gracious way, gave me a message to go along with this passion…and that message has turned into a book which is called Refining Identity.
Refining Identity will be published and released this Fall after nine years of waiting and working and writing and waiting some more. I am beyond thrilled to see my heart’s message, this passion of mine expand beyond the confines of my computer’s file folders.
And I want to invite you to join me in seeing it come to life!
Refining Identity is the inaugural resource which will be available through the Now Found Publishing imprint, which my husband and I have co-founded. We have put together a FundRazr campaign, which ends on August 17th, to raise the necessary funds to publish this title and we would love to have you be a part of this vision!
FundRazr is an online tool to raise both funds and awareness for projects, needs and causes. Even a single dollar given can make a HUGE difference. (And, there are some special “thank you” gifts in return for donations of $10, $50 and $100!)
I would be so honored if you would take a look at our FundRazr campaign video for Refining Identity and consider partnering with me to see this life-changing resource be brought to life! Go check it out!