Early on, one of the concerns that weighed on us (as well as others close to us) was how becoming a foster family would affect our biological children. That thought ran through my mind on multiple occasions. Although I didn’t know the answer, I always came back to the same conclusion. Surely, if God called us to serve as a foster family He would protect and grow our children along the way.
Yes, there have been days when the kids have seen or heard things that I wish I could have protected them from. Yes, they have experienced heartache. Yes, they have sacrificed. On the other hand, our children have been impacted by fostering in positive ways that I never, ever expected.
Fostering has provided us the opportunity to teach our children important life lessons.
They have witnessed firsthand what happens to individuals and their families when drugs are used and abused. They have helped comfort a child who has been needlessly exposed to chemicals that make him act out terribly. With their own eyes, they have seen some of the horrible things that come from drug abuse. This has led to conversations that we hope will prevent them and the ones they care about from making those mistakes in the future. We are praying that because of this lesson they can avoid misery in their own lives. We have been able to learn from and address situations and topics that otherwise may not have come up.
Another unexpected blessing that has come from fostering is the cultivation of grateful hearts.
One night I walked into my son’s room to tell him goodnight. As I went to hug him, I noticed tears streaming down his face. I asked him what was wrong and he said,
Sharing our home with children who come from difficult places has helped our kids see how very blessed they are. That, my friend, is priceless. My heart breaks because we are living in a self-absorbed society where so many children have a hard time thinking beyond themselves. Because of that, I am extremely grateful that fostering helps our children grow servant hearts. Hearts that are kind, that pay attention to others, and are quick to notice when there is a need. They have become more aware of what goes on in the lives of those around them and they want to do something to help.
One hot summer day, my daughter and I were out running errands. She spoke up and said, “Mommy, do you know what sounds so good right now?” My guess included ice cream or jumping into a swimming pool. She responded,
Thinking of and caring for others…what a beautiful thing! For us, the positive impact of becoming a foster family has definitely outweighed the negative. It provides teachable moments and strengthens the character of our children.