I vividly remember the feeling. It started deep in my soul and it just wouldn’t go away. I desperately wanted to do something to help, yet I did nothing because fear gripped me.
For weeks, in the quiet of my heart, I wrestled back and forth between taking action and overwhelming fear.
As the days passed, the signs became obvious of what I had to do. I was riding down the road one fall afternoon reflecting on how I was feeling and looked up just in time to see a billboard that read, “Foster Families Needed.”
A couple of days later, I was pondering the tug on my heart while listening to the radio. The song ended and a gentle voice came through the speakers and asked,
“Have you ever considered fostering or adopting?”
The “signs” began to pop up everywhere I turned. The more I noticed the signs all around me the more the feeling grew and the fear shrank. One November morning, I was sitting in church and they announced that a kind gentleman, a member of our church, had something on his heart that he would like to share. As he walked forward and took the stage I remember wondering what he was going to say. I thought it was quite unusual for him to come up and speak to the congregation. He took the microphone and began to share the great need we had locally to find loving homes for foster children.
I sat in complete shock as he asked us to please consider opening our homes to help children in need. As soon as the words left his mouth I knew I could no longer let fear win. I gently nodded my head up and down and whispered, “Yes, God, I will.”
Looking back, it seems so strange to me that I allowed fear to keep me from what was in my heart. From the time I was a young girl I had one dream for my life. My friends shared their hopes of becoming teachers and doctors. The only thing I dreamed about was becoming a mommy. I had always enjoyed children and couldn’t wait to have a loving husband and a house full of kids. In those dreams, I just never imagined that I would have the honor of taking care of children who weren’t my own.
Over time, I realized the fear that held me back was coming from the unknown.
I didn’t know what becoming a foster family would look like. I certainly didn’t know what it would feel like. Could my tender heart endure the pain? How would my children respond? Would fostering add more stress than we could handle? What would others think? One of the greatest challenges we have faced as a foster family was simply overcoming the fear and having the courage to step outside our comfort zone.
What started out as one of the scariest things I have ever done has, without a doubt, become one of the greatest joys of my life.
Tears fill my eyes when I think back on all that we would have missed if we had not become a foster family. I have learned so many powerful lessons on this journey. My faithful God, the One who called me to serve children through fostering, has provided what we needed every step of the way. Do you want to know the craziest part of all? Those little people, the ones that I set out to help… have instead helped me.