Choose Joy

Seeking Jesus in this crazy journey

Saying yes to a “bad idea”

In so many ways, we knew that agreeing to a new foster placement was a bad idea.  I’m doing chemo.  Sometimes I get sick.  I take a million naps.  It’s busy caring for our 2 and we’re already receiving a lot of help.  Our lives are busy with our current circumstances and our hearts our full, so why take on more.

When we got the first call for a new foster care placement, twin toddlers, we laughed.  We get a fair amount of calls and none of them have materialized, so we kind of put this out of our minds.

Two weeks later, we got the same call, but with a little more desperation and a lot more info.  We started praying.  We pleaded with God to speak to us clearly, to open or close the doors, to give us a united decision.

We talked to our people and processed the hesitations they shared.  “It will be a lot.”  Yes.  “Do you have enough energy?”  I don’t know.  “How will the boys do?”  Good question.

They were all good points that we’d thought about A LOT.  That we’d prayed about a lot.  Tears were shed thinking about saying yes and tears were shed thinking about saying no.  We thought about how it would effect us and our existing support system.

We processed these concerns with the workers along the way.  They thought they might have another family and we released the idea of these kids and told them to pursue their other leads.

It didn’t pan out.

We put in a request for supports and they said no.  We agreed that we couldn’t do it without some supports, so we released it a second time.

Then they came back and approved it.

It felt like we were laying out fleeces, like Gideon in Judges 6, and God was demonstrating his might and his control.  The kids were a good fit with our other kids’ ages, our giftings, and our passions.

We listened to sermons, read some books and blogs, and tried to listen to Jesus’ voice through it all. But our decision-making period was coming to a close.

We both felt like saying yes, but didn’t want to say yes on a whim or because we felt guilty or at the expense of our relationships.  Yet we both know the Bible is very clear about caring for the vulnerable and the orphaned.  We both know that God has clearly called us into the role of foster parents.

But was he calling us into it in this specific moment?

Here’s the things we realized.

We partner with a little community in the DRC.  We have visited and seen grandmothers caring for their grandkids.  You can’t tell me that the road they walk is easy.  They model what it looks like to care for orphans.  They show us what it is to sacrifice.  And they do it at a cost to themselves and their families.  We love them and support them, and we can’t say that in one sentence and then say that we aren’t willing to do similarly.  We don’t believe that the Bible’s call to care for the vulnerable or that the Gospel itself is written in terms of cultural context.  We know it and we are willing to take some steps to live it out more generously and sacrificially and joyfully.

We never felt a peaceful release from this specific calling.  And I may be sick, but I am not dead – so if we said no and if I live for 5 or 10 or 30 years, then I have to look back on this moment and give an account for my disobedience.  And my only reasons would be our own fear of the future.

We’ve prayed for physical healing for years.  And God has sustained my health faithfully.  There have been ups and downs, but we have praised him for his goodness in my health journey.  I sometimes question why I have not received full physical healing, and then I realized that saying yes to this placement could be a step of faith.  It could be God calling us to “step out of the boat onto water in which we will surely sink in our strength”.  But, oh!  We trust in a God who is so much bigger than our own strength or our own plans or our physical ailments.  He tells us to fix our eyes on him.  He tells us to focus on today and trust him for tomorrow.  He tells us to love God and love people.  So yes.  With my little sliver of faith, we said yes, and prayed that he would grow our faith through what we think is a little act of obedience.

And lastly, the need is there.  Carey said “If there were more people to do this, then maybe not.  But we’re not going to say no and see kids go to a group home or be split up.”  These sweet littles don’t get a say in their history or their future.  We have the ability to step up.  We actually have the privilege of stepping up.

And so I’d encourage you, especially those of you within the Church, to do as we did and think about what God is calling you into and process what makes it seem like the wrong timing or a “bad idea”.  Maybe, just maybe, hidden in there is an opportunity to step out in faithful obedience and experience a bit more of Jesus.

We did, yesterday, at 1:30 in the afternoon when we opened the door and welcomed two sweet new faces to our family.

 

 

 

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The little things…

Sometimes I neglect to share the “little” good news stuff.  Maybe I even take it for granted.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled when an appointment isn’t bad news, but I think I forget to give credit to God for that.  So we are praising him for sustaining me, even in these small ways.

At my doctor appointment, my counts were high and all my checks were good and there is an up and coming treatment option on the table for the future. Also no one in our family has got any of the bugs that have been going around for the last 2 months. I don’t know how it’s possible, because my kids are gross and we’ve been around sickness so much, but God has really protected us and I am really grateful.

This round has been pretty good. My mom and then dad were up helping with the boys (thank you), plus Carey doing double duty all the time. Thanks to that, I slept a ton over the first few days, and I feel like other side effects were pretty minimal.

They’re little things.  But they’re big things.  So thank you, Jesus.

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