August 30, 2017
August 30, 2017
Words from an Advocate: Fostering Oregon’s Children
“Words alone change nothing. Words connected to your heart can change everything.”
We stand in church and sing so many songs whose lyrics speak of giving our lives to God, telling us how in all facets of our existence to submit ourselves to the Creator. It’s so easy to rise when instructed and sing along because we can read the words. It’s another thing entirely to live out those words we speak. If we praise God, follow the instructions of Scripture, and tell Him that our life is His, then we should be willing to live in faithfulness to that.
For our family, this means that our home is open to young people in foster care. “Why foster?” you may ask. Because Christ calls us, as the church, to care for the widows and the orphans and those in distress. Because children are a gift from God, whether we have given birth to them or not. Because Jesus saves us in our need. Because the Creator of all things has given us forgiveness, love, compassion, and mercy, and we would be fools to keep that to ourselves.
The gifts that God has given us can have results that are like the ripples made when a rock is thrown in a pond or a lake. There’s one “kerplunk” at the beginning, but the ripples — some small, some large — move on and on and on, ever outward. And so, we welcome these young people into our home. Hurting, broken, abused, and traumatized. We welcome them with their pain, their emotional baggage, so to speak. We invite them to unpack. To stay awhile. To learn. To grow. To know that there are people who have more to offer them than empty words and broken promises.
When I tell you that I’m a foster parent, please don’t praise me for being a “good person” or “doing the right thing.” When I tell you that I’m a foster parent to teenagers, please don’t criticize me for “ruining my other kids” or tell me I’m “crazy.” I want you to know that I am doing what needs to be done because it is the right thing to do. There is a need, and our family is capable of helping to fill it, therefore we do.
And if you want me to tell you how you can do it, too, all you need is to tell me, “I couldn’t do that!”
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