Several have asked, so here’s our reality of orphan care so far. We started officially pursuing adoption and orphan care in fall 2014. We are now licensed foster parents and have had 5 potential placements at this point. Some we said no to for various reasons. Some we said yes but something fell through with them or they had already been placed by DHR. We pray and wrestle each and every time with each and every case, considering the unique details and the potential impacts on our family. Thinking through the medical concerns, contagious diseases, sexual abuse, and exposure of our children. Each time I am afraid. I have heard some say they admire us for what we are doing. We are not heroic or abnormally courageous. I am not any less afraid than any of you; in fact I am probably more afraid. I am honestly terrified. Afraid of being out of control, afraid of having zero details on what is about to walk through my door, of how long they may be here, of how attached we may become before they are ripped out of our arms, of how attached my children may become and of watching their little hearts break when they leave, of how much they will sleep/not sleep/have disruptive behavior, ect. I am afraid of failing miserably. I am afraid of not being able to handle it. And I am even credentialed, which adds more pressure in my mind. I have a Masters in Counseling, and have been equipped with resources on sexual abuse, trauma, attachment, and the like. The lie is “I should be able to handle this” (even though I coach my clients to throw all ought’s and should’s out the window, the battle to do that is real people;). The truth is, I “should” be on my knees in utter dependency. Faith cannot be exercised apart from risk, and God often puts his people in situations where they absolutely cannot make it unless he comes through. Maybe it’s the leap into the unknown that’s so scary. Maybe it’s the fact that my longing continues to sit gaping like a freshly opened wound that burns with each breath of possibility….
But the reality is as difficult as this has already been, and whatever challenges it continues to bring, I know that it is immensely more difficult for the children being placed into care. My heart breaks at night when I think of the specific cases we have been called on and their environments or how they must feel being taken from all they have ever know. They know a terror I do not know.
The call is not a call free of fear or pain or cost. Faith is not devoid of fear, it is trusting in the midst of it. Trusting in the fact that I can’t do it, but I can be dependent on one who can. Perfect love cast out fear. God’s perfect love calms my anxieties when I pause and focus and surrender. And I pray that His love will be on display and calm whatever child he brings to us as well.