A while back our phone rang at midnight. It was Child Protective Services calling to let us know that three kids had been rescued from a horrible family scenario. We were given the option to receive the 11 month old girl into our home. For the first time, we found ourselves staring into the pain-filled eyes of a very confused and hurt little child.
In some circles today, fostering or adopting has become some sort of a fad where people find themselves eager to show off their new baby as if she were a new pair of tennis shoes. In our short time as foster parents, we have begun to count the ways our new addition to the family has not only been great for her, but great for us as well. A few quick reasons why fostering has been great for our family are:
1. It allows us to join God as the rescuer, not just talk about how He rescues
This is has been revolutionary for us. We aren’t just reading the Bible stories each night anymore. Now our kids can be praying for our new daughter’s family. They can love her to show her how much God loves her. They can share their toys, and teach her the various skills they learned not too long ago. She gets them thinking beyond themselves.
2. Our kids get to hear and see the reality of other people’s lives
At first, our boys didn’t understand how someone could have a daddy that would walk away, or that the mommy loved drugs more than her kids. Even with their young little minds, I believe it motivated our kids to love the unloved. To look out for the underdog. Why? Because at home they see a new little girl who is just starting to open up to them, and even trying to say their names.
3. From an early age, our kids have a clearer picture of diversity
I remember a while back when another boy told me he didn’t like a certain place he had been because everyone was “brown”. Our kids have a new “brown” sister, and they are loving her as if she was their own. In a recent trip to a pool, our kids easily played with some kids from Mexico. I loved it.
4. It better equips my wife and I to build character into our kids
We have a daughter that is not too much older than our new daughter. This was new for her. She had never had to share toys with someone so close to her size. In fact, our little girl was the only daughter in the family. This really exposed some areas in her that we wanted to teach her away from early on. Without our newest addition to the family, we wouldn’t have seen these areas so clearly.
So how about it? What did I miss? Why else is fostering so great?