It seems like only yesterday that my wife walked into our office and said that there were 3 little girls that had no place to go and DHS wanted us to consider taking them. I told my wife that If she believed we could handle it, I was ready to give this a shot!
Those that know me understand that having a daughter is something I have prayed for. For those that don’t let me explain myself. You see, I once promised God that if I didn’t have a daughter, I would adopt one into my family. I am pretty sure God chuckled at this statement and said wish granted.
God gave Kassie and I 3 boy who mean the world to us. I could not be more proud of the young men (and the 7 year old) who I call mine, but a promise is a promise. We needed a daughter for our family to be complete. Kassie and I traveled all over the world doing mission work and would see orphans and street kids that we would dream of taking home with us. Problem with that is adoption is expensive and as a missionary family the money is just not there. After years of talking and praying for funds or opportunities Kassie suggested that we instead look into fostering to adopt. I was immediately against it.
You see I am a very protective man. There is very little that truly upsets me in this world, but mess with my family, a woman, or a child and I might just lose it. I told Kassie that there was no way that I would ever be able to foster. I could not handle sending a child back to a home that could not take care of them. There was talk of my anger and how I would hold mistakes over the parents heads throughout the process. Not to mention how I could never deal with their selfishness. In all honesty, I just did not want to be a foster dad. I had three children, that should be enough.
With all of this going through my head, a quite time changed everything. The lesson took me to Philippines 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself (NIV).” I remember reading this and thinking about my own selfishness. I blamed parents and their problems for my unwillingness to foster. The children are the victims and deserve to be loved and feel safe, but I was ignoring their needs. These children deserve to be looked after, built up, and if possible adopted into a family that will not only treat them with dignity and respect, but love them unconditionally. I was broken that day by Gods words on forgiveness and love. That my own selfishness should not stand in the way of others.
We took those 3 girls into our home and for 4 weeks we loved them to the best of our ability. They are now back home. We would later takel in a 18 month old little boy, who broke all notions of my quest to adopt a daughter. He was able to go back to a kinship home (in most cases this means relatives)3 weeks later. We then took in a 3 year old boy who missed his family so badly that we would later take his 12 year old brother in as well. I had no idea what was happening, I was no longer looking for that daughter that I had longed for. I was simply looking for children in need of a loving and safe home and we were more than willing to provide that. Then it happened , we received a call that there was an 8 month old baby girl who needed a place to stay. With arms wide open we took her in.
We currently have 6 children in our home. 3 are mine biologically and 3 are mine because I choose to say that they are. The question is always the same when people find out that we have 3 foster children, “Why and will you adopt them?” Let me answer these 2 questions.
First, why would we do something like this? It is always fun to watch the look on peoples faces when they find out we are a foster home. The comments are always the same as well, “I couldn’t do it,” and “are you crazy?” My answers are always the same, “Yes you can”, and “ maybe a little.” I once thought I couldn’t do this either, but God changed my heart. I thought I could never let a child go and that it would be to difficult, and admittedly it is. That being said, I know that if they are in my home for a day or for a year, the time will be spent in a safe and loving space. For a short time they will be free of judgment and embarrassment. While they are with us, they will be loved as the Bible tells us to love. They will learn that there are at least some people in the world that are willing to help them. That not every person is hateful and spiteful. While they are in my home, they will be HOME.
The second question is a bit more difficult to answer. While I would love to say that I would adopt every child that comes into our home, it is impossible. Will adoptions happen in my home? If opportunity is given, yes. I still dream of completing my promise to God and adopting a daughter. I also now have dreams of parents cleaning up their act and having their children returned to their home where things have changed for the better. I dream of children growing up to be adults and looking to help others because someone once helped them. I mainly dream of those children that enter my home growing up and being happy. For me, Foster care is not about money or doing good. Foster care is about showing children that there are men who care no matter what, and that there is a a God who cared enough for them to change this mans heart.
My wife once asked me to take in three little girls that needed a home, I am so glad that we said yes.
If you would like more information on foster care or would like to become a foster family visit http://www.okdhs.org/services/foster/Pages/FosterCareHome.aspx. If you have question please feel free to email us here.