Moving Forward, Moving On
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
The goal of most fostering relationships is for the foster children to be reunified with their biological family. Going into this journey, it was likely presented as such, and parenting for a season is truly a kingdom calling. You have been living in missional ways, for you have impacted others just by including them in your life. You have likely influenced all of the kids in your care to see the beauty and difficulty of fostering, whether they are biological, adoptive, or foster children. You have probably seen growth in your own spiritual walk and have the battle stripes of parenting to prove it.
The culmination of a fostering relationship can be joyous, such as shepherding a child to return to a family renewed and restored or parenting until a new adoptive family is formed. It can be the end of a respite visit when you drop precious children off to their guardians, knowing that they are cared for, provided for, and loved. Sometimes it may be hard. Your heart may be at war with what the powers are declaring is best for the child.
You know the child personally, and you know their needs intimately. You’ve likely wiped their tears and doctored their boo-boos. You’ve set healthy boundaries and obtained new spiritual, intellectual, and emotional growth. When it is time to release each child, you will likely feel many feelings. I encourage you to retain the joy, revel in the special memories, and release your concerns and fears to the One who will always be with each child, wherever they go.
You and your family may need a respite time of your own to regroup and reflect. If you do, steal away to pray to the Heavenly Daddy who knows you and your foster child and calls you both by name. You may be ready to open your heart and your home again immediately, and you may not. Only you know where you and yours are in this journey, and I just encourage you to cover it all in prayer, from beginning to end.
As a former foster kid myself, I want to echo the Lord in saying, “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). You have done kingdom work, and your Father is looking down on each of you in love.
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