To Foster and Adoptive Parents: Reframing Your Season of Struggle
To all those foster and adoptive parents that find themselves in a difficult season right now, or to those who will at some point but just don't know it yet...this is for you...
Jesus’ struggle on our behalf was not the result of His weakness, but the outcome of His faithfulness. It was Him willingly choosing the cost of our joy over the price of His pain. His suffering brings meaning to ours. His struggle brings purpose to ours. They remind us that the gospel is nothing if not the ability of Jesus to bring great beauty out of broken things. This gospel frees us from the burden to carry the weight of redemption. It reminds us that only Jesus can save and restore. Our job is simply to be faithful...expectantly, hopefully, anxiously faithful. And in your Garden of Gethsemane moments, when the weight of brokenness brings you to your knees before God and your heart cries out for a different path to redemption, you can trust that Jesus has been there before you and that Jesus is there with you now - sympathizing, holding, understanding and encouraging you to drink from the cup again, and again, and again. The road to redemption is paved with stones of suffering, and only the strongest allow themselves to be weakened by the weight of the cross they must carry along the way. That's you, counted among the strongest, not in spite of the weakness you now feel, but because of it.
JESUS IS WORTH IT
Thank you for your faithfulness even in the midst of this season you are going through. Thank you for choosing to count the joy of these kids as worth the cost of your pain. No one sees your struggle as weakness. No one dare question your resolve. They see it as brave, they see it as inspiring and God no doubt sees it as beautiful - because He sees Jesus all over it, in it and through it.
The truth is that God is using you, a mere human, to solve a seemingly insurmountable human problem. Confusion, frustration and exhaustion are inevitable and unavoidable - but He is faithful and good and right there with you. The gospel doesn't guarantee that everything will be easy, but it does guarantee that there's hope, and that no matter what, Jesus is worth it and so is what you're doing for these kids.
REFRAMING THE STRUGGLE
So your brokenness isn't a sign of failure; it's an outcome of faithfulness. Jesus knows exactly how that feels. Your struggle isn't a sign of weakness; it's an expression of faithfulness. It shows you care, even when it’s hard. And your exhaustion isn't a sign of frailty; it's an embodiment of faithfulness. It's means you're giving all so a child can gain much - and that is remarkable. There's always another side to our struggle - a hopeful one, if we're willing to reframe it and see it that way.
I've said it before and I'll keep saying it again and again and again - your "success" as a foster or adoptive parent is not measured by your capacity to keep everything in order; it's determined by your ability to trust that even in the chaos Jesus is beautiful - and even in the mess, so is what you are doing for these kids.
OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY
Kids from hard places don't need perfect and polished parents - they need parents who are strong enough to be weak. They need ones who are honest and real. So maybe today you don't need to pretend like you've got it all together. Maybe today is your day to finally be okay with the fact that it's okay to not be okay. If there's room in the gospel for their redemption then their must also be room in the gospel for yours. Perhaps you simply need to give yourself that room today. Maybe the best thing you can do for your kids during this season is to spend more time pressing into Jesus for yourself during this season. It's okay to not be okay, keep telling yourself that. It's okay to not be okay. That's where the gospel thrives, where true strength is found and where Jesus patiently waits to remind us that, in the end, it's not about us, but about Him.
Thank you for doing what you do. You may not be okay right now, but you are brave, and that's okay. You may not be okay right now, but you are inspiring, and that's okay. You may not be okay right now, but what you are doing is beautiful, not because you always have to be but because Jesus always is, and if that's all you have to cling to right now, then that is certainly okay too.
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