When Everything Goes Pear-Shaped ...
Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.
I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
There will be days during your foster journey when it is all roses and unicorns. By all means, please embrace those moments, for in fostering, as in any family relationship, those moments can go south quickly. The hard times may include loving a child as they struggle to transition from instability into a structured, safe place in your fold. Difficult times may come at you in a scheduling crisis, such as when you are trying to prioritize family visits, therapy, and doctor appointments. The hard stuff may come in ways that are personal and private to the child, which make it hard for you to endure and others to understand . It's hard and messy, and it's real.
If the children have been traumatized, you may see this come out in unusual behaviors or fear. All of this may lead to your own fear and heartbreak. Right now, stop and pray! Pray specifically, authentically, and hard for whatever difficulties you are enduring and fears you have building up, along with each foster child you have. You are standing in the gap for a child who has been attacked in very specific and vicious ways by the enemy of our souls. As hard as whatever it is you a walking with them through may be, please know that God is holding every foster child, and He is holding them closely. There is nothing that escapes His knowledge, and every tear a child sheds is simply precious to Him.
He doesn’t want this hardship for the children or for you. God isn’t punishing or “doing it.” God is a good, good Father. He is listening for you, waiting for you to reach out and pour out your heart like a drink offering on behalf of your young child. It doesn’t matter much if this child who is facing this big, hard stuff is yours for a moment, a season, or possibly forever; that child is God’s, eternally.
So in the hard and the messy, turn to Jesus, quickly. Then turn back to each foster child and be the arms and hands of Jesus that wrap around him or her as a reminder that he or she is specifically worthy, wanted, and dearly loved.