By, Bethany Weaver
One of my older boys came to me a week ago and said, “Mom, I think I’m doing something wrong. I love my foster brother too much. I already consider him my real brother. It will be hard to let him go!”
It got me thinking: how much is “too much”? Although we adopted our three older children from foster care, we are new to being foster parents.
There were many uphill obstacles including Covid! But, God worked in ways unseen and before we knew it, we were licensed and received the call. Our first placement was a two-week old baby boy. He weighed just 6 pounds and fit in perfectly with our family. The middle of the night feedings are tough, but we wouldn’t trade this opportunity for the world!
Yet, how do we love this little guy- giving him a safe place to land- while also protecting our hearts in the event that he is only with us temporarily?
The answer is: you don’t. If you are loving hesitantly or holding back in any way, you aren’t fulfilling the law of Christ.
Consider the examples of Jesus. Jesus loved Lazarus and cried when Lazarus died. Also, the Bible speaks in John 21:7 of “that disciple whom Jesus loved.” He also loved children and said in Matthew 19:14, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me.” Additionally, He interacted with those who were sick with contagious diseases but loved them anyway, healing many. Jesus did not hold back in His care or love for those around Him despite their physical, mental, emotional or spiritual condition. He even took time to make friends knowing He would not grow old with them.
So, as a foster mom to a now 6 week old baby boy who already has my heart:
- I choose to sing him every Bible song I know not knowing if I will ever hear him sing those songs.
- I choose to change his poopy diapers not knowing if I will ever rejoice with his pooping in the potty.
- I chose to lovingly bathe him not knowing if he will ever shower like a big boy in my home.
- I choose to tell him I love him daily not knowing if I will ever hear him say those words to me.
- I choose to wash his bottles wondering if I will ever see him eat solid food.
- I choose to change his onesie wondering if I will ever see him wear non-newborn size clothing.
- I choose to take the pictures/videos and share the updates with friends and family knowing my time might be limited and there may come a day I have no updates.
Basically, if I am truly following Jesus’ example, I choose to wholeheartedly love this little one as if he shared my last name, holding nothing back.
So, I looked lovingly at my older son who was so concerned he was doing something wrong when he loved his foster brother “too much” and said, “Oh, no son, it is impossible to love him too much. And, that tells me you are approaching this situation correctly.”
Because, let’s face it- the alternative would be:
1. Little guy stays in a situation that is unsafe.
2. He is placed in an orphanage-like environment and receives little daily cuddles, attention or love.
3. He is placed with a homosexual couple and grows up confused.
4. He is exposed to second-hand smoke/drugs.
5. Or. Much. Worse.
None of these choices are acceptable just so my heart isn’t broken if he leaves my home. Therefore, I will love him wholeheartedly, allowing myself to get attached, daily telling him he is loved and wanted, and calling myself mama to him. Why? God has called us in James 1:27 to “visit the fatherless”. Hence, in accordance with God’s command, I choose to face my heart being broken if he leaves tomorrow so that he is loved today… just like Jesus was willing to face His body being broken for us so that we could have a secure, loving and safe home in Heaven someday.
Friend, what hard thing is God asking you to do? Are you willing to endure physical, emotional or mental difficulties to showcase Christ in your life? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone and be vulnerable doing whatever God wants you to do?
Foster care is hard and not for everyone. But, everyone can have a part. You could pray for the safety of children whose home situation is less than ideal, encourage fellow foster parents, advocate for pro-life endeavors, bring chocolate and coffee (to any mom), and volunteer at a pro-life clinic.
Or, maybe-just maybe - God is asking you to open your home to a child in need. There will always be children who need a soft place to land. What part will you play in loving this world “too much” for Christ?