Sunday, June 10, 2012

Top 10 - Hopes/Dreams For Our Foster Kids

Dan and I both have hopes and expectations when it comes to fostering. We try hard to keep open minds and stay flexible, but it's only natural for us to want it to go a certain way. In my heart of hearts, these are the Top 10 things I hope and dream about for our foster girls:

1. Healing. I hope that their time in our home gives them the opportunity to heal from any abuse or trauma they've experienced in their little lives.

2. To go home. Truly, my first hope for them is that they are able to return to their families. I pray that their parents will take the help given to them, grow, change and mature into people who are ready to parent their children.

3. If they can't go home, I hope to keep them :) Dan and I have felt called to adopt for years. We've pursued it a few times, but the timing (or location!) was never right. If the heartbreaking worst were to happen and these sweet girls couldn't go home, I absolutely hope they could become ours forever.

4. To learn healthy attachment and trust. Many children who enter the foster care system do so without ever having attached to their parents. Their parents have not been trust worthy and their interactions with their parents have rarely been nurturing. I hope that somehow, we can help to break down the walls of distrust and be an example of people they can count on. I want them to see that even though their parents failed in this way, it doesn't mean they always will fail them. People change and there's always hope.

5. To know that God's saving grace is bigger than their broken situations. We have an incredible opportunity to share the love of Christ with these kids. Of course, we have to be sensitive to the parent's beliefs, but there are more ways than one to show the love of God to a person :)

6. Create positive childhood memories. I cannot imagine the impact we might be able to have on the foster children in our home. They will know their entire life that their government had to remove them from home  and be placed in a strangers home for their own safety. What a weight to carry! I hope that while they live with us, we can give them fun family experiences that they might also carry throughout their childhood. I hope that picnics, trips to the zoo and birthday celebrations will all be such treasured moments for them.

7. Forgiveness. I'm not going to lie. It will be extremely difficult for Dan and I to forgive any parent that has abused our foster children. To be supportive and non-judgmental in those situations for the good of the child and bio family-wow. Feels impossible. But, for their sake, I hope that Dan and I can forgive and teach our foster children to forgive their parents, too. God is big enough and can restore broken relationships. I just hope these kids will trust that.

8. Fight against bitterness. The flip side of forgiving is fighting against bitterness. Forgiveness is not a one time thing, especially as it pertains to abuse. There will be times in these kids' adult lives where the memories of abuse will effect their marriages, jobs and own parenting experiences. They will find themselves forgiving their parents over and over again. I hope (somehow!) to teach them how to do this, to let it go instead of hold onto their anger.

9. To know their worth. Like children who are adopted, foster children question their worth. They wonder what they must have done to deserve such a sad lot in life. I intend to tell and show our foster girls in any way I can about how special they are. We live in a sinful world. People are abused and overlooked all the time, but there is one who always sees. God is their creator and protector and I hope they will cling to that truth all their lives.

10. To know they have a purpose in life. Along with knowing their worth, knowing their purpose is something I truly hope for these girls. Everyone has a purpose in life and although their specific vocation may not be understood for some time, their life's purpose can be known!

Westminster Shorter Catechism:

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever

I hope these girls truly learn about their Father in Heaven, that He loves them and has a purpose for them, one that is so full of life and love and sacrifice. A purpose that will fill them up with hope and gladness through all their lives. It's impossible to be hopeless when you're enjoying God! 


  1. Good luck with the little twins! It sounds like you've already given this a lot of thought and are ready for them to move on in!

  2. thanks Paige! we're actually not sure if they will be twins...i'm just hoping :)

  3. i totally got teary reading this!