Handling Negativity as a Foster Parent

NegativityI consider myself a positive person. I’m upbeat, maybe even spunky. But the constant drone of the unknown in my child’s life sometimes threatens to squelch my smile. People mean well when they ask if there’s an update on a foster care placement, but there often isn’t. Even when I can give them a “court date” to look forward to, there’s a strong chance that nothing will happen.

Some people handle this with grace, saying that they’ll be praying about it or nodding in understanding that “the system” is hard to navigate. Other people ask questions I don’t have the answer to. Why aren’t they moving faster? Haven’t you told them X-Y-Z?

***Heavy sigh.***

I realize more each day that God didn’t call me to be a foster parent because I would be good at it. He called me to be a foster parent to teach me how badly I need Him. (And possibly that I’m a control freak.)

It’s become my mantra to end every conversation about foster parenting with one staple line:

“…But the good news is to remember that this is all God’s plan. God isn’t surprised by these delays, and He’s put our son exactly where he’s supposed to be at each moment.”

Honestly, I don’t usually say it with much feeling, because it’s easy to feel like He isn’t there. But that makes it more imperative for me to say it. To speak it as a witness to myself, reminding ME of the truth. God doesn’t wait for a call from the caseworker to hear if court was another continuance. God knows already. In fact, He planned it that way! He’s not surprised.

My daily battle to fight the boring, fight the mundane, fight the unchanging status quo that seems to threaten my family is a fight I can only win when I let go. And so, I preach to myself. I remind myself daily that this has been the plan all along.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! – Psalm 27:14

For more resources for learning about, and dealing with foster families, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Foster Families Help Center.
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Written by Kelley Rose Waller

Kelley has a B.A. in English and is an avid writer. She enjoys writing to offer others insights based on her own observations and life experiences including being a foster parent. You can find more of her writing on her personal blog at http://www.kelleyrosewaller.com/blog/. Kelley also writes fiction to imagine new life experiences. Her debut novel, The Senator’s Youngest Daughter, was released on October 1, 2016.

Kelley’s day job as a marketing strategist offers her the opportunity to write and plan for clients in diverse fields. Kelley is a ridiculous fan of science fiction and board games. She and her husband are foster parents and live in Lancaster PA with their three sons and their dog. Kelley lives and writes to uplift and glorify the name of Jesus Christ.