Handling Negativity as a Foster Parent
I 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?
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 27:14For more resources for learning about, and dealing with foster families, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Foster Families Help Center.