It started when I saw a picture of my former foster son with his Bio-dad on Facebook. My heart just sunk. I know that I should be happy for him. And really, I am. But, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard to see. That’s the beauty and brokenness of foster care. It’s how Jason Johnson says in his blog, “Everything…everything about foster care is equal parts good and bad, joy and sorrow, beauty and brokenness.”
Really, when I see the picture, I want so deeply for that relationship to bring healing and wholeness to “my” child. My role as a foster parent is to see families restored. My humanness wanted to take him back and keep him safe. To hold him and comfort him. His parents will never know the tears he cried in my arms, his tantrums and meltdowns, his nightmares, his laughter and smiles shared with my children.
He was my son for nearly 3 years. 913 days more or less. I love him with everything in me. I kept the very last flowers he picked for me. I didn’t want to give him back to his family. But he was never mine to begin with. None of my children are. Not even my biological ones. They belong to the one who loves, gives, and cares more than I ever could.
When we decided to get into fostercare, we gave up the comfortable and easy for the difficult and demanding. It was hard and is still hard. But God didn’t promise me easy. He promised me that He is always with me and in me. That is what sustains me to do this again and again. While I experienced a painful loss, my little boy experienced a great love. Jesus has bigger plans for him than I ever could have dreamed.
Jason Johnson writes in The Beauty and Brokeness of Fostercare, “Foster care is a beautiful expression of the Gospel. It demands a selfless, costly and potentially painful love for the sake of a child gaining much, as you willingly give all. This is exactly what Jesus has done for us. He joyfully laid down the infinite value of His own life so that we might know the immeasurable worth of being fully and unconditionally loved by Him.”
It’s okay to hurt. I pray that my heart will continue to break for what breaks God’s.
written by Heather Hansen