My husband and I always knew that “one day” we wanted to foster. His father grew up in foster care and contributed much of his success in life to his foster families. Being that family for a child was important to my husband, and to me. As God kept working on our hearts, we began to ask ourselves, “why wait, why not now?”  Fast forward and here we are 14 months in as a foster family. About two weeks after becoming licensed, we welcomed two little boys into our home. We picked the youngest up from the hospital and then his brother about an hour later. If I am honest, those first weeks felt a bit like a circus. I can vividly remember standing at my dining table feeling overwhelmed. Reality sank in as I felt the weight of these two tiny humans who were looking up at me, no doubt wondering if we were going to be able to provide them with what no other home had yet to provide. We were the newborns first home, but sadly we were not the first for his brother. Honestly, I too felt unsure. Not picture perfect, but it was reality.

Those first days, weeks and months consisted of finding new routines, appointments, tears (theirs and ours), endless snuggles, falling in love with two new children (having 5 biologicals as well), meeting the practical needs of a newborn, and learning all about the sweet boy now calling us mom and dad. Though we are still learning, I can say we have found a beautiful rhythm. As I look back over the past year, I see how much we have grown not only as parents, but as people too.

Let me be honest with you for a minute, foster care is not for the faint of heart. It is hard, sometimes really hard. Let me also be honest and tell you, these kids are worth it. If I can give one piece of advice to those considering fostering, you must embrace that foster care is not about you. It is about offering a child something, and someone, that they are desperate for. It is about choosing to love not only with your feelings, but with an action of choice too. Though we still endure our share of hard, I am no longer unsure like I was in the beginning. One day at a time and doing the best we can, we walk in obedience to a mission we believe God has called us to. We have also been blessed with a village of both family and friends who willingly walk alongside us. To make it simple, fostering just takes a willing spirit. I hope you might find that same willing spirit within yourself because if you can, you will undoubtedly bless a child with it.

Our oldest foster son recently drew a picture for me on my birthday. It was covered in hearts, smiley faces, and in his sweet handwriting it said, “you will always be my mom”. What a gift! Being a mom is the greatest responsibility and mission field I will ever have. Every day that I get to protect, correct, plant seeds, and love not only my biological children, but any child that God places in my path, is a gift from God. So, whether it’s for a season, or forever, we love them as our own. Scripture tells us, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13. Consider choosing love in this way friends. It will never fail.