foster care: the fear of if they go back home

A lot of people gave really sweet feedback to my post about when Naudia met her birth mom for the first time.
The kind words poured in, and each and every one of them touched my heart so much.
Since then, I’ve got an array of questions regarding all things foster care and adoption.
Which I LOVE.
I have such a passion to share our experience with it all, because the reality is, foster care is beautiful.

I was just talking with my friend today about how you never hear of the good, beautiful, redemptive stories of foster care.
You only hear of the disheartening, nasty ones.
My goal, and my husband’s as well, is to make foster care normal.
To alleviate all the fears as best as we can.
A lot of people tell me that with Naudia (our very first placement),
“of course it was easy and of course you think it’s all great and beautiful… your first placement, you adopted, and there was little involvement from anyone about her going anywhere from your home.”
I’ll tell you right now that it’s not as if I didn’t have any fears the whole time up until the day of adoption.
I did.
Because, well, that’s normal.
It’s normal to be fearful of the unknown.
But, I’m here to tell you, that that is the worst reason to say no to taking children into your home.
Fear has no place to dictate our future or our kids’ future.
One of the main questions I get a lot is,
“But… how would you ever be able to give the kid back?”
You see, this was one of my main concerns as well.
(Again… TOTALLY normal.)

I remember as we went through training, my husband wanted to make sure my heart was prepared for if we took in a child and that child went back to their biological family
(in any form: aunt, grandma, bio mom, bio dad, etc.).

I think for us, our answer is simple.
We would rather take the heart ache of the world on our shoulders in order to care for these orphans, than live in a comfortable, more controlled space, and as a result, these kids get terrible homes or a group home where they have no father figure, no mother figure, just a different staff employee that clocks in every 8 hours to meet their basic needs.
This is heart wrenching to me, because that’s exactly these kids’ reality if we don’t step up.

When we first heard about foster care, and we did the research of what it looked like and the need here in Arizona.
I remember Ken telling me, as he was reading online,
“there’s literally babies having to sleep in office spaces some nights because DCS can’t find them a home.”
This broke my heart.

I took one look at our second bedroom, in our two bedroom condo, and thought…
“I’m going to put a baby in that room.”

Little did I know that I would still be in the same two bedroom condo three kids later,
but that’s a beautiful story for another time.
What I’m saying is,
 the cost doesn’t even compare to the reward.

The cost of you taking a child into your home, doesn’t even compare to the reward and blessing these children receive when you radically change their lives by welcoming them into your loving home.

I think about the fact, that if I would have just given into my fear of not being able to handle the heartache of a child possibly going back to their biological family,
we would have never said yes to foster care.
We would have never said yes to Naudia,
and ultimately would have never said yes to changing the course of her life and many generations that come after her.
It blows my mind to think of the generational, addictive cycles of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and neglect that we have completely broken off of her life by saying YES to God and YES to opening our home to homeless children in Arizona.
That being said, I think it’s absolutely, positively crucial to write out your own personal costs of taking children into your home, in fact, my husband and I have done this multiple times.

Just recently, was a couple weeks ago, when I felt God ask me to open our home for placement that week (totally not in our timeline, but I KNEW God was asking us to).

For us, the deciding factor was that our reasons “not to” weren’t good enough reasons, for us, to keep a homeless baby from a loving, Christ centered home.

I read a book that I absolutely recommend to every person ever considering foster care–

Reframing Foster Care

(click the title to buy it from Amazon)

As I read this book that a friend recommended to me after we had already adopted Naudia, I was blown away by how much I stood in agreement with what the author wrote.

I found myself saying, “wait! that’s exactly what I’ve been telling people all along!”

In conclusion, I want to leave you with some of my absolute favorite quotes regarding the fear of the child leaving your home to go back to the bio family:

“Let’s spend less time talking about what it will cost us if we DO foster or adopt, and more time talking about what it will cost these kids if we DON’T.”

“Kids in crisis can’t afford to wait until it’s most convenient for us to care for them.”

“What we stand to lose pales in comparison to what everyone else, especially these kids, stands to gain.”