Chronicling the joys and challenges of fostering and adopting.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day

I know this is a day late, but I wanted to take the time to write about motherhood and foster care. 

Obviously, I’m not the mother, so I’m writing this from the outside in. But one thing I can tell you about foster care is that oftentimes, the foster mom takes the brunt of a child’s trauma; not just because she’s home with them all day, but because most kids already have a bio-mom, whereas the bio-father may or may not be in the picture. And this has been the case in nearly all of our placements. 
When we first started, we came into foster care hoping to rescue children from hopeless situations. And in some ways we’ve done that. But what no one tells you is that many of these kids don’t want to be saved. Despite their circumstances, before being removed, the kids can count on life being familiar. They know what to expect, even if they can only expect abuse or neglect. What’s more is that there is an inherent bond between a parent and child, even if it’s dysfunctional, and this is especially true of the biological mother. So we find that most kids have a desperate desire to be reconciled to their biological mother, even if that relationship is untenable.
As a result of these discoveries, Rach has spent much of her time as a nurturer knowing that there is some type of disconnect between herself and most of our children. Our kids love her, but given the choice, some of them might choose their bio-mom over her if given the chance… and this is a heart wrenching reality. In essence, Rach has been called to be a mother to children who, at least at times, wish to have someone else in that role. 
But years ago, up in our bathroom, Rach printed off a verse in which Paul writes, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:10-11). Rach has participated in Christ’s sufferings in ways I may never experience. Christ died for us even when we were still enemies. Even as Christians, we push away constantly when He would draw near. 

Similarly, Rach has offered herself for these kids, though they unknowingly and subconsciously push away. But she keeps pushing forward anyway. And this is to love as Christ loves. It’s not always done in perfection, and many times we have rough days where we just need to regroup and let tomorrow be a new day. But if there’s one thing that foster care has taught me, it’s in the realization of just how far Christ moves toward us in spite of ourselves, and Rach has played no small role in that realization.
Thank you Rach, for your persistence and constancy in loving these kids. It’s often thankless work, but you’ve excelled in it.

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