Fostering When You Already Have Kids
Trusting God with Your Family
Mary Dickins of Fostering Hope discusses the ins and outs of adding foster kids to your family life
The two most common reasons people give for not fostering are, "I could never give them back, I would get too attached." And, "I am worried about the impact on my own children." Both are valid reasons, and also great to explore.
This discussion will explore the concern about your own children.
Fostering is one of the oddest things in our community
First that we have a whole system set up to remove children from their families of birth, keep them safe, and put them into formal care arrangements. Taking time to think about this makes you realise how odd it is ... and why it is such a broken system.
We have a whole system set up to remove children from their families of birth
So, stepping into this system needs to be done with eyes wide open and being willing to rely on God and ask help from your church family and others. It will have an impact on every part of your life, your home, your choices, your work, your extended family and of course your own children.
Trust God with the process
Saying, "We should trust God in this process, and trust God to protect our kids," is what I want to say. But it is also scary, because we know of birth children who have been negatively impacted in devastating ways by the fostering journey, and this of course is not God's plan.
Just like any journey when you step out in faith in response to God, you need to trust God with the process and the outcome. And just like any process, you need to seek wisdom and prayer from other Christians around you. Pray over your family, pray over your children, pray for the children who enter your home, and continue this prayer throughout your fostering journey.
Positives for your own kids
Fostering can also have an incredibly positive impact on your biological children, in ways far more unexpected than we could imagine. Children who do feel loved and safe often assume all children grow up this way, so when they find out there are children who don't, they want to help.
Your children are sheltered from the messiness of the system and can simply open their home, and their family, because they can feel the injustice of a child not having what they take for granted. Their hearts can break for the children who enter their world and they, just like us as Christian carers, pray powerful prayers for the children and their families. One night in our home, one biological son prayed for our youngest foster sons to stay with us for ever, and our other biological son prayed for their birth parents to get better so they could go home!
In our journey, so far, fostering has been a powerful testimony of our biological sons' faith, reliance on God, and desire to open their homes and lives to God's plans for them.
Mary Dickins, and her husband Allan, are passionate about foster care. Their five boys are a mix of their own, and fostered children.
To help Christians engage with fostering, they founded Fostering Hope. It was only when they began fostering that God revealed what a powerful means it is to show His love in the community, transform lives for eternity, be forced to rely on Him, and ultimately live out the call as Christians to love the orphan and vulnerable in our community.
Tasmanian Baptists have engaged Fostering Hope to encourage Baptist churches to take on the care of foster children.
If you are interested in talking through the possibility of foster care, please contact Mary: firstname.lastname@example.org
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