As foster parents we are often stuck in awkward moments with our friends and family when we get a new placement. In fact, it’s awkward and weird for us, too, sometimes. While it is difficult sometimes when we get awkward or inappropriate questions, it’s ten times worse when the kids get them.
We’ve waited and we’ve waited and it’s finally here! The Crucible’s Fire: A Story of God’s Faithfulness is ready for Pre-Order. Get your copy on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble. If you are not a subscriber to this blog or The Potter’s Hands, our Disciplemaking blog, Use the buttons to subscribe and receive a FREE PREVIEW CHAPTER of the book.
My wife saw this comment on a post on the Humans of Foster Care Facebook page.
"My 6 year old adopted from foster care asks me when he sees a mom with a baby 'I wonder if she's a safe mommy or if he needs a new family' "
This is the tragedy we walk in every day. These little ones have seen so much and have such a tragic worldview. Consider foster care today. Show them a redeemed world that looks nothing like the one they know. We would love to show you how to get started.
Just over a week ago a new foster placement came to our home. He is five. It feels weird to call a child a “placement,” but that is the term. He is small and lovable. As I stated in last week’s post, each new face brings to mind the heaviness of a world broken since that fateful act of disobedience in the garden. However, from time to time, out of the ashes of abuse and neglect we are privileged … no, blessed and humbled … to see a flower of life and redemption sprout where once there was only desolation.
In her charming and insightful book, ThoughtFull, author Dorena Williamson shines light on something we desperately need more of in our world; thinking of others and appreciating our differences. This delightful children’s book is a wonderful teaching tool and conversation starter as we attempt to teach them how to be more like Jesus as they relate to the world around them.
When I was in college I learned something that has stuck with me ever since. It's called the Peter Principle. It was developed by a fellow named Laurence J. Peter. In simple terms, his theory states that people tend to rise to the level of their incompetence. You could say it another way:
People are often promoted one level higher than they are capable of performing.
Loneliness. Fear. Guilt. Hope. Anxiety. Anger. Bitterness. Despair.
All of these are emotions a family goes through when trying to be an active part of a church family. It's even worse if they are coming in as visitors. Depending on the severity and type of the disability, the emotions are different.
"What is your motivation for your struggle for holiness?
"If I do things around the house like clean up, do the dishes, or laundry because of fear that if I don't my wife will go bananas and yell at me, how much joy do I find in doing those things? However, if I do the very same things out of love for her and out of a desire to serve her and for her joy, then how much joy do I find in doing those things?
"It is the same way with God. If my motivation for holiness is fear, then there we find no joy. If our motivation is love, then in that we find infinite joy."
One of the things I love about scripture is the divinely inspired tensions that seem to riddle its pages. One of those moments comes from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14. In it, Paul says,
"13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Many years ago I heard a sermon where the preacher pointed out how we could tell what was important to us by what was in our checkbook register. Apparently at that time, as now, Wal-Mart is EXTREMELY high on that list. It isn’t that I worship Wal-Mart, it just so happens the bulk of what we buy for our family of 7 comes from there. I mean, they carry everything!
The Crucible's Fire: A Story of God's Faithfulness will be released by Lucid Books Publishing this Fall! Subscribe to our blog at www.thecruciblesfire.org for up-to-date release information and an opportunity to win a FREE COPY!
If there is one thing I have learned as a foster / adoptive parent it is that my perspective is often wrong, or at least different. By often I mean almost always, it seems. As we prepared to go on a short little vacation with our boys, we started noticing strange questions, packing sequences that didn't make sense, and other oddities. It didn't take long to realize that once again, our perspective was off. I'll explain what I mean by sharing some conversations we had before and during our vacation.
If you are an educator, you NEED to read this. As an educator, parent, and foster parent of children impacted by trauma this is spot on, needed,and under-trained. You guys are the day to day front line from 8 to 4. Seriously. Read it. Please. This concept should be in every Professional Development package an administrator puts together.
Have you ever wondered how other people think of you or your family? I have. As my kids have gotten older and our first grandchild came on the scene, I have wondered what they think about our family and how they would describe it to someone else. So, a couple of weeks ago I asked them to list a few things they think of when they think of "us", things that defined who we are through their eyes. This isn't a complete list by any means, but here is what they said...
So, tonight we put Brynna to bed, it was uneventful. You know, only 4 meds tonight instead of 5; no shot today. Even on simple nights I'm sometimes reminded, and saddened a little, that normal for us is "how many meds are we giving tonight?". But times like this make that a short-lived thought ... you see, when we brought her home they said she would never love, know love, show love, let alone speak love.
As the parents of a child with chronic special needs and foster/adoptive parents, we have had someone in and out of our home almost constantly for over a decade. Even before we ever brought Brynna home from the hospital we had to meet with social workers, DME (Durable Medical Equipment) companies, doctors, nursing agencies, and eventually, the nurses themselves.