by Kerry Frantz
Becoming a foster parent is something that I never would have pictured my life to include. But I saw a very good friend of mine foster, and God had placed foster care on my heart. Saying yes to foster care has been the hardest, but best thing I have ever done. It has required a lot of sacrifice, more patience than I knew I had, and a HUGE piece of my heart.
Every foster parent’s experience is different, but here is some of what I have learned and experienced: the effects of trauma and loss on a child are real. Although it can’t be erased, you can be love, stability and hope for that child. You can show them who God is and share His love, because although a child may be temporary in your life, there is nothing temporary about God’s love for them. His love is what will carry you through this broken foster care system, it’s the only way to make it.
Being a foster parent means you give everything you’ve got and you celebrate BIGthe small wins that you get to witness along the way. You get to be a part of God’s big plans for the children He has placed in your home.But foster care does come with its challenges. Being a single foster parent can be lonely, exhausting, and there have been a whole lot of tears. But grace meets you where you are, and you learn to extend that grace to everyone else who is a part of the system. I have experienced a special kind of love that I didn’t even know existed until I became a foster mom, there are no words for that part. I have learned to hold onto the sweet moments (because there have been so many!) and trust that God will carry us through whatever will come. If you think that foster care may be on your heart, there are so many ways to get involved, we can all do something to support these kids and come alongside their families. If you wait until a convenient time to get involved, you may always be waiting. As hard as it can be, I really do feel that this is just the beginning of my foster care journey. My very sheltered little world will never be the same. So to my current (and future) fosters, you are worth it.
“The tragedy of a life that is never fully lived is not solely the loss of that one life. The tragedy is the endless number of lives that would have been forever changed if we had chosen to live differently” Erwin McManus, The Last Arrow