‘Lord, When Did We See You in Foster Care?’ - Living Strong Television Network
‘Lord, When Did We See You in Foster Care?’

Caring for foster children can be difficult—even devastating. It is also a revelation of the love God gives and expects of his people.

“Let’s be honest,” my friend Joe told me, “I will probably never be a foster parent. I admire what you do, but that’s not for me.”

I had suggested foster care after hearing him describe his volunteer service as uninspiring. Joe’s response bothered me, but I understood. He had seen enough of my family life to know that it often wasn’t pleasant.

Over a decade ago, my husband and I welcomed three siblings, ages one, two, and three, as foster children. We later adopted them, feeling equipped for our “adoption journey” with specialized parenting methods and a strong support network. The children were sweet and smart, seemed to attach well, and hit their obvious developmental milestones.

Yet throughout their elementary years, there was a low rumble of troubles: extreme outbursts, surprising dishonesty, and atypical peer relationships. When they reached adolescence, the rumble became a roar.

We tried to fill “normal” parent roles while piling on more and more “extras” to help them adjust: sports, tutoring, therapy, individualized education programs, social worker visits, doctor’s appointments, and medications. Then we nearly drowned in a swell of psychiatric evaluations, police reports, hospital stays, insurance appeals, and out-of-state residential treatment for two of our three children. It was a mental health “tsunami” of the kind Julia Duin described in a 2022 Newsweek story about adoptive families who find out the hard way that children with early trauma often have overwhelming developmental needs and behaviors.

My friend Joe was in ministry at his church, and his definite No thank you made me sad and …

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