Jeff and I have been talking a lot lately about our foster care and adoption journey. We’ve been on this road for 19 years. It has been a road paved with potholes and gravel, smooth lines and sharp curves, straight-aways, mountaintops and steep hills that almost cause you to reverse course. It certainly has not been an easy road, or a sight-seeing trip. It has been a voyage of sorts- one that has taken us to places we never dreamed we’d see: saying goodbye to over 50 children, releasing our ‘daughter’ to a destiny we would not have chosen, and adopting two beautiful children. I have often said that the ‘blessings far outweigh the sacrifice”.
And most of the time they do. This week, I’ve been thinking about my older kids- Chase 25, Caleb 22, Cara 21, and Connor 17. They are four of the most precious people I know. They are all so different and yet blend together to bring Jeff and I more joy than we could have ever imagined. They certainly are not perfect and don’t pretend to be! But, they love us unconditionally and they support us unconditionally. Foster care and adoption have shaped each one of them in a special way, but the call on my life has cost them. You can’t candy coat it; it has cost them. They have shared their parents for 19 years. They have loved over 50 children well. They have babysat, changed diapers, sung lullabies, talked through problems, held hands, kissed boo-boos, prayed diligently, kissed and hugged and said goodbye. They have laughed and cheered and grieved and cried. They have given themselves to the cause.
But they are at the ages now where Jeff and I should (by society’s norm) be available for them at any time; to travel, to sit down and talk, to go out, etc., Yet, we are not the typical parents of teens and twenty-somethings….we have two ‘little’ ones at home. (Two little ones that we love with all of our hearts and that all of us know were deliberately and with great purpose placed specifically in our family!) Nonetheless, our older children are still sacrificing. Jeff and I want to be aware of that; we want them to know how grateful we are that they are willing to sacrifice, that they are willing to come alongside us on this journey, that they are sold out to their sister and brother as well as every other vulnerable child that needs the love and nurture of a family. Tonight I just want all of my children to know how much I love them and appreciate them.
All six of them are an incredible blessing from God; so I guess when it all comes down to it; the blessings really do outweigh the sacrifice.