I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the expectations all of us have when we begin our foster care journey. For me, I only knew that I was called to be a foster mom, but really had no idea what to expect. For some, it is the expectation of pouring oneself into the life of a child in an effort to put that child on the road to a healthy, happy, Spirit-filled life. For others, it’s about community involvement- making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children right here at home. And for others, it is the expectation of building a family by adopting through foster care. Whatever our motives and whether we know it or not, we all enter fostering with expectations.
The tough truth is that as we move through the process, many of our expectations are unmet or even shattered….a case that takes a sharp unexpected turn at the end, a child placed back into an uncertain situation, caseworkers who are disinterested or even put-off by the opinions of foster parents, a broken system that never seems to get it right. All of these situations are difficult and if we are not careful may turn our foster care dream into a nightmare or even extinguish it altogether.
What can we do when our expectations are unmet or we feel like the process is worthless and we have failed? It’s about a choice. It really is. We can either give up and go about life as usual, or we can make a determined decision to stay in the game even when we don’t feel like it. (And rest assured there are many times when you and I would be justified to throw in the towel!!!) Perseverance is key. And it is hard. But, I can say from personal experience that when we persevere, God is pleased. He will move in ways we could never have expected in our wildest dreams. Even though His timing may be different that we would like, He is the only One who can and will exceed any expectations our human minds can conjure up! He is hope in a world where we often feel hopeless. He is provision when it seems no one really cares. He is justice over a system that often has its priorities skewed.
I’ve heard from several of you lately about the tough situations you are in, and I believe today that God can and will intervene because “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine.” (Eph. 3:20)