Doing the Next Thing
In November, guest author Kristen Swick Wong wrote a post titled “Adoption: Do the next thing.” Working for an orphans’ ministry and daily hearing about children needing care can be convicting enough. But the combination of the Cry of the Orphan campaign, our state facing a vote on allowing or not allowing co-habitating couples to foster children, and Kristin’s post all happening in November really had my husband and me on our knees in prayer. We realized that it was time to “do the next thing” in faith.
We attended an informational meeting held by The CALL (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime) to find out how we could be involved in caring for the 3500 children in foster care in the state of Arkansas. The CALL is a partnership between the church and the Department of Human Services to train foster parents, adoptive parents, and those who wish to work with children in foster care. We decided to take the next step and fill out paperwork, begin our background checks, and signed up for foster training. We were excited that the training would be completed over two weekends, rather than several months of classes. Several opportunities were presented to work with foster children in addition to fostering.
In January, a social worker had scheduled a visit in our home to begin our home study. As I waited for her, I was having second thoughts. My youngest child will be in school next year and I have been looking forward to new opportunities that will bring. I also love using our fourth bedroom as a guest room and am not too excited to convert it to a room for kids. My list of excuses quickly grew to include several other selfish reasons to cancel the visit.
While waiting, I was catching up on a few of my favorite blogs and noticed “Dear Birth Mom,” a post I wrote for this blog based on a letter to my adopted son’s birth mom. Through my tears, I once again read the letter and was reminded of how blessed I am to raise this precious boy. I was reminded that this is not all about me.
Caring for children in need is not about what is convenient or benefiting me. It is about becoming the hands and feet of Christ to help the hurting. I love the chorus in Sara Grove’s song “You Are The Sun”:
I am the light of the moon, with no light of my own
Still You have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can’t be a light unless I turn my face to You
Parenting is rarely convenient or easy. Daily I need to turn away from myself and toward the Son to be a reflection of Him. At this time we are unsure if this road will lead us to fostering children, to help bring The CALL to our county, or to offer respite care to other foster families. But we are confident that as long as we stay focused on God, He will show us how we can care for these precious children.