I have been very careful to be positive about our experiences as foster parents. I want to encourage other families to step up to the plate and open their homes. But Wednesday as I sat at our FamilyLife staff conference and listened to the band members of Sanctus Real share their trials, I realized that I needed to share with my MomLife Today family the struggle our family is going through. They stood on stage in front of a roomful of strangers and shared about the heartache of divorce and an unborn baby with a heart problem. I appreciated their transparency. During one song, I broke down sobbing while rocking Sweet Pea, our 11-month-old foster baby. She has been in our home for nine months and is as much a part of our family as our other children. Next week we find out the date that we send our little Sweet Pea to live with relatives.

You see, I have this internal war going on. I want to watch Sweet Pea grow up. No, I want to experience Sweet Pea growing up, not just watch. I daily have to remind myself that she, and my other children, belong to my Father — not me. I have the privilege of experiencing and guiding their lives, but they are not mine. I also love Sweet Pea’s birth family, not for their actions or status, but I love them because they are made in the image of my Creator. And while I want them to succeed and be the parents God called them to be, I am struggling to let go of this little girl.

As the date for Sweet Pea to transition to her family grows closer, I feel that I am watching a speeding train bear down on me while I am helpless to stop it. I know that my family is about to experience tremendous pain: the loss of this child. But in spite of the pain, and sometimes anger and despair, I have peace. I know that God would not call us to foster this baby if He wasn’t going to hold us when she leaves. And I know that we will voluntarily foster again, not because of the pain, but because of the peace, the joy, and the spiritual growth.

“Whatever You’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there’s peace
It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see
but I’m giving in to something Heavenly.”

“Whatever You’re Doing” by Sanctus Real