Last Updated on April 12, 2018
“Please close our foster home…” These were very painful words to type. The decision to close our home to fostering was far harder to make than the decision to open our home and our hearts to children in foster care. But it was a necessary decision to allow us to focus on healing and bonding after an adoption and to also have time to minister to other foster families.
The next few months felt odd. No phone calls from the Department of Children and Family Services asking if we could care for a child in need. Only counting to five when rounding up my children, planning a menu, grocery shopping. Moments of panic, sure I had left someone behind. Strange dreams of losing a child. In some moments, I felt like a failure: unable to juggle my ministry, a family with diverse needs, and foster care.
Our community of friends had evolved to mostly foster families, others who understood the triumphs and struggles we endured. Would we still fit in? Was I having an identity crisis?
I slowly realized that my identity was still the same: a Christ-follower, wife, and mother. My surroundings had changed, not my identity. I am resilient. I am a… ummm… a chameleon mom. Yep, that’s right. My daily life is evolving and so must I. But I can build on my former “color” (experiences) to help others with their difficulties and rejoice with their successes.
This is one of many background changes I will experience. Too soon, I will transition into a mother of college-age children while still parenting grade-schoolers, our family will expand with children-in-law and grandchildren. Careers may change, moves may be required, hardship will come, but so will joy. Sometimes with excitement and sometimes with tears, my colors will change but my hope and my faith will always remain.
Julia DesCarpentrie is passionate about orphan care, adoption and fostering. She has been blessed to live out God’s call on her life in those areas through her work with The CALL (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime), a foster care church initiative encouraging more Christian families to foster children in need. Julia has been an advocate for the fatherless for 10 years, as both a volunteer and also serving with Hope for Orphans before her work with The CALL. She is also an active volunteer in the community and has served on several community boards. She continues to minister to other mothers and foster/adoptive families through writing and speaking with MomLife Today. Julia is the mom of five children entrusted to her care through birth, adoption and fostering. She and Branden have been married for 16 years.