We did it! We went to our first foster care training class last night. There were actually a lot of people there and I was pretty amazed. Everyone shared a bit of their story and after an hour of hearing from everyone, the room was full of people’s heartache and joys. One couple was there after a failed adoption, several have already been foster parents to many kids in the past and are renewing their licenses, and two couples (including us) and two single women were there as an indirect result of Denise who is a friend of ours and blogs about her adventures with fostering/adopting teenage boys (yikes!) here.
Regardless of the countless reasons someone might become a foster parent, the most resonating thing we talked about was why someone should not foster. The teacher shared her story about fostering 20 years ago and how she did it simply to “fill her emotional bucket.” She admits freely now that she should never have been a foster parent and my favorite line from her was “if you have holes in your bucket already, these kids will not fill your bucket. They will take from your bucket, leaving you more empty than when you started.” Oh how true this is. I don’t believe she is a Christian, but I made a note about this topic to write more when I got home.
This thought is so true of anything we do to try to make ourselves “feel” whole and full. In theory, taking kids into your home who have come from all backgrounds and have all sorts of hurts and scars would make you feel pretty good about yourself. And it might, for a while. But if you don’t address the problem of holes in your bucket, nothing will ever quite make you feel good “enough.” The only thing I could think of when our teacher was talking about this was how Jesus has patched my holes and makes me whole and healed. And only because of HIM is my bucket overflowing already. We are ready to love because we have been freely and greatly loved.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us” –1 John 4:16-19