By Lorie McBride, FaithBridge Foster Mom
I never dreamed of being a foster parent! My plan was to get married, teach school and have children. God’s plan has been for me to teach, start a nonprofit, foster and still be single. Isn’t it just like God to turn the thing we never wanted to do into one of the joys of our lives?
- Wealth. I may not be wealthy in dollars, but I’m rich in friendships. You’ll be amazed at how God provides through your Community of Care®, church and friends.
- Fun. My foster children and I get to explore a world they may never have experienced without me. We’ve been to the beach, zoos, aquariums and more. And we get to do it together!
- Insight. This adventure has taught me more about myself. It’s easy to think you’re patient when you live alone. I’ve had preschoolers push buttons I didn’t even know I had, which is a challenge. At the same time, I’ve also discovered ways new strengths God has given me to do the hard work of fostering that I wouldn’t have learned if I weren’t following God’s lead.
- Dependence. I’m learning to depend upon God more for wisdom, strength, provision, comfort and a listening ear. It would be lovely to have a spouse on whom to depend…but God is always there, and He is enough. Sometimes that means asking others who God has given me for help instead of trying to be strong on my own.
- Humility. I get the chance to model repentance, forgiveness and restoration when I mess up. We all learn how to conduct ourselves with God and in future relationships when fostering.
- Encouragement. The quiet voice of the Holy Spirit often corrects and encourages me when I’m correcting or encouraging my children. “Lorie, remember that you’re not always grateful,” or “Don’t give up. I know you can do it!”
- Healing. As our relationship develops, I get to help children heal from trauma. I’ve seen how they blossom from frightened little people into confident little people.
- Joy. It is refreshing to bring joy to children who may not have had much about which to laugh because of the hard places from which some of them come. Their joy is contagious! I have laughed more since I began fostering than I ever did in the past.
- Love. I give and receive unconditional love every day. Whether each of us has been naughty or nice that day, we know we love each other and that God loves us. This reminds me of what Jesus did for us on the cross and is another way I get to receive and share that grace.
- Ministry. Fostering is my mission field. The most important thing I do is to teach children that Jesus loves them. I’ve fostered children who did not know anything about Jesus before our lives intersected. A foster parent may not be the one who leads them to salvation through Jesus, but you will plant or water seeds of love and faith. God is in control of their story and will use you as part of it.
God will give you the children you need and who need you at exactly the right time. Don’t let being single or future heartbreak make you veer away from or avoid that to which God is calling you. And even if it’s not easy, it’s worth it!