“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27
On my wedding day, as I said my vows to Lane, I knew that God was going to use both my wife and my marriage to grow me far more then He ever had. Lane is the most beautiful, smart, driven, and loyal girl I know. God uses Lane to point many people closer to Jesus. But what became clear that day was that God wasn’t just going to use her gifts to point me closer to Him – God would use family more than anything else in my life to draw me closer to Him. I knew that day that God would use my role as a husband (and someday as father) to teach, sanctify, and humble me. Nothing else in this world would be such a tool for Him to draw me closer to Him. As my family has now grown, this has only become clearer.
The calling God gives us in James 1:27 is one that has always been spoken loud and clear to Lane and me. For years we’ve have had a passion to adopt. Just four months into marriage our church entered into a sermon series called “Adopted.” God immediately told each of us separately that we should pray through the idea of beginning our family with adoption rather then attempting to have biological kids first. Though we were both nervous to talk about it, the moment I brought it up it was an easy decision that it was what we should do. Over the course of a year, through a lot of prayer, God shifted our hearts to start supporting the orphan in Austin, TX through foster care.
On November 3rd, 2014 Lane and I received our first foster placement. On the day we received Anna (her name for the sake of this blog) into our home, God began to remind me of all that he had taught me in just 2 and a half years of marriage. He reminded me of my wedding day. He made clear again that through my family He would bring more joy, laughter, thankfulness and growth than anything else in this world. He also quickly reminded me that through my family He would bring more tears, pain and faith. In the last 4 months God has taught me lesson after lesson of who He is and what it means to trust Him.
That is exactly what I hope to share in this blog. For anyone that is thinking about fostering, I hope to give a good glimpse of the nervousness I faced leading up to our first placement. I hope to share the incredible, overwhelming and immediate love we were given for Anna, as well as the conflicting nature of Anna needing us to fully accept her as our daughter, but us also needing to pray fervently for Anna’s mom to know Jesus and get her daughter back.
I am by no means an expert at parenting or fostering, but I hope to share in real time some of the very real lessons God is teaching Lane and me through this journey. The last and most important thing that I hope keeping a blog about this journey will do is update you on how to pray for us. Next week we have some major potential changes in Anna’s situation that we are terrified about. I wish I could say more, but please pray for Anna, for her mom, and for Lane and me this week. We need God to move in miraculous ways and we know that He can.