Answered Prayers & the Nature of Fostering

Lane and Anna LeeLast Friday was Anna’s 6 month court date.  Due to some specific circumstances in her case, there was a strong chance that Anna would have left our family to be fostered (and most likely adopted) by a family member.  From everything we knew about the situation, this was not what was best for Anna.  So we prayed.  Though I do not beg God nearly enough for things in my life, we begged for this.  We asked many of you to pray and fast alongside us, and you did.  Together we begged that God would give us more time with Anna.

God very clearly answered yes to our prayers.  It was confirmed this weekend that Anna’s family member failed her home study, meaning that Anna would be staying with us for now.  Though (thankfully) God does not always answer prayers in the way that we desire, it is worthy of praise when He does.  It absolutely took a miracle for Anna to stay with us, and He made that happen.  There is still great hurt in this entire situation, but today we praise God for answered prayers.  God gave us more time with the most incredible little girl I’ve ever met, and I worship Him for that.

“My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad…
I sought the Lord, and He answered me
and delivered me from all my fears…
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:2,4,8)

God very clearly answered our prayers, but this weekend wasn’t completely absent from pain.  In court it was also confirmed that Anna’s mother would no longer be working towards reunification.  It deeply hurt us to hear that in her eyes it is hopeless to fight for this anymore.  However…there is still time.  In a moment where Anna’s mother feels completely hopeless, I know of a hope that can redeem and reunify all things.  We continue to pray that God shows Anna and her mother the hope we find in Jesus. The hope that makes all things new.

There is a very conflicting nature of foster care that is present every day the child is in your home.  When Anna came to us in November, this conflicting nature was immediately felt.  We are not, and should not be, expecting to adopt her.  However, if we are loving her like we should, we will get attached. We will love her with everything in us.  She will be our daughter.

Two weeks ago the thought crossed my mind of whether or not Lane and I were too young to do this.  Should we have waited until we already had kids before we jumped into fostering?  Are we more attached because this is our first child?  Would it have helped to have others first?  Should we be emotionally separating ourselves more from her than we are?  As I began to pray through this, God very quickly reminded me that we had done exactly what He asked of us.  He reminded me that the parental love we are feeling towards Anna is exactly how orphans should be taken care of.  No matter how hard it may be for us if she/when she leaves our family, she needs to be our daughter.  That is the conflicting nature of foster care.  Fear of loss cannot lead foster parents.  I pray that it never leads Lane and me.

I can’t thank you enough for your prayers last week.  Please continue to pray for Anna, her mom, and this entire situation.  Specifically this week, please pray that we don’t take a single day for granted in our time with Anna.  Last week was a wake up call for us.  In just 3 1/2 short months, there were already many days that were taken for granted in our time with her.  Pray that God shows us every day how to love her with the love that Christ has shown us.

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