Many people have asked what our next step is in this foster and adoptive journey since we have finalized the boys’ adoption. And I have been asking myself the same thing! I am a ‘do-er’. I have a need to be actively working toward a goal. I want to be visibly completing a task. But how is it that God called me to such a subjective job? There is no rating or grade or check mark at the end of the day when it comes to foster care.
This is yet another area of refinement in my life. Some days I make progress and other days I don’t. So, what are we doing to care for the orphaned?
First, we are currently parenting two boys. You all have joined us on this long trek, and I share a lot about what this looks like. But in my mind, we aren’t ‘helping foster kids’ anymore because ours are now adopted. I know that is a lie from the devil himself! By the grace of God, we were able to rescue beloved kids from that system, and they need constant love and attention.
But this is also not an excuse to no longer help the current foster system. There must be something else we can be doing to fulfill this call to aid those in need. God brought to my mind the simplest thing: showing up.
One of my favorite people, Jen Hatmaker, says, “A worthy life (for God) involves loving . . . It means restoring people, in ordinary conversations and regular encounters . . . showing up when showing up is the only thing to do.”
Showing up. The line in the previous quote that draws me back to orphan care. “Showing up when showing up is the only thing to do.” That, my friends, is exactly orphan care. Jonathon and I have had many people tell us that we must have some ‘special’ in us to work with foster care/adoption. How many times can I say it? WE DO NOT. The same God that lives in YOU is the God that gives me the brain power and empathy to care for the fatherless. I don’t know what to do, but I have a God who does, and He lives in me! Do you know what we do with foster care? WE SHOW UP. We sit on the sidelines with these kids as they watch their life unfold outside of their (and our) control. Most cases there is nothing else to do.
And I can do that. I can show up. I may be a hot mess when I get there, but I CAN get there. It’s not the answer I was expecting when we began to discuss and pray about our next step with foster care. But just like Jesus, His Kingdom comes in unexpected ways. Not always in a boisterous, triumphal entry or an obvious, bold move. He also came quietly, subtly, in a barn. God is teaching me that I am ushering His Kingdom into my world by the soft, consistent, mostly unnoticeable. The “showing up” is where He’s at, whether I think it’s part of His plan or not. His children without earthly parents need me to show up and sit with them on that sideline. So that’s what we’re doing. Will you show up with me?