Love like I've loved you.

I've been waiting for this journey with 3 of my foster children to come to a close now for almost 3 years. I'm not sure what I expected if and when it did happen, I guess no more visits, no more stress, knowing they are mine would ease any heartache and worry I had about the situation. I knew and prayed that if the birth parents relinquished, it would be an open adoption, but with an open adoption, especially the kind that I feel God is calling us to, there's not a lot closure for me. It's just more growing pains as I continue to learn to love like Christ and "share" these children that I've been praying to not have to share all this time.

We had our first visit since relinquishment recently and it went very well. We met at a park and we all hung out together as one big family. All 7 of my children hugged and interacted with the birth parents, which surprised them I think. They brought us diapers that they had leftover and mom thanked me many times, something she's never done before.

It would be easier for me to just be done, to sever all contact. But whenever I consider that option, I get knots in my stomach and am deeply convicted by the Holy Spirit. I truly believe that God is joining our families and I have to surrender to that. He is joining our family with a family that experiences hardships in a way that I will never have to experience and that I will never completely understand. He is calling us to minister and love not only the birth parents, but the extended family of the birth parents. He's been quietly speaking to my heart and filling it with compassion. I pray for God to bring me people to minister to, but when He does, I question Him, "Are you sure God? Share my family and blessings with them? Indefinitely?" As Christians, we often desire to help, but in a way that only makes us feel good, not in a way that might make us uncomfortable and challenge us. I DO want this. I want to be challenged and I want to grow closer to Christ. I want to learn ways to help and encourage poverty-stricken families and disciple them to become followers of Christ. I want this. (Preaching to myself here.) It's not about me, it never has been. It's about showing His love, grace and mercy.

Please pray for me and my husband. Pray that we can develop 100% genuine relationships with the birth family, relationships that don't feel awkward because love will outshine any other emotion or action. Pray for wisdom for us and that God continues to use us to share His story and His plan for the salvation of the world.
"This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you." - Jesus, John 15:12

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