The paternity test results have finally come back confirming who our foster son’s birth father is. The process will now continue to move forward with a home study of the birth father’s family member who wants to adopt our foster son. It is becoming more of a reality that a day is likely approaching when we will have to say good bye to our sweet little buddy. Our hearts are grateful that our foster son has family members who love him and want to raise him as their own. This is a good thing! However, our hearts also ache knowing we will not be able to make him a permanent part of our family. We won’t be able experience his first steps, his first words or his first day of school. We won’t be able to tell him about Jesus and teach him what it looks like to follow God. It is overwhelming for me to imagine the day when Joel and I will have to strap him in his car seat one last time, kiss his big, soft cheeks and say our good-byes. Tears run down my face now just writing about it.
A common response we receive from people is, “I could never do foster care, I would get too attached.” But the reality is that Joel and I can’t do this either. We do not have any special ability to do foster care. Our hearts are not unbreakable. We are “too attached”. We love this little boy that we brought home from the hospital nearly 5 months ago. We love him as our own and can’t imagine day to day life without him. To be honest, at times I wonder if we were crazy to get ourselves into this. We are far, far “too attached”.
But that was exactly our aim and we would do it all over again. Even though our hope was adoption, God knew that this little boy would only be our son for a season. He is not surprised by the fact that this little boy will most likely leave our home and go live with his extended family members. Nor is He unaware of the pain that this will cause our hearts. Somehow in God’s perfect wisdom, this is what is best for our little guy and for us. I do not pretend to understand how this is best-it deeply grieves my heart. But I trust Him with the life of our foster son and I trust Him to take care of Joel and me in our grief. We love and serve a God who is good, all-powerful, perfectly loving and infinite in wisdom-a God whose purposes cannot be thwarted. “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). He is worthy of our trust, even when we don’t understand His ways. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:31).
Although I don’t know that there is a way to actually prepare our hearts for the waves of sadness that will flood our hearts in the days ahead, my soul is fortified by remembering who our God is and the sacrifice He made for us at the cross. When I am tempted to feel unloved by the working out of His plans, I need to look no further than the cross. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “He who did not spare His own son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God proves His love for us by giving us His one and only Son. He is a God who withholds no good thing from us-not even His own Son. We can rest assured that all that comes to us has first passed through His sovereign, good and loving hand. Furthermore, we can trust that as a loving Father, He will not leave us to ourselves in our pain. He is a gracious and compassionate Savior that we can draw near to and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). He promises to strengthen and uphold us, to daily bear us up and to be a rock of refuge to which we may continually come (Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 68:19; 71:3).
These promises are relatively easy for me to call to mind and speak to my soul now but I ask you dear friends and family, to please remind me of them in the days ahead when they don’t seem so clear and when I don’t have the strength to remind myself. In the giving and the taking, our God is good and worthy of our trust and praise. We need not fear becoming “too attached”.