1. That first week was tough. I knew it would be, but I severely underestimated it! As I was whining to God about how hard this was one morning, I was reminded that this was a mission field and that it wasn't meant to be easy. I thought about all the support that lived within a 5 mile radius of us. I then thought about all the foreign missionaries that live thousands of miles from anyone they know, in a country that is very different from their home. My prayers for missions changed that day. I gained a new respect for people who leave everything familiar behind to share the gospel!
2. I don't like grace, unless it is for me! I love to quote that I am saved by grace. When I fail, I love to remind myself and others of the grace found in Christ. However, when a bio parent fails again and again, I get impatient with a 'lax system.' I call it broken and begin to pass all sorts of judgement that is simply not mine to pass. God once again reminded me of that He sent Jesus to die for them too, and that He sent me to share that with these parents and children. PS there is no way that I can share Him if I am judging them!
Now, I pray for them, that they could come to know that grace that is so sweet and amazing!
3. My babies were a cake walk! To all you mommas out there who have battled colic, I apologize! From the bottom of my heart, you sweet ladies, with the patience of Job, deserve a reward! I know there has to be a special crown in Heaven for you! Colic is AWFUL!!! Daddy T decided last night that a baby crying on an endless repeat is how we should interrogate criminal. He swears they would fess up every single time! (I think he's probably right!)
4. People are RUDE! I now have 7 beautiful children that God has given me to raise and teach about Him and I love it! However people think that it is their business of how many children I have and if I know what causes them! I am appalled by the rude remarks that have been directed at us over the last 2 weeks. When did we as a nation forget that children are a precious gift from above?
5. That I covet prayers more now than I ever have. I need His strength every single second of every day. I need to lean on Him in the wee hours of the morning when I am running on no sleep and holding this sweet baby boy. I need to remember why I am doing this when there is milk spilled, a baby crying, the phone ringing and 4 hungry children waiting on me.
This is not an easy path, but I knew that it wouldn't be. I am not sharing all this for sympathy, but for perspective. Sometimes this road can seem lonely, like I am the only one walking here. I know that there are more of us out there, more called to loving someone else's child for today (because tomorrow is not promised). I want you to know, if that is you, that you are not alone. I cherish you my fellow foster parents! I pray for you too. That the Lord would help you to rely on His strength that is so perfect in your weakness! This verse is for you:
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
"And let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
if you do not give up."