Never settle in the idea that by ourselves, we are enough to raise children. While for sure we need supernatural guidance, we must always remember it takes a village to raise all children. Any child. Especially in foster care.
I myself have about four or five women that I look up to when I need advice. I usually can go to just one or several of them depending on the topic.
Something about me, I have never "met" my natural mother outside of birth and one year of life. No memory of her exists in my mind except that which I have from the handful of pictures I hold in my hand. It took an amazing woman sent by an amazing savior to raise me on the front lines of parenting.
My father fought for us (three kids) so that we would have a solid home, however the stress of that time in his life left him feeling defeated and our personal relationship suffered.
There are several men that God put in my path for the role of the father through the church that filled the void that my own dad couldn't. Not because he didn't want to, but because he was so beaten up by life, he was just unable.
We don't pick our children and they don't pick us. So, we have to do the best we can with what the universe has chosen. But there is a heavenly father that can do all things, he is a superhero and holds our hearts in his hands.
Rest assured it takes more than one adult influence to raise a child. Never feel like you are not enough, but also never denying our children the influence of great people to help speak into their lives.
Our foster daughter came to us because her parents did not protect them or "take" care of them in the definition of what the state would require. I mean eating out of a trash can is not quite what kids should be raised to accept. Now she won't eat off the floor.
Some things are not easily taught. But truly her parents were not able or willing to care for her in a manner in which she should be cared for or kept safe from harm. She was often found wandering around the neighborhood unattended and the parents did not know where she was. Oh, the things that could have happened just leave me awe struck.
She often speaks of people that looked out for her. An older lady that would give her cookies is one of her favorite stories. She often speaks of returning there someday to thank her, knowing what she knows now. Now we know that those people were sent to her by a special God who was looking out for her, and we are so grateful.
As foster parents, we are just simply stepping in to raise and keep her safe until she can do so on her own. We are the village.
She has many people that she can share with like, teachers and staff at her school. Our older kids are amazing at helping her understand our parenting styles and have the words to comfort her sometimes that we don't.
We are not all teachable at all times, it really does come in waves and the lessons are taught when the person is teachable, but not one moment before. We call this progressive sanctification. We can't learn everything in one moment, it takes time and experience to learn and to come to the understanding that life is going to dish out many things in our direction.
Guidance doesn't stop at eighteen, it doesn't stop at marriage, it doesn't ever stop. The only thing that changes is the person that's teaching.
It's not always going to be me that teaches my foster daughter, there are going to be women in her life that are going to inspire her to grow further and teach her more than I ever could. I love that! I love that God already knows who those people are and that he is already molding her into the person he wants her to be, and I can't wait to see the end result.
Parenting on the front lines is so challenging that you shouldn't be disheartened that you aren't always the one that will have to meet every need for your children. Learning through experience is priceless and letting people that God sends to influence them is such a gift to them, I would never interfere with that.
Trust the process and always be thankful for the village. We are all are foster parents in a sense, we all can encourage and help bring up a child and promote development in everyone around us. From the stranger to the person, we love the most.