As we began our journey with foster care we found ourselves in a community that we had never expected. We knew that we would be met with many challenges, but we could never predict that our own trauma would be so stirred up. Foster care training alone was very emotional and showed me some areas in my own life and heart that needed to be addressed. We met so many wonderful people with beliefs across the boards. People from all backgrounds and so many different reasons for doing foster care. While there were many great people in our group we found it challenging to lock into friendships.
The process while complicated and dug into personal information definitely weaned out those not up to the task. Foster care is not just a job or service, it is a commitment like no other and not for the faint at heart. Even our first request was denied. It was suggested by our family to try one more time, and we were approved. We are definitely not quitters, and I wondered if they wanted to see if we would push through. We learned quickly that we would have very little notification that children would be arriving. The very day we were approved, only three hours later we were called with our first little guy. It was no different with Selena. She was our 7th out of 10 foster children that we would interact with. Little did we know that God sent her to stay forever. As she arrived I noted this very small 9 yr old girl before me. Her red/brown hair and a contagious smile were endearing, to say the least. While being removed from your parents is trauma in of itself, what comes after is so humbling. Foster children literally come in the door with the clothes on their backs. Selena was originally supposed to stay the weekend, but we found that our hearts had become attached quickly and we wanted her to stay. After expressing our desire to have her stay, our request was granted, but what we didn't know is that the honeymoon had just begun.
When foster kids come into a strange house they go through a honeymoon period. A time where they are trying to figure out who you are and what you expect. They are often very easy to get along with and really turn up the charm, and she was no exception. I had some time to reflect on this and began to wonder how she must have felt coming in the door. She took right away to our two pups Rosie and Buddie. But being taken from all that is familiar and the people that she believed loved her the most had to be such a shock to her little heart, body, and emotions.
As the honeymoon phase came to an end we began to see the real heart behind those sweet eyes. We began to see a child left to herself and no ability to control her impulses. We began to hear about the trauma that would define her broken heart and shattered emotions. We also were so thankful that God sent her to us. We were so honored to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we began to teach and show her God's word. It was only a matter of weeks when she accepted Christ in her heart, and we rejoiced that God was able to reach her now so that the direction of her heart could be changed towards a God that loved her and wanted nothing more than to adopt her into the kingdom of heaven.