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I LOVE fostering!  I love doing this!  I LOVE that God called me into this Mission!

Is it easy?  Not at all.

Is it glamorous?  Only if yoga pants and not showering have become glamorous.  (A girl can dream…)

Is it worth it?  Absolutely.

I believe with all of my heart that God was very specific in His call for EVERYONE to help the orphan.  He even gives very specific ways to do that:

Deuteronomy 10:18, “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.”

Deuteronomy 14:28-30, “The Levite (priest), because he has not portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”
Deuteronomy 24:21, “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.”
You get the idea.  God did NOT give specifics on WHO should do this:  “Only middle aged, married white couples should help the orphan”  “Only old, retired people who have raised children and now have no life, should help the orphan.”  There is no age, there is no race, there is no marital status to any of these commands.  He just said DO IT.
But…..here is my disclaimer:  not EVERYONE should directly foster children. {gasp} “But you just said….blah blah blah” That is right, I just said God commanded all of us, but He did not say all should directly, hands-on adopt or foster children.
Let me be very specific here, there are MANY ways you can help the orphan and foster child without directly being that hands on person.  Let me share the WHO should not directly foster children:
If you do not like children…you probably should not foster children.  Goes without saying, but important to begin the list.  😉  If you do not have a solid LOVE for children, find another way to help foster children.  Period.
If you do not like children that did not come out of your body…or from the body of your spouse, you probably shouldn’t foster.  Could also be translated as not liking OTHER peoples children.  Same concept.
If you prefer one s e x/race/nationality over another…you probably shouldn’t foster.  And you can be VERY specific with what child you’d like in your home, so taking a boy over a girl when you really don’t like boys….is a pretty mean thing to do.  If you would rather have Creek Indian over a Cherokee, you can choose that, so taking a child that is something you do not prefer, is not fair to the child.
If you are not patient, especially with children…you probably shouldn’t foster.  Foster care is probably the EPITOME of patience!  We work with “broken” children that need healing.  That healing can come very very slowly.  It will not happen at all if we lose patience with them.
If you are doing it for the money…you SHOULD NOT FOSTER.  These are the people I want to punch in the throat.  (And I’m really not a violent person!)  This reason makes me angrier than most reasons.  And people can deny it all they want, but if the words have EVER come out of your mouth, stop fostering.  Get out.  GET A JOB, fostering is not the “job” for you.  Children are expensive, and what little reimbursement you get for fostering, you will always be in the hole (if you are fostering for the RIGHT reasons).  To put it in perspective:  I made almost TWICE the amount of money babysitting one child a month, than fostering.  No joke.  If you need money, babysit someone elses child and don’t foster.
If you want recognition…you should not foster.  It isn’t a glamorous life.  It’s hard.  It is the opposite of pretty.  It is also very lonely.  Applause and accolades cannot be heard at 2:30 in the morning when the child has just barfed all over your brand new bedspread.  If you want recognition, become a famous movie star.
If you cannot put a child’s needs/desires over your own…you should not foster.  This is, as it should be, all about healing a child and giving them a safe, loving home.  If your child wants to play football and you hate football…guess what?  Grab your bleacher seat because you need to let him play football.  Or soccer.  Or basketball.  Now, I just used sports because I have 4 boys and I find sports to be VERY good for them.  And I am not saying give in to their every whim, but some desires are healthy!  Now, NEEDS are a totally different creature!  If they NEED new shoes, you buy them!  If they’ve grown out of their jeans, you buy them!  If they NEED deodorant, you buy it!  If you can’t do this for whatever reason (can’t afford it) then don’t foster.  PERIOD.
If you are selfish by nature…you should not foster.  Fostering becomes all about that child (or children) and you take a back seat.  That’s just the name of the game.
If you cannot handle special needs…you should not foster.  All foster children will have damage of some kind:  emotional, physical, psychological, etc.  They require more care in general.  They require more doctor’s appointments, therapy, etc.  It is our responsibility as their foster parent to get them whatever help they need.  If you can handle some special needs over another, be specific when you go into this.  And remember, you can say NO to any child you do not feel is right for your family.
I’ll be the first to say WE NEED MORE FOSTER PARENTS!  But I will also scream just as loudly:  BUT ONLY GOOD ONES!  There are too many bad ones out there as it is.  Let’s get some GOOD ones!
Be kind to others and help the orphan and widow often!  😀
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