The scariest part of entering the realm of foster care as a parent is what the effect will be on your bio kids. People often ask me how mine are doing. They probably don’t believe me when I assure them the kids are thriving. Let me share a story with you…
Tonight, as I was tucking my five year old into bed, he asked me to tell him a story. I glanced around the room for inspiration, and quickly spotted two ducks and a goat. “Once upon a time…”, I began…”there was a duck. He wanted to have more kids in his family, so he set out on an adventure. As he walked along, he came across a strange-looking animal. He said to the animal, ‘Hello! Would you like to join my family?’ and the strange-looking animal replied, ‘How did you know I have been wanting a family of my very own?’ The duck responded, ‘I don’t know…I think God told me!’ So they walked home together and the duck asked, ‘What kind of animal are you, anyway?’ ‘I am a white goat!’, responded the goat. And they lived happily ever after as a family.”
The very first thing out of my son’s mouth was, “He should find a foster family!” and my heart swelled! When I say my kids are thriving, I honestly mean it. They love their sister. I check in regularly with them, and the conversation always is the same. They wouldn’t have it any other way. She is in and out of our home each week and they do great with that. Our family is not the typical, conventional family, but it is our family! We love it!
We talked some more. I assured my buddy that the duck family was the goat’s foster family. He asked questions like, “Why didn’t he get a goat foster family?” and “Did he stay there forever, since he didn’t have anyone else to be his family?” and “How many ducks were in the family before the goat came?” As he lined them all up on the pillow, he realized there was no room for him to lay. He said, “Where do I sleep?” and I said, “Sometimes you just give up your bed so others can sleep there” and he said, “I have a better idea!” As he scooped the two ducks, the white goat, and their puppy into his arms, flopped onto his pillow, and snuggled under the covers, he said, “I will snuggle them and we will all sleep together!”, my heart swelled again and I thanked God for all he has blessed us with.
Being a foster family is good. When God says go, and we go, there is much to learn and blessings to experience, and always enough love to go around.