Twenty-Six years ago, and again sixteen years ago, God got our attention, and broke our heart for what broke His.
A few years into our marriage we dreamt of fostering children, inspired to keep sibling groups together. We enquired, did the training, became qualified, and set up suitable bedrooms. Then we had to cancel our first placement due to a family member getting ill, and fostering went on the back burner.
Fast forward about 10 years…. I can remember so vividly, hearing on the car radio news, a case of twin babies that died of abuse, my heart instantly broke, for some time completely overwhelmed with grief.
We started praying, what could we do?
We were led back to fostering, did the course and qualified, again. Then I found out I was pregnant, a surprise to us — but not to God, our daughters were 13 and 15 years old. What? What was going on? He was firmly redirecting our lives getting our attention to focus on his plans. A few weeks prior to our son’s 1st birthday we had our first placement, we were offered a placement of a newborn baby girl, just a few hours old. She would be in our care 6-8 weeks whilst her adoption was being arranged.
We lived in Auckland, New Zealand, and their child protection system and laws are very different to here in QLD.
This was the start of a passion journey to be the hands and feet of Jesus; to serve the most vulnerable babies and children in our neighbourhood. Very quickly I was educating myself on the effects of drugs and alcohol in utero, trauma, violence, withdrawal symptoms, infant development, milestones, cultures, care of premature babies, dietary requirements, behaviours, grief, and the importance for the first 1000 days of a child’s life, mostly in the early hours whilst feeding babies 2-3 hourly.
The largest privilege and honour not being wasted as we meet and hold a precious new to us baby. To cradle them and hold them close and pray. Pray to their maker for the first little one and everyone since. “Lord, we thank you for their life, thank you that your eyes are upon them from this moment forth, protect them Jesus. Heal their bodies with your power of the Holy Spirit. I am sorry I am not their birth mother, so sorry that she isn’t holding you right now, but until she can I will step in. Oh Lord heal their heart, speak to their inner most parts for they are loved, they are worthy and they are your precious child. Equip us to meet their needs. Lord for all their days send messengers to reinforce your love for them and bring them to salvation. We rejoice over them; we celebrate them, and we love them. Loving heavenly father Bless this child in your holy name.” Matthew 19.14
The journey hasn’t been without its challenges. It doesn’t matter how long a little one may stay. God has equipped our household to do this work for him. He called us all, we all contribute to fostering. God grows us and sustains us. Our hearts have expanded and broken, but he fills the gaps. His word promises us in 2 Timothy 3.17
Has God got your attention? Could he be calling your household to serve him to love on others in this way?
For more information on how you can step into foster care, check out the resources we have available in our store, or email firstname.lastname@example.org