June 4, 2010

He’s not finished with me yet.


I’ve not ever really felt my flesh, myself, my soul, fighting with God’s will more than I have in our fostering experience.  I know that I conflict with what God has for me regularly (aka: sin.) but with fostering I can feel the pulling on my soul going back and forth between what I would selfishly choose, and what I know God’s will for me is.  It sometimes feels like tug-of-war. {You’d think at some point I’d realize that I’m no good at this game.}

Don’t get me wrong.  I find joy in fostering.  Every day.  I also find joy in knowing that I am where God wants me to be.  But I have absolutely had to focus my eyes on Him in order to continually want what he wants for me. (This is where you say, ‘um, duh Maggie.’ - but I think in most things in my life it has been easier to want what he wants than it is in fostering.  Not sure if any of this makes sense.  But oh well.)

Sometimes I find myself longing for our family to be only Brian, Sylvie, and I.  Sometimes I long for the ease of not having to battle out everything, not having to think about parental visits, court, and therapy.  I long to be able to wake up in the morning and just be able to take my kids to the park or the pool without having to weigh when their last visit was, how they are dealing with their emotions as of late, and whether or not I think that the whole trip will implode leaving me with two angry children who are calling me names across the parking lot while people watch and shake their heads.

I’m just being honest.

I know that right now, this is what God wants for us.  And most of the time, I love it and I am happy this is the path he has chosen for us.  I guess that sometimes I just wish it felt more normal.  But I guess that’s not the point.  God’s not much for letting us be comfortable with the way things are. 

This is why I was so hesitant to make more strict boundaries on which kids we can/cannot take placement for.  I had to be sure I was really being honest with myself.  Am I making these boundaries just to make myself feel more comfortable?  Because I’m trying to control what our family looks like instead of trusting Him?  Or am I setting these limits because I feel that it is what God would have us to do for our family?  I had to make sure I wasn’t just letting my selfishness get in the way of what God was doing.  After a lot of prayer, I feel like we’ve made some good decisions regarding boundaries.  I feel at peace about them.

I know the enemy uses my love for Sylvia to make me second guess fostering.  Is it the best thing for her?  How will it effect her childhood?  Should I be spending more time with just her?  What if….? (Not that it isn’t my job to think about these things – I just need to think about them while trusting instead of while worrying.)  All of these things come into my head instead of just trusting that He loves her more than I ever could and that His will is what is best.


I guess this all really comes down to Him refining me.  Ugh, I just wish it were easier!  Ha!  Lord, it appears you still have some a lot of work to do.  At least I can know He’s not given up on me!


  1. I wanted to say, 'I know there are challenges to fostering' except I haven't fostered myself.
    So my opinion is based on growing up with some of my parents' friends being foster parents. The filipino-american community is a tight-knit one in Columbia so we'd always know when one of the filipino families had new foster children and they would bring them to the fil-am picnics to play with the other children.
    As well, my friend John's parents regularly fostered children when he was growing up.
    So I can only speak from knowing people that grew up alongside their parents fostering children and my impressions from that.
    But I can say that with all the thoughtfulness you put into your work, I'm sure there will be much enlightenment with the hard times for Sylvie. There will be times she gets attached or has trouble understanding how the world allows things to happen to children. But she knows the love of you, Brian, and your families.
    It will be hard at times to understand the lives of the foster children but I trust your guidance will teach her lessons she couldn't learn any other way except by meeting these children herself and sharing in their healing.
    My friend John said growing up with foster children under his parents care had its challenging times but in all, it was an experience that taught him a lot about thinking and loving with an open heart.
    As they taught us in social work school, know our boundaries. :) I think your mindfulness of that for yourself and your ever-changing family is on the right track, for what its worth to hear that reassurance.

  2. Wow, you wrote the post I could have written for my whole foster parenting experience thus far, especially yesterday but just add in thinking about having another biological child to the mix.

    The enemy can work in sneaky ways. Just last night I was talking with a family member about why they thought I was fostering and how it is enough to raise solid well-loved biological kids. When our kids are older and well-grounded then it would be a good time to foster was their advice. While it makes sense, and boy would I like it for things to be that way, it just didn't feel true.

    Reliance on God and constant communication with Him is what I'm being reminded of. Maybe foster care is what we are called to because God knows that's what it will take to get us to that point of realizing we need Him. I'm for sure seeing my brokeness in ways I really wouldn't have liked to.

  3. Did you get yelled at after swimming yesterday? Sorry we couldn't join you. Next week?

    Thanks for sharing your heart. It helps to know that you feel this way and still choose to foster, that you don't have to be someone who loves fostering all the time to be a great foster parent.

    For what it's worth, I think you're doing really well letting all your kids know you love them and I strongly believe it WILL get easier with the boys. Also, I get what you're saying about boundaries, but I think the ones you set are in the best interests of all involved.

  4. I am right where you are at this current time. I am sick of worrying about "the system" being in our lives. I am mad at myself for worrying about what my family looks like to other people...

    But, i am so glad that God called me to do this. it has changed me and it has changed all of us. sometimes doing what God says even when it doesn't feel good is the biggest blessing. how can our faith be perfected without trials? i could have - would have - perhaps should have wrote the same post. I am right there with you.

    Regardless of my own humanity, I can't wait to see God work.

  5. I was about to post only "Amen!" but we're not even fostering yet. So pretend this is me, in three months, saying "Amen!"

  6. Kudos to you and your family for the hard work that you do in fostering these kids in need. I have never fostered before, but after reading your post realize what hard work and dedication it is to do so. You are a very strong person and God sure does help you through it all.
    I am a new follower from Friday Follow, so glad to have found your blog.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  7. As new as I am to fostering I understand just what you are saying. But as long as God has a plan for fostering in your family's life and mine....faith will carry us through.

  8. Hi,
    I've been following your blog for a while, I can't help but be captivated with you and your husband (and all the adorable children). I've been thinking a lot about fostering, and this entry kind of answers one of my main questions that I've been meaning to ask you: Do you think you could do it without your faith/some feeling that you are being "called" to foster? I know it's a hard question, but I'm not religious and I wonder if I would have the continual motivation to work through all the struggles without something like you have. I'm not asking you if I should adopt a religion or not, and it's probably hard to imagine yourself without a relationship with your God, but I was just curious about your thoughts on this. Do you meet a lot of foster parents who aren't religious?


  9. This is such an impacting post for me. I have been trying to read about your blog from the beginning and here even 2+ years after you wrote this post, God is using the lessons He was teaching you to absolutely teach me. We are fostering 3 children whom happen to be related to us. It has been so hard with discipline and boundaries and just things that I took for granted that my own children already did that I wrongly assumed all kids knew. It has been a very hard road and a difficult year, to say the least. Just today, here on our vacation, I told my dear hubby that I wasn't sure that I could continue on in this (the children have been especially difficult this week with the change that being away from home brings). That I couldn't do it for the next several years until they are grown. (All avenues in our case point to them being with us permanently.) My dear hubby assured me that we could with God's help. And then I sit down tonight after a day full of beach and the pool and I am reading this post and I am blown out of the water by God's goodness and mercy and grace and the fact that He used a 2 yr old post to teach me just what I needed! Thank you, Maggie! Please keep writing and eventually I will be caught up on your blog!


Thanks for commenting!!


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