Write Your Heart Out - Guest Series: Sarah's Story
I had never written anything for another person to actually read before. I thought it was presumptuous to assume that others would want to spend their precious time reading anything I had to say, arrogant to think I had anything to say in the first place. But a friend asked me to write down my story, so I panicked/nearly refused/complied and came up with "The Journey Into Foster Care." His request and affirmation built my confidence (read as: faith) to continue writing and to share my words with others.
After literally googling “how to start a blog,” I learned that after writing something, you're supposed to share it with other writers who have common interests. I shared my story with about five orphan care bloggers and pages I followed, then watched as something I never could’ve anticipated happened. They shared it with others and those others shared it with others and those others shared it with other others, until, within a week, somewhere around a million people had read my words.
This is when I learned how powerful sharing your story can be.
I walked around for a week with tears in my eyes as complete strangers shared how they were inspired to get involved in foster care, encouraged to stay the course with their current fosters, and curious about this Jesus I wrote of.
My story is simple and common and mediocre-ly written, but God used it.
All of this is the inspiration for this week’s series of guest posts from readers of Foster the Family. Some of them are writers and some are “just” moms, but they were all faithful to write and share their story with others and, eventually, with me. I want to give them the gift that others gave to me in sharing their words. But more importantly, I want to give you the gift of reading their words and entering their stories.
"I’m a special educator. I’ve worked in public schools and residential facilities. I’ve seen the ins and outs of kiddos with trauma, and know first-hand how all-consuming caring for them can be. That’s why my husband and I decided not to be foster parents. I just didn’t think I could do it in my home 24-7.
Then, the text came. It was my mom. “I know you have decided not to foster, but there is a family who has foster children that will most likely need to be adopted. Are you interested?”
My heart soared. I was shaking, the good nervous kind of shaking. “These are our babies!” I told my husband. I just knew it. In my gut I could feel it, but logic had its say too. “Don’t get too overwhelmed”, I told myself. “You don’t even know anything about them."
Well, that all changed. We met them. We talked to DCS. We became foster parents – their foster parents, and finally their adoptive parents.
They have changed us.
It is still incredibly hard, but it’s also incredibly good. And we are now more passionate about foster care than ever before. What I once thought I could never do, we are now doing. We have opened our home again and will continue to do so until our bodies are just too old – because our hearts never will be.
May I challenge you? Reach out. Find a family who fosters and hang with them for awhile. Learn what it’s really like because they’ll be honest and share their struggles, but they will also be oh so hopeful! And maybe that will be enough to help you see that you can do this too. Maybe you decide not to become a foster parent and that’s okay, but maybe you say “yes” and are changed in the process."