We just had a great family trip to Disneyland with five kids in tow. It was an amazing experience for all five of our kids, and a fun experience for the kid in the two adults that happened to be along for the ride.
On Saturday, our family happened to be picked from a crowd of hundreds to open Disneyland. We were the first ones in the park, and we got to count down to open the gates. During this encounter, the cast member that took our tickets said something to me that stuck with me, “I really admire you guys.”
Over the last week, I have heard from many others that they admire and respect us. We ran into a grandmother in Disneyland who said it, a TSA agent who said it, and it’s something we have heard from others as well.
Don’t admire us.
We are just normal people who happen to have five kids. Three of them are adopted, and two of them are foster children. We have chosen this path to build our family, and now we feel that we are called to help out other kids who are not fortunate to have loving parents. What is there to admire?
I can understand someone saying this that doesn’t understand that we are just obeying God’s command in James “to look after orphans . . . in their distress.” It is not really our decision to do this for these children, but God’s, and we are acting as a mouthpiece for Him in this world.
Every Christian may not feel called to do this, and that is totally fine. It could be detrimental to try to do something that God has not called you to do. Each one of us has a gift, and we are using our gift in the best way that we know how. For us, it’s not a burden, but as Truett Cathy used to say, “My pleasure.”
However, it is important that as Christians, we not flaunt the fact that we are taking care of those who don’t have someone else to look after them. In Matthew 6:1, Jesus says, “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.”
We don’t do this for praise, or for the money (kids actually cost more money than you may think), but for these children that just need someone to love them. So many times, when we feel they are acting out, they are just screaming out for someone to love them. It’s actually pretty amazing that as they live in our house longer, there is less acting out, as they figure out maybe we are a little different from other homes they have been in.
If you feel that you have a little more love to give, you may want to look into becoming a foster parent, or a respite care provider for stressed out and tired foster parents. If you want some info on how to become a foster parent, feel free to contact us.
If you don’t think you could ever do this, then you can do the next best thing, and that is to pray for these children, not just the ones in our home, but one of the other 400,000 foster kids across America. They all need love, and you can pray that they find the right home that can give that to them.