2016 was a tumultuous year. I got married, moved across the country, started a new job, and my new husband started Graduate school. My life changed from watching sea turtles gracefully drift past me on the beach to watching painted turtles (I’m told their painted turtles by my husband-childhood turtle expert) dive off rocks at a lake behind my house. I felt like the painted turtles diving into the depths. I needed to figure out who I was all over again. One day at work, I had a conversation with a coworker who happened to mention that she ran a charity that supported foster children. I was intrigued! My husband and I had participated in a donation collection helping a local school to fill backpacks for the new year and her charity sounded a little like that. It’s simple, buy things off a list, and brighten a child’s outlook. It couldn’t get easier. I don’t remember how exactly it came up, but my guess is she was reaching for a miracle and happened to ask if I knew anything about websites. Here’s the creepy part. Not only did I know about wordpress, I wrote a blog a few years back on this very website. (insert chicken skin). I had heard a sermon around that time period reminding us that God speaks, it’s up to us to listen. Luke says it best, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28. I paid attention that day. God knew I needed to be apart of something and he basically tossed it in my lap.
Fast forward a couple of months. Same coworker, different conversation. Out of the blue, she asks me if my husband and I could foster a little girl in our same hospital. The little girl needed a bone marrow transplant. Without it, she would die. The doctors wouldn’t perform the procedure without a stable home of how medically intensive the procedure is. I have taken care of many bone marrow transplant patients, and I know that is no small feat! Imagine the conversation I had with my husband. That is a very difficult thing to ponder. How can we sentence this child to death by not helping? This weighed heavy on me for a good week. My husband and I were already busy, so it would be a solo mission on my end. I didn’t see how I could do that and give the best for this little girl!
A week before Christmas, I walked into work- same coworker was there. This time she tells me of a miracle! One of our coworkers, Kristen, had decided to foster the little girl! I almost cried on the spot! What an amazing gift Kristen was giving her! All around me people were donating money out of their pockets to ease the transition for Kristen to bring her home from the hospital. I heard a doctor on the phone with his wife giving sizes for clothes and other nurses who are mom’s offering hand-me-downs from their children. If there ever an example needed of “it taking a village,” we had it. I remember talking to Kristen about it and barely being able to contain my emotion. She seemed less worried about fostering, more worried that it was right before Christmas and she didn’t have any gifts for the little girl. Kristen had already adopted a boy and had gifts piled under the tree for him. It would hardly be fair for the little girl to watch him open his gifts and her not have any! Kristen has a heart of gold. THAT was her worry!?! She is one tough momma!
Kristen and I worked together on Christmas Day and she told me about how their Christmas as new, bigger family went. The little foster child didn’t seem to understand that she had more presents. She was fine with the first one. She had to be encouraged to keep unwrapping more! How much do we take for granted in our lives? How many times are you disappointed when your finished unwrapping? I’m sure she was used to not getting much, or anything at all.
If by the end of this, you got chicken skin, maybe God was talking to you as well. Perhaps you know a foster mom who struggles to get by, but always seems to have a smile on her face. Lift her up! See if she needs help! Buy her some coffee-she probably needs it! Perhaps you do a lot of shopping, but what you buy doesn’t really give you joy. If you feel like you aren’t doing enough, reach out to Foster Love Ministry. We have needs for all age groups of Journey Bags. $80 is plenty for a good bag. Make it a group effort if you want! We also have an amazon wish list if that is more your style. What doesn’t get donated, comes out of Jen’s pocket (My coworker listed above). Gift cards are another option. If you’re really feeling called, there are agreat number of children that need fostered and adopted. Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day!