Today is thanksgiving. There are many things I’m thankful for. My daughters, of course, and our amazing life. This year I’m struck by the family and friends surrounding us. In deciding to pursue foster care and adoption as a way of life, I counted the cost. I knew full well the sacrifice involved. Gladly, I lay down my own desires and pursuits in favour of parenting children I did not birth. Sometimes gracefully, sometimes not, I deal with problems I did not create – like prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol. I do this because I’m compelled to fulfill the great commission in this manner.
This is not the ministry most of my friends and family have chosen. Still, by association with me, they are drawn in. It’s messy, challenging, and frustrating most of the time. It’s Christmas dinners served in my pj’s because my teenage foster child forgot to take her medication and I didn’t realize until we’d spent a horrific morning trying to get the turkey ready. It’s holes in my walls and knifed wallpaper (something my then 4yr old managed with a butter knife). It’s a child who takes her cough to the extreme, overpowering any conversations around the Thanksgiving dinner table. It’s buying gifts for children you’ve never met and may never see again. It’s me being tired and depleted all the time. It’s me forgetting to confirm whether or not I need you to babysit. It’s things like this that my family and friends are drawn into.
I’ve chosen this wonderfully unusual life. They haven’t. But I am eternally grateful that they have chosen to love me and all that I’m trying to do. I love that I have friends who choose to donate their time to my business. I have family who respond by saving, “It’s wonderful to have a full table,” when I say my friend’s three foster children will be joining us for Thanksgiving. I have friends who drop by with banana bread or a dozen buns when I suddenly find myself with two extra little ones. I have friends who invite us back after Raine has a complete meltdown – hitting her sister and informing all of us that I’m not her mother so she doesn’t have to listen to me. I have friends who come by in the evenings when kids are asleep because I really can’t get out.
When I chose this life, I didn’t consider what it would cost the people in my life. Thankfully they have been willing to pay the price for me to pursue the calling on my life. I am grateful for the support and encouragement they offer. I am grateful for their willingness to accommodate my unusual life. I am grateful that they consider it to be as wonderful as I do. Thank you.