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Stepping Forward in Confidence in the Foster Care System

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

Courage and the Foster Care System

When thinking of the foster care system and fostering and adopting children, I often think of this quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”

Far too often, we think of being courageous as not being afraid, but the opposite is true. True courage is stepping forward even in the midst of your fears. This journey to care for hurting and vulnerable children is no different. It will take courage and confidence to move ahead despite the very normal fears you probably still have. To be strong and courageous will require you to recognize that it is in His strength that you have the capacity to do this work, not in your own strength. You can have confidence because the Lord your God is with you!

Our Daughter and the Foster Care System

I can vividly recall driving to the group home where we met our first daughter that we were going to foster and adopt. It was a two-hour drive, and we talked about our excitement and fears as we drove. Among our fears was the fact that her case manager told us that she did not want to be adopted, but she had no choice because the state’s permanency plan for her was adoption. When we arrived at her group home, she walked right past us without speaking. Our hearts broke for this precious child who so desperately wanted to control her own destiny but was trapped in a foster care system making decisions on her behalf. We were ecstatic about her joining our family. She felt like she was being kidnapped. We needed to dig deep to hold both truths. 

God Brought Us Together

We knew that God had brought us to this child. Over time, we would learn that He also brought us into a journey that would require us to rely on His strength and not our own. Our confidence would have to be in Him and not in our own skills, abilities, ideas, or even capacity to love. After our daughter moved into our home, it would take years to break down walls of trust and her ability to feel comfortable loving us and feeling like a part of our family. Those years required tremendous reliance on Jesus and His guidance as we navigated so many complex emotions—both ours and hers. 

Prayer Strategies for Confidence

Too often, we place our confidence in our abilities and knowledge. I’ve learned in my journey that facing something I didn’t have the skills or understanding to deal with properly is inevitable. And in the time it took me to gain those skills, I would have to find a way to walk it out. That could only happen with the help of the Lord. In those moments, I discovered a faithful Father who would give me the creative capacity for love and insight that could only come from Him. 

All of the training in the world can’t fully prepare you for the journey of the heart that you are about to embark on. You need the leading of the Holy Spirit to be the foundation of your confidence. And the best news of all is that He is with you wherever you go! Here are some prayer starters to help you seek God in a deeper way: 

  • Lord, thank you that we can have confidence in your strength to lead and guide us along the way. Only you know our beginning from our end. Please lead us along the right paths in this walk. 
  • Thank you for the amazing amounts of trauma resources and guidance that are available and at our disposal. Give us wisdom and insight into the most helpful resources for our family at any given moment. 
  • We trust you to bring new relationships into our lives that can be an encouragement along the way. Please open our eyes and hearts to see who you would have us get to know. 

As you step forward in confidence to care for a hurting child, I encourage you to lay it all before Jesus and allow HIs voice to be your primary guidance.

© 2024 Pam Parish. Used with Permission.

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