Lord, you know the life you have planned for my ducklings. Your word says its to be a good life. If they will not have a good life with their birth parents, please leave them with me. But if it will be good, please give me the grace, wisdom and strength to get out of the way. If the birth parents are doing or hiding anything that should change the outcome, please allow that to be revealed sooner, rather than later.
For as long as I can remember, my favorite scripture has been Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
It was kind of a mantra in the depths of my struggle with infertility. And continues to comfort me in the foster care circus.
But I really draw strength from music – primarily Christian music, as it turns out. I collect songs that speak to me. I just discovered a new one last night – it’s actually about the singers then-unborn child who had been diagnosed with a very serious heart defect. But it describes foster parenting exactly. As one fellow foster parent put it “over and over and over…………………..”
And then there’s this story about how a carrot, an egg and a coffee bean face the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently.
- The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
- The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
- The ground coffee bean was unique, however. After it was in the boiling water, it had changed the water.
When I was in the thick of the infertility fight, I always saw Infertility as The Giant in this song. I recently listened to it again with the additional “lens” of foster parenting. Oddly enough, Infertility is still The Giant. Foster Parenting is the Waves.
Over the weekend, I requested to join a couple of Infertility groups on Facebook.
As I got approved for the groups last night, I popped in and read a couple of posts.
Wow. Holy emotional blindside, Batman!
The vast majority of the time, I’ve made peace with my infertility – I even almost went to a baby shower earlier this year! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I truly believe that God has a plan for me – and I am indescribably grateful that His plan has led me to foster parenting – and I’m not sure I could have convinced SuperDad to foster if we’d been able to conceive.
But reading the stories of women that are still in the trenches – still fighting infertility… That was intense. I was definitely caught off guard by the rush of emotions.
I feel pulled to participate in these groups – to provide support to these women that are still struggling, if only to serve as a witness to their battle with unspeakable heartache – and maybe a ray of hope to those looking for alternatives to the fight… I want to let them know that it IS okay to stop treatment – to stop trying. I want to let them know that it is possible to fall absolutely head-over-heels in love with a child someone else gave birth to.
So I’m going to do my best to stick it out with these groups. If I can help one women find peace, or help another family discover the joy of foster parenting… Then I can help save more starfish.