May is National Foster Care Month in the United States, and if you’ve followed me on any social media for a while, you’ll know that foster care and foster care adoption are subjects that are dear to my heart. Three of my children were adopted through foster care in 2013, and we fostered two other babies before closing our license in 2016 at the urging of my daughter’s therapist.
The day I met my girls for the first time is forever etched in my memory. Two enormous brown eyes peered at me as I nervously chatted with the social workers who had brought her and her younger sister to visit my home for the first time. Her chubby hands shoved bite after bite of chicken nuggets and orange wedges—always a kid favorite in my home—into her mouth as fast as she could chew them.
Baby sister already had her food taken away, and I put one bite at a time onto her plate since she couldn’t seem to stop herself from stuffing everything into her mouth at once. I was told both food stuffing and food hoarding are common among foster kids.
I couldn’t help but smile at the wide, infectious grin of the older little girl. My own “birth” daughter, only half a year older than her, wanted to play with her so badly. We finished snack time, and the girls went to play in our living room as the adults watched on.
My heart broke for these two beautiful little girls. They were babies still, and we were their third foster home in four months. What should have been a time of attachment and bonding had turned into a revolving door because of the behaviors they’d exhibited due to the trauma of being separated from the only parents they knew.
No one could have properly prepared me for the depths of grief and pain foster care would bring into my life. When I looked at those little girls, I saw another woman’s daughters. I saw Easter and birthdays and Christmases spent apart from their birth family. I saw a cycle of family trauma and loss. But most of all, I saw an opportunity to love like Jesus.
The road has been bumpy…after all, trauma doesn’t disappear overnight. There have been times when I was brought so low that all I could do was cry out to God. Through it all, my message to anyone considering foster care would still be, it’s worth it.
Since I started writing, I’ve endeavored to include social issues I’m passionate about in my novels, and foster care is featured prominently in my debut series. My first novel, A Heart to Cherish, started out with the story of Julia, a former foster child who aged out without being adopted. In book 3, A Heart to Redeem, Chris has to go through the foster care system to get custody of his daughter, Paisley, whose mother had never told him about her. I’m especially looking forward to sharing books 4 and 5 with you, Lord willing, later this year. Both of those books will include more characters who either have been or are still in foster care.
Thanks for visiting today! I’d love it if you would recommend CCR books to me that feature storylines with foster parents or children or just tell me something you’re passionate about in the comments to let me know you stopped by!