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Answering Your Child’s Big Questions in Foster Care

By February 28, 2022Blog

My husband and I recently booked an Airbnb. Our plans were few, so when we found a puzzle in the closet, we cracked it open. It was a difficult build with hot air balloons that showcased a masterful display of color. My tactic is to always start with the border. I found all of the edge pieces, then moved onto the interior. Piece by piece, it was coming together.

The number of unplaced pieces were getting fewer, but something wasn’t adding up. 996 were in place, and yet we had no other pieces on the table. It couldn’t be! Though intentional time and energy had been invested into this puzzle, there were still holes.

I searched the closet. I took things out. I swept the area. I found 3 more pieces. Surely the last one was somewhere!

But alas, it was not.

We had completed a 999-piece puzzle.

A hole remained.

We’ve been on this foster care journey for 2-and-a-half years now. We’ve celebrated 3 birthdays, 3 Christmases, and a whole host of ordinary but grand days.

We’re slowly uncovering the heart of each of our girls. We’ve navigated ups and downs, some big and some small, each revealing something new. A piece of the puzzle.

As the end of their case seems to be closer, the weight of their questions feels heavier.

Though we have much more information than in the first days, there are still gaps. There are questions that are challenging to answer—honest, curious questions that have incomplete answers.

As I’ve been reading through the book of Job, the themes have felt similar. We want to know “Why?” along with Job and his friends. We want answers that logically make sense and are complete. Why have these things happened? Why has God allowed this to be part of the story? What is the point of it all?

And we aren’t actually given full clarity on those answers in the book of Job.

I’m learning that not every question will have an easy answer or maybe an answer at all.

But, what I do know and what Job knows, is that God is still good. We can trust humbly that God is active and present and that His character never changes.

As the questions get weightier and the answers more fleeting, I’ll keep running towards stability in God.

“I don’t know” can be sufficient. I can listen. I can learn. I can empathize. I can lament. I can sit in the unanswerable questions.

Sure, I’ll search for answers that I can find. And I’ll try my best to provide language that is age-appropriate, language that might prove helpful for their understanding.

But mostly these days, I’m finding that the answer is more often than not, simply to lean into what we know of God’s character, namely, that He is good. He cares. He knows. He delights in His children.

We didn’t have 1,000 pieces of the puzzle that afternoon. Yet, we could see the beauty of the picture.

Not every question may be answered. But, God will supply you with what you need in the moment.

If you’re struggling through the questions—whether they are your own or you are trying to navigate them with the children in your care—I invite you to rest in the Lord.

Holly Gnuse

Holly grew up with a heart for adoption but didn’t know much about foster care. God used an internship with a local child welfare agency to make her aware. Coupling that experience with knowing the joy of the Gospel, Holly is passionate about connecting the local church to the foster care community. Holly and her husband, Scott, were married in December 2013 and are enjoying the crazy adventure of life together.

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