Ready or Not…Foster Parent!

By January 20, 2020January 27th, 2020Blog

Ten months ago, I became a foster parent. I was licensed for quite sometime before that, but ten months ago, I received my first placement, and a little girl entered my life and home. During that wait—which felt like forever—I dove into reading and studying resources to equip myself for what was to come. I was determined to use my wait well.

I was READY for my first placement—both in time and in knowledge.

Or so I thought.

Fast forward to today. I realize just how UNready I really was.

Sure, I understood a little bit about trauma. I had family and friends who wrapped around me. I knew where to go to find the information I needed. And yet, looking back, I still wasn’t prepared for what was to come.

I don’t think we’re ever quite “ready” for what is in store for our story. We are never equipped enough. Equipping comes with learning, growing, and developing, and all of that comes from living out our stories—something that can’t be done ahead of time.

Today, I’m battling with the overwhelming amount of thoughts and emotions trapped inside of me. I’m confused, and with that comes a lot of frustration. I love being in control of my thoughts and feelings. I pride myself on being able to articulate what I’m feeling. When I can do that, I know what to do. I know how to move forward. I feel in control. BUT, in these moments of uncertainty, I don’t always know what to do, I lack clarity in how to move forward, and I certainly don’t feel in control.

Recently, the Lord has been teaching me A LOT. As I learn, I anticipate growth—but sometimes, I just don’t want it! I don’t want to learn. I don’t want to grow. I WANT to curl up in my bed (the place I feel the most comfortable and safe) and shut out the rest of the world. I thought the hard work was already done, because I was “ready” for all of this before I started.

This. This place right here. This is the best place to be—well, not the part about being in my bed and shutting out the rest of the world—that doesn’t quite seem like growth potential. It’s in the places of uncertainty, God shows Himself to me, and I can peacefully accept and understand that I am not in control. This is where I yearn for the Lord to show me how in control HE is and always has been. This is where I’m able to place all of the things I’m wrestling with in His hands. This is where I grow the most because I see how incapable I am to do it without God. I see how much more I need to learn and grow. This is where I see I’m only “ready” when I accept how “unready” I really am.

The Lord desires that we continue to learn and wants us to keep growing. Yes, knowledge of foster care specific issues is SO important. But that’s not the only growth we need. There is more to learn.

If you’re just joining the foster care journey, don’t let this push you away, but let it encourage you to keep pushing forward.

I think being “unready” is part of it. It’s maybe even good. The Lord draws us closer to Him in the uncertainty of our own ability.

If you’re in the midst of the crazy-hard foster care mess and you’re feeling hopeless, lonely, or discouraged—know you have room to grow and lean into that growth rather than away. We have a good God. There is always hope.

So, friend, please stay. Please join me, so we can continue to learn and grow together in the beautiful stories God is writing for our lives.

Do you need encouragement on your foster care journey?

Download this free resource, and know that you are not alone!

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Jillian Kellenberger

Jillian has a passion for reaching out and loving others. She began serving with TFI in college after learning more about the foster care community. Jillian is passionate about seeing the Church mobilized to serve and step into the lives of those affected by foster care. As a new foster mom, she is currently relying on donuts, coffee, and JESUS!

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