Imagine going from zero children to five children overnight. That’s the story you’ll hear today! When Kristal and Jared Black decided to start a family, they quickly realized that their path would be different than they expected it to be. While walking through infertility and then an expected adoption that ended unexpectedly, God was working in their hearts to overcome the fear of foster care and open them up to other possibilities. Little did they know that God would take them on a journey that was even crazier (and even better) than they could have expected! In this episode, listen in as Kristal shares her family’s journey, what she learned in a long season of waiting, how she and her husband have navigated such a big transition, and the work God did in her along the way.
TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. We need to hold our expectations loosely.
We often have preconceived notions about how our stories will unfold, but those expectations aren’t guaranteed to be met. Each of our stories are filled with roadblocks and detours along the way. If your story is different from what you (or others) consider “normal,” it doesn’t mean that your journey is less valuable than the journey others have taken. You can have confidence in knowing that you are following God’s unique direction to end up where you are supposed to be.
“My road is different and that’s something to be proud of and not ashamed of. As long as I am following God, I will end up where I am supposed to be.”
2. Don’t let fear keep you from what God has for you.
Especially when we first consider foster care, it can be really scary. There’s fear that we won’t be able to parent well, fear that we can’t meet a child’s needs, and even fear of the unknown. These fears can shut us down from experiencing the life and the impact on others that God desires for us to have.
“God let me see them as His children and then I saw them in a totally different light.”
3. Resist the tendency to focus on protecting yourself.
There can be heartache in foster care and adoption. We can feel disappointed when a placement ends or when an adoption falls through. As we anticipate these heartaches, our natural instinct can be to rush to protect ourselves. But we need to resist this tendency and instead focus on protecting the children in our care. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware of what we need and where we are at. However, it does mean we can stay committed to what God has called us to and trust Him to protect our hearts.
“A lot of time with foster care we feel like we need to protect ourselves. God helped me learn to let Him do that.”
4. Have you fully surrendered your life to God?
We so appreciated how Kristal openly shared how some of the hardest experiences for her led her to a deeper trust and surrender to God. Even more than that, she shares that those experiences led her to become even more aware of what God was doing around her and within her heart.
“If I’m supposed to take care of children temporarily, then that’s what I’ll do. God wants families to be together.”
Meet Our Guest
Kristal Black and her husband, Jared, struggled to grow their family due to infertility and an expected adoption that didn’t take place. After two years, they received an email that would expand their family significantly. Kristal and Jared went from zero to five children overnight and never looked back. They are passionate about advocating for foster care, adoption, and supporting foster families. Kristal and Jared live in southwest Missouri with their five children and two doodle dogs.
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