From the Network : A Change of Plans
Hi! I’m Jessie Bost, wife to Chase Bost. I am a follower of Jesus, pastor’s wife, and momma to two littles. I love spending time with friends, exploring the great outdoors, drinking coffee and reading a good book.
Chase is the Mobilization Pastor at Redeemer Midland. He loves people and has a heart to serve others. Outside of being with people, he is a huge coffee buff, he has grown it, picked it, dried it, processed it, roasted it, brewed it, and drinks WAY too much of it.
To be honest, respite care was never a part of “our plan.” Chase and I had talked about adoption for most of our marriage. When we moved back to Texas over 2 years ago, we were looking into adoption and someone mentioned foster care to us. In my head, foster care wasn’t for us, because of stigmas I had attached to it. But, as we prayed and sought the Lord, foster care just kept coming up. So, we attended an informational put on by CPS and once we heard the numbers, our hearts were broken. There was no turning back. We started training to become foster parents with Buckner and were certified in February 2019. Coincidentally, right around that time we discovered our pregnancy with our second little one. This pregnancy was a doozy, one I was incredibly grateful for, but I felt sick all the time. It just wasn’t the right time for us to welcome and care for another little one in our home. That is how we ended up doing respite. It was a simple solution to still help the families and children in foster care, but not jump in during a time that didn’t feel right to us.
Our hopes going into foster and respite care were to follow Jesus’ leading in caring for the hurting and broken. These children have experienced so much pain in their short lives and we wanted to be God’s light in the darkness. We hoped to welcome these children into our homes, love them, pray for them, and also allow their lives to change us, teach us. This feels like an idealized view from what little experience we have in respite care, but we do believe wholeheartedly that God calls us to be humble servants, to step out of our comfort zones and love those in need. For us, one way to do that was foster/respite care.
The list of fears we had going into this was ever growing. What would the child be like? Would they get along with our kids? How would they sleep? What pain have they experienced? Will I be able to give them they care they need? How will I manage all the extra appointments and paperwork? What all will I have to give up? I could go on. Ultimately, the thought kept coming back to me, these children are hurting, broken, they’ve been taken from the only family they know and they need someone to love them unconditionally, sacrifice for them and provide a safe home where they will be cared for. I can be inconvenienced for them.
What have we learned? Well, if we are being honest, we have had 3 respite care placements and they were all pretty straightforward. I don’t think we have been in the trenches like so many families who serve faithfully in the foster care community. I think so far our biggest take away is that these children are just like all other children. They want to be played with, fed yummy food, to laugh, to run, to pick flowers and roar like a dinosaur, to have a warm bed to sleep in, to be loved, cherished and cared for.
If you’re thinking of serving in foster care, respite is a great way to get involved and make an impact without a high chance of burnout. So often people in foster care get one hard placement, and then give up.
To close, we would like to leave you with one thought… Do not think about all of the reasons why not to do this (we know there are plenty)… but instead think about how your family could impact children’s lives by opening your life and home to them.