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From the Network : Confessions of a Foster Brother

Hi! Im Boston. Im a freshman in High School. I love people and am called to foreign missions! Until then I want to serve the Lord locally. Specifically, that means I am a missionary at my school, inviting the kids to church to experience Jesus's love through us and just being their friend while at school. 

In 2016, my parents sat us down and explained what fostering was and why we should do it, how these kids needed a place to stay until their parents could provide a stable home for them. They explained how it would be a lot of work for them to become foster parents and it would be a sacrifice for the whole family. When my parents first told me about the idea of fostering I was all in, I wanted to love people as Jesus loves us. I had lots of questions and they answered them honestly.  When my parents got their first placement call they were out of the state and we were with my grandparents.  So we all came home to a new brother! It was exciting but our expectations were not met. He had experienced severe neglect so he had a hard time connecting with any of us. Eventually, the Lord worked and we were all able to connect and he began to heal.  With our third placement we were notified and she showed up 10 minutes later. I remember sitting on the couch feeling really nervous trying to not let my expectations go over board. But she was full of joy, and happy. It was an easy transition for us and my nerves immediately went away. As a foster sibling the biggest thing is to be present and helpful, show a lot of grace because they are learning where they fit in a new family.  Its simply things like showing them where the cups are, show them how to get a snack, play with them, hug them, tell them you are praying for them and talk kindly about their biological family.  

My parents have always done a good job with making friends and being kind and gracious with the biological parents, some of my favorite memories are when we open our homes to the biological parents. One Easter we had the parents over to our house, had a big lunch and Easter egg hunt. Having everyone that loved that child around a table together to celebrate Jesus is something I'll never forget. And it was so neat to see that we can help these families as a whole and not just the child.

There are hard days. There is a lot of appointments and meltdowns.  Anytime you add a kid to the family it is hard to do. It changes the whole family dynamic. You just have to remember why you're doing it and what you're called too.  And ask for forgiveness when you mess up…because you will mess up. 

The leaving of placements is the hardest thing for me. Im excited for them but also sad for us. Our last foster placement was a sibling group of two. They were young sweet girls and they just didn’t understand why they had to leave our house. They screamed and cried when my parents put them in the car. It was a very traumatic experience for the whole family. BUT GOD. He eventually restored them with their parents and it was very beautiful to see even in the sadness. We hear from them ever so often and we are so thankful for that. 

My encouragement for parents worried about how fostering will impact their children is this: the world is full of loss, and grief, and moments when it’s hard to trust the Lord. But we shouldn’t run away from hard just to feel comfortable. My mom often tells me “You CAN do hard things”.  And your kids can too!  Just know, even when it hurts and when it’s hard, you're making a difference in their life and its going to change yours too! 



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