I know you.
And I know what’s going through your mind right now.
Those questions and fears that bounce around your mind like a pinball in a pinball machine???
Yeah, I have them too! Trust me.
You lie awake, night after night, staring at the ceiling, wondering, praying, hoping, begging, but fearing what you’ve been trying to not believe about yourself…“Do I have what it takes to do this?” “Can I really do what’s needed for this child?” “Am I cut out to help them overcome the hell of their past?” “Can I love them through the devastation of their trauma?” “The abuse?” “The loss?” “The fear?”
Maybe all of these questions flood your mind after an 8-hour tantrum…after cleaning up pieces of broken belongings because they suffer from a dark disorder as a result of that traumatic past. Perhaps you’ve spent years trying to form a healthy attachment to your child, only to be rejected over and over and over again! Maybe it’s just your own self-doubt that pounds your mind like a boxer striking a blow on an opponent!
And so you ask….Do I have what it takes?
I believe you do. And I believe this deep in my heart.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. I’ve wrestled with this over and over. I’ve battled my own self-doubt. Through this, I can confidently say ‘you do’ and ‘so do I!’ You may be shaking your head but let me tell exactly why I believe this….
- You have heart. You have a heart for vulnerable children. For kiddos who’ve come from darkness so thick, it’s hard to believe that light could ever pierce it. You have a heart for your kid. You are willing to run through the most violent storm of life to care for this child. Yep, that’s you. And buddy, come hell or high water, you’re not giving up on this human being!
- You have compassion. Speaking of that heart in your chest….it doesn’t bleed with compassion, it gushes with compassion! In-spite of the bruises on your arm, the wounds in your spirit, and the exhaustion in your body, your heart breaks for your child. You can’t imagine where he or she would have been had you not picked up the phone and that compels you to never give up fighting for them, or against their traumatic past alongside of them. You have compassion in you…..believe in it and wrap your arms around it tightly!
- You’re willing. We’ve said this often….it doesn’t take a perfect person to foster or adopt….it takes a willing person. Someone with a compassionate heart who’s willing to do whatever it takes (what….ever!) to care for a child who’s broken and hurting deeply. It’s an invitation to willingly look past the exterior of your child’s behavior…and see the beautiful heart inside them. You’re willing to do this….aren’t you?
It doesn’t take a perfect person to foster or adopt….it takes a willing person.
- You carry a never-give-up spirit. That’s right….that’s you! You have what it takes because you keep moving forward even when the outlook is bleak. Even when you’re getting the run-around and run-around and run-around by the foster care system. Even when you’ve spent weeks and weeks and weeks battling defiance, and aggression, and bad choices. You never give up because you believe in a bigger story for your child’s life and future. You believe they are NOT defined by their traumatic past. You believe they have hope and a future! You don’t believe they are simply a bad kid doing bad stuff. You know deep in your heart they are a hurting child speaking out of their trauma. Thus…you never give up!
Friend, if I could look you in your eyes right now…if I could cup your dampened cheeks in the palm of my hands and look you straight, I’d nod up and down with a half grin as we locked eyes. I’d purse my lips tightly as if to say nonverbally, “You got this.” Why?
Because you do. You got this. I know the heart that beats within you because it’s my heart too! While we are beaten down, broken, spent, exhausted, stretched thinner than thin, and feeling completely inadequate, we have what it takes. We will never ever ever give up on these precious children God chose to place in our care. We will never walk away from these babies who now wear our last name.
If that’s you….you have what it takes!
Have you struggled believing that you’re cut out for this? Share your story with us.