We were stunned to learn that there were children in our own state, indeed in our own neighborhood, who were trapped in foster care awaiting adoptive families.
My husband, John, and I had long been passionate about adoption, but learning about these needy kids gave us a clear calling. Over the next eight years, we brought home four children – two girls and two boys.
Of course, just because God has called you to something doesn't mean it's going to go as you might expect or hope. We have had many challenges with connection and bonding and with other behaviors that accompany children who have experienced neglect or abuse.
But we recognized early on that we couldn't isolate ourselves. We cried out to God. We sought help from family, friends and even professionals.
It's interesting how our perspective on parenting has shifted. We've learned that often the most effective way to deal with our kids' upsetting behavior might appear to be overly compassionate, running against our "normal" parenting instincts. But I'm always reminding myself that I'm dealing not so much with defiance in need of discipline, but pain in need of healing.
Focus on the Family’s Wait No More program prepares hearts and homes for kids in foster care – whether for a season or a lifetime. Everyone who feels called to foster, adopt or support a foster/adoptive family can get involved through our nationwide events and resources. Every day, we help kids in foster care experience the love of family, no matter how long they’ve waited. Learn more at WaitNoMore.org.