Back in January of 2015 I attended one of our monthly LeadHer meetings. During this meeting we were instructed to get into small groups so that we could discuss our passions. I was amazed to learn about the other women’s passions as they each shared. There was one small problem, I didn’t have a passion.
I have to admit that I kind of felt like a loser. I was encouraged to take time that year to ask God to show me what my passion was and to lead me to a way to support that passion. Time passed and I did not really think about that assignment again. Yes, that night I prayed about finding my passion but it was just that one time.
At some point, I started to notice that my heart would ache when I heard stories about children in foster care. I would think I wish I had the ability to help these children. The thought would come and then go. I would occasionally see stories of children holding a sign showing how many days they were in foster care and now they have a forever family. Those stories made me smile and say a prayer of thanks to God for helping that child. After a while it dawned on me that I had a desire to help these children but I did not know how. I was thinking along the lines of getting supplies for foster families or possibly providing support for foster families. This was a task that was in my comfort zone and I knew I could complete this type of task. Now that the idea was in my mind, I needed to find out how to help.
In December I saw a facebook post about an upcoming information session on fostering, respite care, and ways to help. I should note that there is no reason why that post should have showed up in my newsfeed….looking back it showed up because God had a plan that would take me WAY out of my comfort zone. At the beginning of the meeting everyone shared why they were there. Everyone but me was there to sign up to be foster parents with the plan to adopt. I was just there to learn more about the organization and fostering in general. As I left the meeting I signed up to be a volunteer and possibly becoming a respite provider. I walked out of the meeting knowing that I had found my passion.
About a month later I got a call asking if I was interested in the taking a class to become a respite provider (this is short term care that allows foster families to have a short break). I thought that this sounded like a great plan and still a doable way to support my passion. A couple days later I got a call from the worker saying someone had dropped out of the class and she wondered if I would be interested in taking the classes now. As I attended classes I kept thinking that I was not ready to be a foster mom. I felt like I needed to start small but God had a different plan. I kept running into problems that would delay the process and God kept providing solutions to those problems. At one point, I was struggling to find some of the forms and I was secretly happy as this would delay the process. After a few days of searching I found one document in a random envelope that looked like trash and was able to get another one from our human resource office (in less than five minutes from asking).
During this process I learned that putting in child proof locks on cabinets can be quite hard. I shared this fact with a friend from work and God brought me her husband who installed them for me. One night I was struggling with doubt and I asked God if he had given this assignment to the right daughter (I mean He does have a lot of children so maybe this one and only time He got it wrong). I felt like God was encouraging me to reach out for prayer. I didn’t want to but I stepped out of my comfort zone by reaching out to a few friends from LeadHer. The day before our next meeting I received a message saying “I hope to see you tomorrow.” The message made me smile and I decided to set an alarm so I would not forget about the meeting. The next day the alarm went off but I was dragging my feet. Part of me wanted to go and the other part of me wanted a lazy night at home. I kept feeling this feeling that I needed to be at this meeting. I managed to get to the meeting a few minutes late. I am glad I got there because God had a plan.
During this meeting I was surrounded by love, support, and prayer. The ladies at the meeting took time out to focus on my needs. They showed me that they would be there is I needed help. They surrounded me as they prayed for me, for the process, and for the children who would come into my home. It was an amazing experience that I will not forget. God showed me if I will just reach out for help, that He will surround me with what I need. I keep asking “God are you sure,” and He keeps reminding me that this is His plan. I am still terrified that that I am going to fail but I am guessing this is how all first time parents feel. It is amazing to see how God used Leadher to plant a seed in my heart over a year ago and it has now grown into a plan that I could have never imagined was possible.
I can now answer the question “what is your passion?” My passion is to pour love into a foster child’s life, to teach them that adults do make mistakes but that doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with them, and to provide them with the skills they need for when they go back home.