Author: April Swiger, Guest Blogger
Recently I attended an event where I was surrounded by beautiful families. From what I could see, we were probably the only foster family, and certainly the only trans-racial family present. This event very unexpectedly stirred up pain in my heart; pain that I needed to process and lay at the feet of Jesus. Questions arose in my heart, and bitterness began to sneak in as I watched glowing pregnant women walk by and children playing together without their parent’s supervision. My son was having a particularly difficult night and we ended up sitting in the car for a while. Selfishly, all I wanted to do was have an adult conversation, something that is precious (and rare) these days.
If you could see into my sinful heart that evening, you would have heard these questions through bitter sobs. God, why did you call us to this? Why can’t we just blend in and have our family grow the “old fashioned” way? Why won’t you heal this precious boy quicker? Why can’t it just be stinking easy?!
Scripture verses began running through my head. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him,” (Philippians 3:8-9).
And again, “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,’” (Matthew 16:24-25).
I reminded myself that knowing Jesus is far more precious to me than any loss I may suffer. The loss of comfort. The loss of an easy life. The loss of blending in. The loss of typical milestones for our son. The loss of reputation among those who may not understand. The loss of the first two and a half years of my son’s life when I couldn’t protect him from all the hard things he experienced.
Just like I held my son this morning as he sobbed into my shoulder after his birth dad missed the bus again and, consequently, his visit was cancelled, Jesus held me as I wrote loss over my life once again. He is so patient. So kind. So long-suffering. So merciful towards my bitter and entitled heart.
This life is not my own. I was bought with a price. A great price. I am weary, yes, but my little boy is worth it, and losing all my former hopes and dreams for new ones, for the sake of Christ, is even more so.
John Piper, pastor and author at desiringGod.org once said, “The only way to have the power to follow Christ in the costly way of love is to be filled with hope, with strong confidence that if we lose our life doing his will, we will find it again and be richly rewarded,” (The Power of Hope, 1981).
Weary Foster Mom, your life is not unnoticed by the creator of the entire universe. He longs to be gracious to you and provide for all of your needs. He loves you. He loves your children. There are great rewards for those who follow Jesus, risking it all, in this broken (but beautiful) world of foster care. It is worth the cost.
If you are interested in opening your home and heart to a child in need, please visit the LSS/NCA website and fill out the foster parent inquiry form.
EDITOR’S NOTE: On July 27, 2016, the Swiger family celebrated their son Jayda’s finalized adoption! We rejoice with April and her family this week during this beautiful and exciting time.
BIO: April Swiger is a wife, mother to two awesome little boys (Jayda and Zay), homemaker, and blogger. She is the author of Dignity and Worth: Seeing the Image of God in Foster Adoption. In 2013, her family moved to her home state of Connecticut, where her husband, Adam, serves as the worship pastor at Christ the Redeemer Church. Living in a 100-year-old farmhouse, being debt-free, cooking nourishing food, and enjoying introvert-friendly activities are some of her favorite things. You can join her for more “Faithfulness in the Mundane” at www.aprilswiger.com and instagram.com/aprilswiger/.