Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Call

All of this had started almost 9 months before the day that I walked into that children's shelter. The thought of fostering children had never crossed my mind until...
I work full time at our local law enforcement center as an administrative specialist. I love my job and am very thankful for it. Basically, it is our job to process the hundreds of incident (police) reports that come in on a weekly basis. We read and process all incident reports for 2 different police departments (city and county). We enter reports and submit the information on to the state law enforcement division as well as the FBI. I have been in this position for the last 5 years. In that time, I have read some pretty horrible reports. Sure, a good majority of the reports are your simple stuff..somebody got mad at the bar and punched someone else...family disputes...somebody damaged someone else's car or home..being drunk and disorderly in public...the everyday stuff. 
But then there were some...
where the evil in people's hearts really shown through..the ones where the victims were children really got to me. Where someone victimized those that cannot fight back..those that cannot help themselves.  I read of horrific things being done to children. Abuse..whether it be mental, physical, sexual or emotional tears children apart and affects them for the rest of their lives. Other reports documented the absolute horrific conditions that children
 in our own backyards
 were living in. Trash up to the ceiling..roaches and other insects crawling all over the place...children sleeping on mattresses in the floor with animal feces right next to them. And usually the parents were either too lazy to do anything about it or too doped up on drugs to care or even know the difference. You've seen the reports on the news. But not all made the news. 
Lord, why?? Why do these children have to live like this? What can we do to help

I know...
I can donate to those agencies that help...the local shelter..I'll drop off some toys or clothing or diapers. That's it. I will be doing my part to helping these kids in need. 
How awesome am I?  Yep, I rock.  Doing my part.  Yessiree.

"But you can do more"  
Huh, who said that? "What about fostering a child who's been removed from their home? Bringing them into your home" What? Oh no Lord..LOL..that's not us. But that's a good one. You DO have a sense of humor.  There are those that can do that and I am thankful for them. But that's not us..I'm no where near qualified to foster a child! Have you seen all the mistakes I've made with the ones you blessed me with?? 
No. No. No
I'll just support and pray for other people who do that. Ok? Great. Good. Glad we got that settled. Whew, that was close. I almost thought He was gonna really tell me we needed to be foster parents. LOL That's funny right there. 
Over the next few weeks, I had the same conversation with God. He would tell me what he needed us to do. "I'm calling you to show Jesus to these kids and families in crisis." Sigh...
Lord, really? Me? Us? We are not qualified. We are not equipped to do this. No. No. No. Still He called. A heaviness was on my heart. The Lord had done so much for me and my family through the years. He had reached down in my darkest of days and pulled me back up..stood me on the Rock..brushed me off and sent me forward. How could I possibly tell Him no? And so I made the first step and contacted several agencies in our area that licensed foster families. DSS, Bair Foundation, and Miracle Hill Ministries. "Hi, can you send me information about becoming a foster parent?" I received paperwork in the mail from the Bair Foundation and Miracle Hill. Pictures of cute smiling kids being held by loving adoring adults adorned the brochures.
Awe!
Miracle Hill's paperwork talked of God's love and Christian values and looking for Christian homes so I was immediately drawn to that agency. Ok, got the info...now to talk to the husband. "You know exactly what he's gonna say...I don't know why your wasting your time with this", my mind was telling me. Sigh, here we go...
 I caught him on a relaxed day..watching TV in the living room..nothing going on but some relaxing family time. "Honey, I've got something I've got to talk to you about" "Ok, sure, what?" he said. How do I say it? What's gonna ease him in to even the thought of doing this...

"I think we need to become foster parents" 

There. I said it. I blurted it out and there it was...all out on the table. Whew. I looked up at him. I wish I had snapped a picture of that moment. His chin was lowered..his eyebrows raised..and he was looking at me as if I'd completely lost my mind. 
"Are you crazy? Have you completely lost your mind?"
 (See, I know my husbands looks) "Hear me out, please. I believe that God is calling us to be foster parents. It has been heavy on my heart. I know this is what He wants us to do. He is. I know it. God is calling us, honey." His response was classic. I'll never forget it. 

"Umm, well, honey, I aint got that phone call yet!", he had exclaimed.

 I pled my case. I really did. I even cried. Showed him the paperwork..told him of the horrible conditions that these kids have to live in. "Will you please just pray about it", I had asked him. "Yeah, I'll pray but I can tell you right now, there is no way we are gonna foster children"
 (Remember that line for later please) 

This was in January of 2012. "Ok, Lord," I had prayed that night. "There's nothing more I can do. We can't very well be a foster family if the Hubby is not on board. I tried. I'm sorry Lord." How many of you know that when God has a plan...

 I started to throw all the paperwork I'd received away. But something told me to hang on to the Miracle Hill paperwork. I placed it on my desk at home and went on about life. The reports still bothered me but I'd done all I can. Months passed. Life as we know it pressed on. 

Then, one Sunday night in April..Mark walks in from a mens meeting at church. "Honey, what did you do with that paperwork from Miracle Hill?"
"The foster parenting paperwork?", I asked..puzzled. "Yes" "It's over there on my desk...WHY?" 
"Because I think we need to look into it again..I think we need to be foster parents." 
Glory! My God is AWESOME! 
"What in the world? Where did this come from?" "Well, we were at men's meeting and we were talking about taking care of widows and orphans and I'm up there telling all these guys that we need to step up and do this and that for them and God just basically said to me,  "How can you be telling these other guys what they should be doing if you wont even discuss what I've called you and your wife to do?" BAM! Holy Spirit convicted him like a ton of bricks. I hadn't said a word since January. See, I didn't have to do a thing. God had a plan for us. He still does. And all things work together for the good of those who believe. Were we scared to death? Yes. Did we feel completely inadequate? Yes. But we both had now gotten the call...and we were in for the ride of our lives.

3 comments:

  1. Lisa Willis HollandAugust 27, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Valerie, reading about your calling touched my heart and made me cry. Thank God for people like you and your husband for answering God's call! Those children will never forget what you all are doing for them. I know I have never forgot the foster families I was placed with when I was taken away from an alcoholic mother. I am so grateful to them for taking me in showing me love and giving me a chance to have a normal life unlike the one I was used to living. Those foster families were a blessing to a child like me and my half brother. I never forgot their love and kindness. I am so glad you answered "the call." God will bless you and your husband and use you to make a positive difference in the lives of children who desperately need it. Your family will be in my prayers as you do what God has placed on your heart. Much love from a former foster child.

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  2. Oh, Lisa! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I'm so glad your foster experience was a good one. We are so hoping that this blog will touch others and bring awareness that good foster families are needed for these precious children. And if God can use us, He can use anyone! Thank you so much for your prayers!

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  3. Wow!! Our process started with my hubby coming home from a men's conference sounding exactly like your husband's experience....but I was the surprised one. It had taken years for me to see God's will for us. But...here we go!

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