The conversation starts out simply, asking questions that women are prone to ask –
Are your children married?
Do you have grandchildren?
Yes! Two grandsons that my daughter and son-in-law are fostering to adopt.
The last, “Oh” echos in the room like a shout in a canyon, and is spoken with a disappointed tone, as if to say,
Oh, I’m sorry you don’t have REAL grandchildren.
It’s also at that moment that this Gigi’s heart drops to the floor in an ache that only a real grandmother could comprehend.
These little boys, brought into our family as a rescue to keep them from a difficult and ungodly home-life, also entered our hearts from the moment we saw them. They have pictured before my eyes my own adoption into God’s family. I was brought in poor, needy, (sin)sick, alone, and looking for true love and acceptance. God took me in when I came to Him and He made me His daughter. All of me belongs to all of Him. I now am a child of the King of Kings!!
When a family opens their home and hearts to a child that is not their own flesh and blood, something very special happens. Those children are accepted as they are and for whom they are. They are loved unconditionally and fully. They become one of us…just like a blood relative.
I don’t point a blaming finger at those that are disappointed for me because I “just have foster grandchildren.” I didn’t understand before now either how real this relationship between foster/adopted children and their “new”family really is. I may have reacted the very same way to others before now. That’s the whole reason I’m writing this post – to enlighten those who have never been involved in the process of fostering or adoption.
- It’s painful.
- It’s risky.
- It’s unknown.
- It’s full of love.
- It’s worth it. Because every child that is adopted into a godly home has the chance to hear the Gospel and to understand what being adopted into God’s family looks like! It’s the heavenly form of what happened to them on this earth, and it’s for a redemptive purpose. It will blot out their sin and give them a personal relationship with the God who made them. Without this adopted earthly family they may never have heard or understood that message quite so well.
So the next time you hear that someone has foster or adopted children or grandchildren, can I encourage you to muster up all the excitement in both your face and your response and bless them with your congratulations and joy instead of your disappointment?
They need it as they wait for all the litigation to happen in the slow cycle of the court system.
They need it as they deal with the physical, mental and emotional effects of drugs or alcohol in the children’s bodies.
They need it as they hear of yet another hurdle that must be jumped in order to give their names to these children to whom they have given hours, days, months and even years while their birth families went on with life as though they didn’t exist, because to most of them, they never really did.
But to the foster/adopted family, they are the center of home-life! They are the reason they laugh and take a million pictures and videos. They are the reason they hear the names – Momma, Daddy, Pappa and Gigi. They are the reason their hearts explode with joy at sight of them or at the sound of their laughter.
They are the reason we want you to rejoice with us, because you see…we have real grandchildren, too.
Let me end by adding that MANY people in our lives have rejoiced, supported and loved on our grandsons, and we are so thankful. It’s generally people who are not close to us or the situation from whom this response is negative. I’m writing only to inform and encourage anyone who isn’t familiar with the lives of foster families. It’s wonderful, and we want you to see the joy in it, too! Thanks for reading and understanding my heart.