For the past several years, I have been focusing on living by faith instead of by fear. This is not an easy feat for someone who has spent most of her life living totally by fear. I go back to Philippians 4:4-7 often. It’s one of the first scriptures I memorized when I began my walk with God. The promise of peace that transcends all understanding is incredible, and God does give me that when I follow the command to pray and humbly present my requests to Him. Since becoming a foster mom, I have been tempted many times to live by fear instead of by faith.
As a foster parent, you are a part of a team. This team is in place to make sure the child’s best interest is being served. It is made up of many people including social workers, lawyers, judges, doctors, psychologists, birth parents, etc. Often, the member of the team that knows the most about the child is the foster parent, especially if the child is a baby and has been picked up from the hospital by the foster parent. The other members of the team know the baby mostly “on paper”. They may meet with the child for as much as an hour per week, but the rest of what they know comes from information that the foster parent provides about schedule adjustment, likes, dislikes, progress, etc.
I am a new foster mom, new to fostering completely, new to the agency through which I was certified. They are getting to know me, and I am getting to know them. In this process, I have found that the agency is motivated largely by fear. Pretty much everything they do, every decision they make, is in an effort to cover themselves legally.
At first, I was having a difficult time figuring out why I felt so crazy when I had conversations with people from the agency, why I was left feeling so anxious after each conversation. Then I realized that their fear was trickling down to me. More than trickling down, it was being poured from their cup into mine. Since I am an important part of the team, I do have to learn how to work with my teammates, but that doesn’t mean that I have to accept their way of life.
My new challenge is to learn how to hear what my team members are communicating, respond to them in a godly and professional way, and most importantly remember that I do not need to fear like they do because God is always with me, always taking care of me. He did not open all of the doors for me to foster so that I could return to my old fearful way of life. Perfect love drives out fear, and God’s love for me is perfect. (1 John 4:18)