In honor of Fathers Day on Sunday, I thought you would be interested in a Foster Dad’s perspective. I asked my amazing Foster Dad/Husband to answer a few questions. I thought you would like to hear from him for a change!
Why did you decide to foster?
In 2013 I wrote a song about asking God to show me what breaks His heart and have it break mine too. He answered by laying on my heart it’s not enough just to proclaim that I am pro-life, but I needed to take action. So when my wife asked if I would be willing to open our house to other people’s children, I realized this was the action I needed to take. The answer was an easy yes.
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Do you still feel the same way?
Absolutely. I think there’s a difference between God calling you to do something and Him laying something on your heart. You can be called to teach Sunday school or hospitality and feel a sense of completion in that and God moving you on to something else. Where when He lays something on your heart, and it wrecks you, I don’t think the feeling that you have to help will ever go away.
What is the hardest part about being a foster dad?
Making plans and thinking I’m actually in control of things. LOL. I know any moment we can get the phone call for another placement. But when that call actually happens, nothing else you’ve planned for the next couple of days or a week or more doesn’t even matter. Even though we have pretty hectic lives, we still have a sense of routine. Throw another child or two… or three into the mix… routine and regular just left town for a while.
What are some of the feelings or things you do the first day a child moves in?
The first thing I do is pray I don’t scare the children. I’m a man of great stature and can be intimidating at times. Then I have whatever time there is between the call and when the caseworker arrives to freak out a little, only a little. Making sure the house is welcoming and putting our goofy 100-pound lab that likes to show love by “hugging” new people on a short leash.
What is your favorite part about being a foster dad?
Bedtime!! Just kidding… maybe. No, my favorite part is knowing I’m being obedient to God’s calling. There’s a joy that comes from knowing that. Christ never said following Him would be easy, but it is fulfilling.
Has being a foster dad changed the way you father your biological children?
Not too much other than trying to find some one-on-one time with them every now and again. Even if it’s just a chat after the others are in bed or a dinner night or playing video games. Just something to remind them that even though a lot of my attention is towards the other children, I haven’t forgotten about them.
You also adopted through foster care; anything you want to share about being an adoptive father?
I realize now that I spent many hours in the past at work making other people money. I’ve done my best to cut out overtime and spend as much time as possible with her. I don’t want my eulogy to begin with “he was always a hard worker” but rather about the fun times spent together.
What is one lesson you learned by being a foster dad?
One-piece pajamas are MANDATORY if your child still poops in the night. The last thing you want to deal with is a pantless toddler using her filled diaper as paint and herself and the crib as her canvas!!! (True story.)
Anything else you would like to say about being a foster dad or foster family?
Take advantage of every resource available to you, whether other foster parents, CASA workers, friends, family, church or online help. We are not meant to do life alone. It’s ok to swallow your pride and ask for help.