November 10, 2016
We were fresh out of training and we were anxious to get started. We were hopeful about the perfect bridge resource family scenario, but we had been so involved in the foster care community that we had an idea of the frequency of that actually occurring. Never the less, our prayer as we went into this was that we might build a relationship with our foster child and their biological family with the hopes of sharing the Gospel with them. That was the better life we asked the Lord to provide for the little ones and their families who would come to our home.
Our little guy was eleven months old when a DHS worker brought him to our home. We learned very little about his background that night, but what we did find out lead us to wonder if this little boy might be with us for a long time if not forever, but our prayer for him stayed the same.
From the very first time that we met our foster son’s biological family we did our best to help them see that our intention was not to replace his mom or “steal” her son. We wanted her to know that our desire was and is to support her. Nevertheless, I think she was skeptical of us. Honestly, I probably would have felt the same in her shoes.
Early on, there were a series decisions made by his mom that caused delays with reunification. These decisions made us so uncomfortable with the thought of reunification and even made us question if it should ever happen. We began to add to our prayer that if it wasn’t the Lord’s will for him to go home with his mom that she would mess up badly enough that her rights would be terminated or she would relinquish, but if he was supposed to go home that God would give us along with all of those involved in his case a peace about it. In the meantime, we pushed through our “lack of peace” and did our very best to cheer them on as a family and encourage her to keep doing well.
Despite our attempts to be friendly, we felt like she wanted nothing to do with us for the most part. Maybe she felt like she couldn’t trust us, or like she didn’t need us. I felt like she was going to make nice in order to get her son back, but we were still at arm's length. At an Anna’s House monthly support group another foster mom shared about how she had built a good relationship with her foster daughter’s mom. I took her advice. I got our little guy’s mom’s phone number and we started texting. I would send pictures, videos, updates if he learned or did anything new, encouragement, etc. That seemed to help a lot. That, along with another hard time in her life, felt like the beginning of a change in our relationship. I tried to be there for her and show my support by going to all of the court dates, which were monthly, and I would be the one to take him to and from visits most of the time.
Soon our in-person interactions were more frequent and unsupervised by DHS. We were cautiously optimistic. Even though things were getting better each time, we were very cautious with sharing our personal information, just in case things went south. Eventually, we became close enough and comfortable enough to have her into our home, both for visits and meals. She also came to church with us a few times.
God answered our prayers. There were times that we felt worried about him going home, but we realized that it had more to do with preferences, than actual concern for his safety. I would cry at night just thinking about him going home. I knew I was going to miss him so much, and at that moment I questioned how anything could be better than what he had right then with us. That was selfish and honestly pretty prideful of me. The feelings were there regardless, so we just prayed for God to lead our thoughts and emotions and help us not to be selfish. He did.
We knew without a doubt that she loved him and would sacrifice so much for him, and the Lord allowed us to see it more and more every time we were around her. God gave us a little more peace day by day.
When it came time for our little guy to go home we spent one last eventful day with him, part of which included getting pictures of the three of us. We dropped him off at his mom’s house with all of his things. One of those things was his Jesus Storybook Bible that we read with him every day, and some other Christian books and movies. We want the Gospel message to be in their home. We congratulated her over and over again. I think it was obvious that we were having a hard time leaving. Not because we didn’t trust her, but because we were sad that this sweet boy wouldn’t be such an integral part of our life anymore. We all hugged and cried. She promised we could still see him and we offered to help if she needed anything.
We continue to be a part of her main support system. Since going home we have gotten to babysit several times, we got to go to his birthday party, they have come to church with us a few times, they have come over for lunch, and just last week we got to attend her graduation from the program. We are so proud of her and so happy for their family. In some ways, I think she is a little scared, but we have continued to reassure her that we are here for them.
We have several pictures of them up around our house, which are great reminders of God’s faithfulness to equip us as a bridge resource family and lead us through the process. They also are great reminders to pray for them often and we ask God to use us to draw them both to himself, and that he would then use them to reach others with the Good News for his glory.
— The Blazs Family