In a busy courtroom, a judge orders the return of two children to their mother. After months of therapy, family visits, and anticipation, the time has come. Mom is ready and kids are even more eager. This family gets to be together again and return home. The road has been long and hard, but today is a day for rejoicing and restoration. Across town, a foster family tightly hugs the kids they’ve loved for 9 months. They feel like their own, yet they know this is what is best and what is right. Bittersweet tears are shed. A family is restored.
Just down the hall, in a different room, a judge’s gavel swings and she declares an adoption final. Cheers erupt and faces beam as a foster daughter becomes simply “daughter.” Great loss occurred to get to this moment, but restoration and a new family emerges. A child is no longer in the foster care system and a new family is born.
These two stories are common ones if you’re familiar with the world of foster care. Both are complicated and involved a long journey filled with unknowns and months, sometimes years, of waiting. Foster care, more than most things in this world, puts on display that no two situations are alike. As you enter your role in the foster care journey, you will bring your own experience and expectations. Perhaps the hope of adoption is primary for your family, or maybe you are seeking to foster until they reunite with their family. Or you might have no idea what your role will be but you are eager and open to discover what it is. The good news is that when it comes to foster care, there are many outcomes that can result in restoration for families and kids that reflect God’s heart for those impacted by foster care. At Restoration Collective, we celebrate the many outcomes for kids and families that bring restoration.
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul calls the people of God to be ministers of reconciliation. What is the basis for this? The basis is that we have been reconciled to God through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Let’s not miss the gravity of this truth! We were separated from God, without hope of that changing on our own. Yet God, in His grace, made a way for us to be reconciled to God and in relationship with Him. Even better, He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. God is a reconciler. So how does this affect foster care? It is this same heart of God that calls us to be a part of reconciliation in the lives of others.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to explore the different outcomes of foster care that demonstrate God’s heart and commitment to restoration, and how restoration comes in many forms. We will more closely look at how family reunification, adoption, and kinship placement/adoption beautifully demonstrate reconciliation and are some of the many “wins” in foster care. Whether you entered foster care with a set of expectations or are unsure of what you were saying yes to, there is great opportunity to broaden our vision of what is possible. May we trust God’s heart for everyone impacted by the reality of foster care. He wants to bring restoration to brokenness. What a great privilege that he invites us to be a part of it!