by Janet Chew
You may have seen us around church between services, the older couple with a seemingly different infant every month. Your eyes do not deceive you, since we started foster parenting 2.5 years ago, we've had 7 newborns. It's like we are perpetual "new" parents!
I was first moved to consider foster care when Evergreen SGV was placing special needs orphans from China, had an orphan day, and several sermons on caring for widows and orphans (James 1:27). Wil on the other hand, still remembers when I first brought up the subject, he flat out said no! So I let God work on his heart and a few months later I brought it up again and God had changed Wil's heart and mind...so our journey in fostering began. We paired up with Childshare, a Christian foster care organization. Training and certification took about 4 months and at times felt counterintuitive and very intrusive. God reminded us: you cannot plan or prepare for, you just commit and pray and He is faithful.
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of newborns needing homes in this county. Each time we are ready for a child, there's no wait. We have learned a system cannot raise a child, it takes a committed family to unconditionally love and nurture each child. Each child brings joy and blessing into our family in their own unique way. Seeing a newborn start to recognize your face, smile and coo is such a wonderful experience it can’t help but make you feel that you are making a difference. Don't get us wrong, it's a LOT of work: feedings, changings, no sleep, but God has called us to love each baby like our own and pray for them like God's own. Because of the short time we have with each one, we need to cover them in prayer, love and security. Hopefully that carries them through the many challenges ahead.
So many tears and heartache follow each baby as they move from our home. Most people ask, why do it then? We feel that God must have placed this ministry on our hearts because we are uniquely experienced due to the loss of our own son 15 years ago (Romans 8:28). Through our healing process, we learned that we can recover, we know God has a plan, and we know God redeems our tears (Psalm 126:5).
So the next time you see us don’t hesitate to stop us. We welcome the opportunity to share the baby's story, or of course they always just love to be held! We are so blessed that the Lord has led us to be able to share our lives with children in need.