Our first conversation about fostering may have started with an argument, but trusting my spouse was an important part of the process.
Our first conversation about fostering was an argument. We were still living in Cleveland, a couple years into marriage. Absolute babies with so much to learn. On a normal day during a normal car ride to accomplish some normal errand I brought it up for the first time :
“I can see us fostering one day.”
Maybe it’s the way I said it, suggesting more of a concrete plan than an idea, but I could see the wall come up in Correy’s body language.
“There is no way. You know my heart, I could not get that attached to a child only to give them back. I couldn’t handle that.”
That sentiment is so common, and I have a future post in store to address it, but in that moment it hurt deep. I understood his heart, my husband is a passionate and sensitive man that loves deeply, but I did not yet have the life experience or education on the topic to appropriately pursue the topic more.
And so that was it. It would be years before the topic came up again and my writing this story is evidence that the next time it would be very different. My husband is the same caring and passionate man but we both grew in our understanding of what foster care is, who it’s for, and what it’s about.
The Advice I Read Later
While we were in the process of getting licensed, a friend recommended a book by Jason Johnson : Reframing Foster Care. So much of that book touched my heart and helped prepare me for our journey, but there were a couple chapters that brought me back to that first conversation.
“…we don’t just bring foster children into our homes; we also bring them into our marriages.”
The truth is, we were not in a place at that time to bring children into our marriage, and while I was bringing up fostering as a future idea, it resonated deeply and Correy was understandably overwhelmed at the prospect of adding this big life changing thing into our lives that already felt out of control.
Be Persistent in Your Calling
So much healing, grace, growth, and trust has happened since that first conversation both individually and in our marriage. When we advocate for fostering there is a huge emphasis on the urgency of the need: and that is so real and important. There are kids that need safe homes now. However, I encourage any married person considering fostering to ensure you and your spouse are healthy and on the same page about this important call to welcome brokenness into your home. Johnson’s book pointed out something else that I found to be true for our journey :
“Marriage requires trust, and an ability and willingness to slow down on one end and speed up on the other so that eventually you can end up on the same page…”
No marriage is perfect, but being on the same page and having a healthy foundation are crucial as you begin your own foster care journey.