Foster Friends

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.

—Proverbs 18:24

We said goodbye to another family yesterday.  This is the second family from our org that has finished language school and moved to their final assignment and another will leave a month from now.

A life of transition is very hard on relationships.

We had to say goodbye to our friends and family when we moved here and now we continue to have to say goodbyes.  The life of a cross cultural worker is full of transitions and goodbyes.  It just comes with the territory.

This is also a difficult thing for our kids.  We are all tempted to keep to ourselves and not develop friendships and relationships because we know that they will only be temporary.  But what kind of life would that be?  To never love or be loved by others for fear of one day having to feel the hurt of saying goodbye…..

As I was crying and praying before our friends left yesterday I was struck with a thought.  We are foster friends.  

When we became foster parents many moons ago I remember people saying “I could never do that.  I’d get too attached.”  As I sat month after month with our adoptive/foster mom support group, so many of us would discuss this common comment.  Getting attached is the point.  Giving another person your love and attention for however long you have them is the point.  It’s not just about going through the motions to make it to the next day (well, sometimes that’s all we can do!), but it’s about living life to the fullest in each day and each moment.  We love those God puts in our path with a fierce, scary love and then we let them go when God says it’s time.

Do we cry?  Yep!  Does it suck?  Yep!  But is our life better for having known people and letting them in?  Absolutely, yep.

I know I’m new at this whole cross cultural life but I pray I never become hardened to letting myself be vulnerable and open with my love and attention just because of fear.  Perfect Love drives out fear. (Love = Jesus)

I pray I continue to be brave enough to be a foster friend to those God puts in my path over the years.  I also pray that those I have poured into over time will know how much I cared.  Even if our friendship was only for a season, that season was important to me and helped shape me into who I am.

Wherever you are, whatever your situation… I pray that you would feel brave enough to let people in as well.