We were receiving our foster care interview over the phone, where you are asked some real basic questions about your family. The lady was real sweet, inquiring about different things that would directly affect a foster care child in our home. We have 5 of our own children, so I think it's totally reasonable to question our motives, our values, and overall assess our reasons taking on foster care in this season. I mean, really....all the reasons in the world tell me right now is not the right time. But my heart can't stop beating for the dream that is inside.
When the interview was over, the women kindly asked if she could ask something personal. I wasn't sure what to expect, but her question was certainly sincere - and I'm sure everyone would wonder the same thing as we move forward in such endeavors. "As a mother to such little ones, why foster now? Why do you feel led to do this?"
I paused in that moment. So many thoughts rushing through my mind. So many different ways I could answer. It's always been in my heart to adopt or foster - even before I had my own children. There's always been this dream in my heart to mother the motherless. I didn't always know what face that would take, nor how it would come about, but I knew it was a God-dream that He would make straight when the right time came. I was even willing to go half way around the world, if that's what it took, in order to do it. I knew I was called. I knew I was called to love the fatherless, to embrace the broken, to heal the abused, to disciple the next generation. It's only by having my own children that I have come to realize this at even a deeper level - how much I want to mother all whom would be put in my arms.
"I believe every child is deserving of love," I said. "It is because I am a mother that I see that more clearly."
"I see," the woman replied. "You seem to have the right idea..."
I wasn't sure my answer was the one she wanted to hear. I knew she may not understand my reasons. I had to trust that I was being faithful to my own heart and the dreams we have embraced for our future. What words can not express is how deeply my heart burns to see this dream come alive. Our MAPP training began last week and my heart is pumping with anticipation. Just as I know each and every one of my children were hand picked for us as parents, I also believe there are orphans awaiting the right parent(s). Though my own biological children grew in my womb, there are others growing in my heart.
I didn't always want a big family. In fact, if you had known me 10 years ago, I may have told you I wasn't sure if I even wanted children. It's an evolving story of healing and dreaming with God that has been pivotal to my life walk. Part of the reservation of being a mother was simply based in fear- fear of failure, fear of being an unloving mother, fear of losing myself, fear of what others would think. As I worked through the deep torment of fear on my life and found deep healing waters in my faith and pursuit of God, I was able to dream bigger. I was no longer haunted with the fear of the future. I was able to dream bigger than reason itself, and allow something heavenly take place in my heart. And here's the best part of all - I actually LOVE being a mother. More than the ability to give life, I feel it is a calling. Giving birth doesn't make a mother - its what you do after - when life is being lived. I feel called to love un-relentlessly with my life. Children have this remarkable way of reaching to the depths of your soul and bringing out what you never knew was there. They are a gift. They are the next leaders to rule the world. If there are things we don't like in this world, its easier to train a child than it is to change the mind of an adult. Children are created as conduits of LOVE. They can not help but want it. And when they get it, they will give it back. It may not seem that way at first - but as we faithfully sow the seed of love, our children grow to give it as well - and we reap a great harvest for everyone else in the world to feast on. I am not naïve. I don't think it will be an easy road. (It hasn't been). I am simply an optimist who believes one person can make a difference in the world by simply loving extravagantly. Think about if every child I choose to love would also impact others with that same belief? I am willing to at least try.
Are you dreamer? Is there something so radical in your heart that you hesitate to share it at all? Is there a labor of love, a dream of desire, awaiting the day it may birth forth? Are finding your heart stricken with possibility when you gaze into your tomorrow?
So forget the nay-sayers. I know there's some dreamers out there! Your dream may not be my dream, but I want to encourage you. Don't let anyone steal from you. Take that dream and plant it in some good soil. Water it daily. Pray over it. Hold it close to your heart. Meditate on it. Protect it. Stay away from casting those pearls to others who may not see eye to eye. It's your dream. Own it. Even if pessimistic questions triy to quench what's in your heart, smile big, and know dreamers don't imagine in the world of possibility. Dreamers imagine the impossible in a world of reason. We live outside the natural to see the supernatural. We stop to see the miracles of everyday life, and we don't allow the mundane to steal from our present joy. Sometimes we all need to stop thinking and just faithfully move forward. Our mind can be our biggest battlefield. And as you dream and imagine, may you be ascended into a realm where dreams DO come true. They can. They will.
If we all become what we believe,
than its time to believe in your dreams.