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How Hard Can It Be?

2012 November 10

When we accepted our call to foster parenting we sought prayer support from our growth group at church. If you don’t have such a group, get one. Gather some friends and ask them to commit with you to pray for the children yet unknown and to pray for you and your spouse.

Every now and then during our meetings, I would turn to our friend Colleen and ask:

3D Maze 2 by Svilen Milev

“How hard can it be?”

That always elicited a laugh.

Having three kids with her husband Keith she knew I had to be joking or totally insane. Because she knows me she couldn’t be blamed for making either determination.

Just to clarify: I was attempting to be funny.

Now that we have three kids living with us anytime I spot Colleen across the way as the worship crowds change over I holler to her, “Piece of cake, Colleen! Piece of cake!”

When I told our sixteen year old daughter this story she said, “But it’s not hard, is it?(

Isn’t she cute?

She went on to say that Jennifer and I didn’t seem like we were having a difficult time or visibly showing a lot of effort. That could be taken a number of ways. I’ sure you’ve heard the radio commercials that end with: “You don’t have to be a perfect parent to be a foster parent.” That always leaves me with a sensation of accomplishment. At least I got that part down pat. But it gave me some assurance that we’re not showing it and loading the kids down with additional pressures and concerns they don’t need. They don’t really need the ones they have already.

So she’s never observed me as I’ve found Jennifer crying for exhaustion or overheard me voicing my self doubts to Jennifer in our bedroom. Those moments are fewer and far between as we progress; their absence would concern me more than their frequency.

The act of parenting is hard, and foster parenting is, I contend, harder. All the lives in the household, including your own, have been turned upside down and in the midst of a major change for everyone you all have to get to know each other and deal with the hurt and anger these kids are experiencing.

I can say that into our nine month with our sons and five with our daughter, it’s working. Our marriage is stronger and we lean on God more as we work and live in His will. And we have three wonderful kids who have enriched our lives beyond all imagining.

How hard can it be? Not hard enough for Him.

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