Deciding to become houseparents wasn’t an easy decision. At first, we honestly pushed away the calling. Our lives in Indiana were comfortable. We had a lovely home, a great church, wonderful jobs, a good school district, and plenty of family close by. We also knew that becoming a houseparent would mean putting our own kids at risk and giving up our family time. It wasn’t a decision we could make lightly – we had to be all in. It took years. We struggled with all the sacrifice involved.
Eventually, it came down to surrender. Would we keep clinging to our comfortable lifestyle or surrender to God’s will? The beautiful thing about surrender is that our lives became centered around God instead of us. We were focused on showing HIS love to each and every child who entered our home.
Houseparenting is far from easy. There are times when it’s difficult to remember that the hurtful things our kids say and do really aren’t directed at us. It’s just a reflection of the pain they have experienced throughout their own lives. During the tough times, we have to remember WHY we are doing this. We believe God has adopted us into his family and now we are called to do the same. We have the opportunity to show kids what it’s like to be a part of a better story and a true family. Each and every one of our kids know that they have a unique role and purpose in our family.
These past five weeks have been especially difficult for our family as we have had five kids discharged from our home (some were planned discharges and others under painful circumstances). With each departure, there are MANY tears shed, and a part of our hearts leave with the child. That’s the moment when we have to return to God for strength. His Fatherly love for us is what inspires us to keep going. We follow his example by loving others deeply and acting out of that love.
Despite all the tough moments, there are so many joys along the way. Like the time I saw one of our children offering forgiveness to another for the first time. Or when our new child starts to believe that true family is possible. In these moments, we see a glimpse of what their story could become. These are the moments we remember WHY we are houseparents.