By Jennifer Johnson
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt guilty because you don’t want to be a foster parent.
I firmly believe Christians should be leading the way in fostering the needy kids in our communities. In fact, one of the moments I knew I wanted to marry Matt was when he initiated a conversation, during a road trip a few months before our actual engagement, about being foster parents someday.
But fostering is not for everyone, and it’s certainly not for everyone at every time. Matt and I just wrapped up a successful first year of a new marriage and blended family (successful defined generously as no one died or wanted someone else to), and adding the stresses of foster parenting at this point would be like a Bible college freshman signing up for graduate Greek.
But we can give a little extra time and attention to the kids in our church and in our neighborhood who don’t have dads at home. We can explore mentoring opportunities. Many of my stepkids’ friends are from single-parent families, and we can have them in our home more often. (Although last year’s Halloween-scary-movie-sleepover-extravaganza-for-eight may have been a bit much.)
The problem is huge—25 million kids in this country have no dad in the picture. So it’s tempting to think our response must also be big. But if all of us did something, together we could transform a generation.
In Becoming Sons and Daughters, Chris Travis asks, “If you’ve never had an adult really look at you and listen to you, how could you ever believe there’s an invisible God who cares about what you say?” I’m not ready to bring more kids into our home, but I can make room for more in my life. I can show up, listen, and maybe help a child believe in a heavenly Father.
Raise your hand if you can, too.