Whoa. I’m about to get controversial. Some families say that God has told them to foster or adopt. Some people are really turned off by this and say it’s a bunch of bologna. I’m wading into these treacherous waters, looking at whether these people are right about God’s calling.
Viewpoint #1: God Inspired Us to Foster / Adopt
You’ve met people of strong faith before. Their lives are based on their religion and relationship with God. When devout families choose to become foster parents or to adopt, they freely talk about God telling them to do so. Sometimes they will share that they prayed to God, and God placed a desire for foster care or adoption in their hearts. Sometimes, they may say that they struggled with listening to God’s voice, but that God was persistent and they realized they were compelled to build families this way. They often describe it as an inner voice, pulling them towards this calling.
Is this an authentic way to come to foster care or adoption? Let’s take a look at the alternatives before we decide.
Viewpoint #2: Biology Pushes Us to Be Families
People with a scientific bent are likely to say that biological urges are the genesis of family building. Hormones spur us to reproduce. Likewise, we are hard-wired to to accept young children into our families, even if they are not ours by blood. Why? Human children require a heavy investment in time and energy since their maturation period is so long. Since nature requires such a large investment, the human race could not afford to lose children and evolved to protect others’ offspring. People in this camp will describe the desire to parent as a deep, biological yearning.
Viewpoint #3: Love Makes the World Go Round… And Leads Us to Parent
Then, there are the people who love to love. Their hearts make their decisions. Why did they choose to foster or adopt? How could they not? When they learned of the plight of traumatized children, these parents shed some tears as their hearts melted, and then jumped into fostering or adopting head first. Overwhelming love and empathy sparked a fire inside of them. Their strong emotions led them on their adoption or foster journey.
Viewpoint #4: Paying It Forward
Some families choose foster or adoption, because they feel the need to “pay it forward.” Some say they didn’t have a good childhood and, since there are no time machines to go back and change their histories, they work do for children what they wish someone would have done for them. Or others say they had a fantastic childhood, and want to ensure that other kids have something just as wonderful. There’s an undeniable longing to do good.
The Judges Say…
IT DOESN’T MATTER!!! There’s a certain something that leads us to welcome children into our homes, lives and hearts. Call it God, biology, love, do-gooder’s desire… Call it the universe whispering to us. It doesn’t matter, because in the end, we are stepping up to the plate and providing hugs and kisses to children and their first families. And that IS what matters.