Be Careful What You Pray For – A Foster Journey

Categories: Children's Ministries, Foster Care
Larry and Jennifer Allen, former Miracle Hill foster parents
Larry and Jennifer Allen, former Miracle Hill foster parents

After nearly two years “our baby girl” is finally going home to her mommy.  For such a long time we waited and waited to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Each passing day we became more and more attached to this little love.  We found ourselves renewing our license just to keep her in our home, long after we had decided that for the sake of our family and marriage we were no longer going to foster.

We wouldn’t have had had it any other way, knowing she had made so much progress since she came to our home.  She was loved by us and secure with us.  The thought of taking that away from her was just not an option.  There were many, many days we thought we didn’t have it in us at our age to raise a three-year-old . . . and then a four-year-old.  I once heard, “The only thing worse than a two-year-old is a three-year-old and the only thing good about a three-year-old is that they will eventually be four!”

What this has confirmed is that God challenges us and puts us in places where we have nowhere else to go but to HIM for strength and patience.  And when we are obedient to where He has called us to serve, He blesses us abundantly.  Of the nearly 730 times that I have sung the same four lullabies to this baby girl, many of them were sung with tears streaming down my face wondering when it would be the last.

Loving and Letting Go

Of the five children I have fostered, she is the only one I rocked to sleep and bonded with, as if she were my own.  She has and always will have a special place in my heart and in our family. For many of you this is the “Oh so dreaded part of letting go of a child that you have fallen in love with”.  This is the part for which my family thought I was crazy – setting myself up for so much pain, not to mention all the other sacrifices that not only I have made, but my entire family has made, including the animals.

The decision to foster was not an adventure that we entered into lightly.  It was something that both my husband and I had a desire to do for many years.  When the opportunity came, we talked together and prayed together and answered the call that God had laid on our hearts for years.  Fostering is not easy, and it’s certainly not something that we are all “called to do”.  However, for me it has been one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever been privileged to do, second only to raising my own two children.

A Family Transformed

Our first placement was very difficult. It’s a wonder we even continued to foster.  However, our last has been a true blessing.  As “our baby girl” counted down the days until she would return to her mommy, she couldn’t get enough hugs and snuggles while sharing how much she’s going to miss us.  The true blessing in all of this is that we have become very close to her family, and we will never have to say goodbye to this sweet baby girl.  Rather than losing her, we have gained her whole family.

It is a sweet reward when you are giving to others, only to find that they are the ones giving something to you.  I feel that I have fulfilled my purpose with this little girl, but by fate I have been called to something much higher in the lives of her family members.  Encouraging, mentoring and loving on this family has given me a sense of continued purpose, and the friendship and love we have received in return has been the true blessing in it all. Be careful what you pray for – you just may get it!

Want to consider becoming a foster parent? Learn more by visiting Miracle Hill Foster Care.

Post submitted by Jennifer Allen.  Jennifer can be reached at jallen@smfministries.org