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Foster Care From a Different Point of View



Foster Care From a Different Point of View

Dylan Wells

My wife, Eryn, and I have known since we began dating that God was calling us to serve Him through adoption. It was through Waypoint Church that we got connected to foster care and recognized the urgent and local need for foster parents. After months of training and preparing, we became foster parents in June of 2019 to five-year-old and two-year-old sisters. We adopted the YOLO “You Only Live Once” philosophy, as we knew at that time that Eryn was pregnant with our first child, to be born in January 2020. We knew that 2020 would be a busy and exciting year. What we did not know was that a global pandemic was going to wreak havoc on everyone’s lives and make us glad that we only had to live once.

After being in our care for sixteen months the girls were reunified with their birth father in October 2020. Bittersweet is the first word everyone throws out when they ask how we are feeling, and I feel it is the best way to describe it. We are extremely happy that the girl’s father was able to work through his case plan and leave no shadow of a doubt that reunification was the best path forward. We are also sad and empty that our family of 5 has shrunk to 3 overnight. Thankfully, we are planning to continue to stay in touch to support the girls and their father, so it is just a change in our relationship with them, not an end to it.

When I think about our experience doing foster care, I have to separate it into micro and macro views. From a micro point of view, it was an all-consuming struggle. Our days consisted of carrying little girls out of restaurants throwing temper tantrums, getting screamed at “I HATE YOU” when someone didn’t get their way and having to sit inside a bedroom at night blocking the door while a little girl took everything out of her closet and threw it all over the room because she didn’t want to go to bed. While knowing we were doing what God called us to do, I had to question whether this was something I wanted to do.

Stepping back now and looking at our experience in foster care from a macro point of view, it is the most satisfying and fulfilling accomplishment of my life. We were able to see a five-year-old transform her identify from “I am a bad person, and I am always going to be bad” to a star student in her class and someone who in confident in her value and worth. Magically all the struggles and stressful days are now overshadowed in my memory by the joyful and sweet times that we had with the girls.

Understanding life with the appropriate perspective is a reality deeply rooted in us. Jesus, as the ultimate example, left His place in heaven to come down to suffer and die to redeem His creation from our sins. No one has struggled and suffered more, and no one has been exalted and glorified more in their suffering. As Christians, we are commanded to do the same thing.

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2

Being a foster parent is very difficult. The days are tough and long. Relationships can end at any moment. Uncertainty is a never-ending reality.

Foster care has allowed me to follow God’s calling on my life to put the needs of others ahead of my own comfort. Through this I have experienced a deep and enduring satisfaction that far overshadows the struggle and discomfort to get there. Eryn and I are planning to continue fostering, and we are grateful that the Grace of God allows us as broken people to serve Him in this way.

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