Where do I begin?
This weekend, Tim and I spent 14.5 hours in a classroom going through the first leg of the PRIDE training which is one step in the process which allows people to adopt and foster children. We are absolutely exhausted. We can’t turn our necks a certain way, and we kind of wish we had another couple of days added to the weekend….but it was worth every single minute. Even if I weren’t adopting, I would still get so much out of the training, because it opens your eyes to what too many children go through every single day in our backyards. I won’t lie…there were parts that were difficult, incredibly difficult. I have a headache from furrowing my brow from sadness throughout parts of the training, but there’s something amazing about it too. Once your eyes are opened, it calls you to action. It’s so easy to sit back and do nothing when you don’t really know the problem. Even when I was teaching and saw children who needed to be in foster care, I never imagined the magnitude of what they went through every day. This training actually takes you through what the children are feeling, what the birth parents are feeling, and what you as the foster/adoptive parent are feeling. Wow. If you’ve ever had even a hint of interest in fostering/adopting, go through this training. It will open your eyes. It will call you to some type of action, even if you decide fostering/adopting isn’t for you. You’ll never be the same.
One of the things that struck me so heavily this weekend was the group of people that we went through the training with. You know, so many times we are so quick to think about all the bad in the world. But it’s weekends like these when I am reminded…there are a whole lot of Jesus-followers in the world. We are going through the training with 7 other singles/couples, and it’s amazing how you can feel the room heave a collective sigh during the sad parts. You can feel the heaviness after a difficult video clip. You can see their hearts when they talk about their concerns and why they are doing this. I think that a fellow trainee put into words quite well this weekend why we are doing this. He said,
“We aren’t doing this because we’re amazing parents,
We’re doing this as an act of obedience to God.”
Yes-exactly, and that has been such a blessing …being with a lot of people who get us. Really get our motivation for this, understand the why….because they are in the same boat.
Have you ever stepped back and looked at God’s leading you through a situation? I’m sure you have, and a lot of the time, it’s through lots of little, simple things. Well, for the last year and a half, it’s been just that. A lot of little, simple things gently (and sometimes more forcefully) guiding us to this point. It started with a home school book about George Mueller. Isn’t it amazing the things God uses to speak to us? I was amazed when we walked into training and just so happened to be in the same class as the Overstreets. Then, there was a sweet couple who was related to a couple we attend church with. Then, there was a home school family who has three kids, two girls and a boy-just like us. I mean, you can’t just throw those things together haphazardly. No way…that is the hand of God at work in the lives of His children. That is His attention to detail. That is His extreme care and involvement in our lives.
The trainers….oh their heart! Such sweet people who love the Lord. Each one of them had a personal connection to fostering/adoption whether it be that they were personally adopted or part of a foster family, and their love for these children poured out with their words. They don’t get paid, they volunteer their weekend hours to train families. They are passionate. Wow. When God calls and equips people and they are obedient, it is such a good thing.
I could easily keep going about what God showed me this week through that 14.5 hours of training. But I won’t. I need to get started on our paperwork. I figure if I get started this morning, I should be able to finish up by our next session in two weeks. Ha! Yes, there is A LOT of paperwork!
I want to encourage you….if you have even a hint of wanting to do something to help the children in Arkansas, go check out these websites. Even if you aren’t called to open your home, there are lots of other things to do from providing food for trainings like these to donating clothing to being a foster grandparent, it takes LOTS of God’s people working together to make a dent.
Project Zero http://www.projectzero.org