That's the number of times we have heard the following statements:
"You must be saints" (uh not hardly, I mean you have met us)
"I could never do what you are doing" (really? Why don't you try)
"I would be too afraid I would get attached" (you do)
"Will you get to adopt them" (the goal is always reunification)
"I don't time or energy to do that" (and you think we do?)
BUT 153,000,000 is also the estimated number of orphaned or vulnerable children there are in the world today according to UNICEF.
I'll be honest here, foster care is NOT something that I would have ever wanted to do but because my husband felt the call from God to do it we did. I can also tell you that while it is the hardest thing we have ever done, it is also the most rewarding thing we've ever done.
The fact is whether or not you decide to do something, these kids end up somewhere anyway. So our thought is why not open our home with extra rooms in it to love with only a love Jesus can give us even if it means it is temporary.
How do we do it? Only by the grace of God. My emotions are like a roller coaster between compassion and anger but this I know, we have been the ones blessed and stretched and grown through this. It may be for only a season but the rewards from it are far reaching.
What many foster families won't tell you is that there are times where it's the loneliness place to be. You feel as if no one understands what you are feeling. God has blessed us with friends that have made this journey a little easier by encouraging words, gift cards to fast food, Walmart, or for gas. Cooked us meals. Had play dates. Listened to us cry. Listened to our joys. Just simply been God's hands and feet to us.
I encourage you to seek out the foster families in your communities and reach out to them in some way. You have no idea what it will mean to them.