A Foster Home?

A Foster Home?

Nov 22, 2017


by Katrina Goodrich

Once upon a time, not too long ago, I became the member of a foster home for an adorable puppy. Fostering a puppy was not on any list I had or something I had been wanting. It was very much an unexpected event. Not necessarily an unwelcome one — even at 3 am when the poor little guy, who hadn’t slept a wink to this point, was barking and in distress for a reason I couldn’t fathom in my sleep-deprived state. My experience is not on par with those who choose to foster human children. However it has been interesting and has me thinking about foster homes, families, and kids.

Technically speaking, Mary and Joseph were a foster family for Jesus. I realize the situation was a little bit different from every other fostering situation because Mary actually gave birth to Jesus. But if you take a moment to think about it, Jesus wasn’t biologically hers. Jesus was given to Mary and Joseph by God through the Holy Spirit, for a short period of time — to care for and nurture him until the time came that he could care for himself and begin his kingdom work. I’ve heard this idea of Jesus being a foster child before, but it had not really struck me what that meant until now.

I believe that Mary and Joseph loved and cared for Jesus as though he were their natural-born son. I think Jesus knew that he did not ultimately belong to them. He must’ve had an idea of it by age 12 when he referred to the Temple as “his father’s house.” (Luke 2) Even if Jesus hadn’t been aware of who his father actually was up to this point, that still leaves 12 years, when as a child, he probably had heard about his less than ideal appearance on the earthly scene. I doubt that the people around Mary and Joseph understood much about immaculate conception — in that culture, conception out of wedlock was very looked down upon. Was Jesus ever alienated by his peers for his birth circumstance? There is no real way to know, but perhaps it makes Jesus’ concern for widows, orphans, children, outcasts, and oppressed become more about embracing his humanity than merely a holy crusade.

I experienced providing a foster home for a puppy for two weeks. It seriously challenged my thoughts and perceptions, as well as giving me a fraction of an insight into what fostering really is like. It’s taxing emotionally and physically for both parties. I feel like as a parent you worry about everything. How is the child adjusting? How is the case worker, or the eventual parents, going to critique how you are taking care of the child? Imagine being Mary and Joseph — they didn’t have to merely answer to a case worker but to God himself. Yikes! Being a foster family is difficult (and sometimes it’s dirty and imperfect and exhausting), so kudos to all those families who open your homes and care for foster children. You are amazing!

Not everyone can provide a foster home, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything you can do to serve the oppressed in your little area of the world. There are many opportunities, particularly right now with the holidays approaching. There are many programs to get involved in. This holiday season consider celebrating Jesus’ birth with an activity that honors His care of the oppressed. Serve at a soup kitchen, donate to or organize a clothing drive, pick up one of those little trees with the name of a person with a Christmas gift wish.

There are so many ways to get involved so pick one — just one — and participate.

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