There's nothing sweeter than the sound of children playing and laughing — shouts of glee from the trampoline, the "Yesssss!" celebration of a long basketball shot, the giggles and grunts of a backyard wrestling match. To hear a child playing is to stand in awe of our Creator. And these days, my wife, Jean, and I get to hear a lot more of those sounds. Twice as much, to be exact.
Recently, Jean and I welcomed two kids from foster care into our home. The boys are biological brothers and are close in age to our sons, Trent and Troy. We couldn't be more delighted to have these four young boys bouncing around our house. We're a happy (and loud!) bunch these days.
The decision to become foster parents was the culmination of prayer and a lot of discussion for Jean and I. It was also an emotional decision for me. Having spent several years in the foster-care system of California, I feel I have a good understanding of the hopes and fears of kids in foster care. I thought this background would prepare me to be a good mentor to kids from a similar background.
When the boys first visited our house, I was struck with a thought: I had an idea what they were feeling because it was a feeling I'd experienced so many times as a child — that of being a "guest" in a home when I really wanted to be part of a family. As I watched these beautiful boys, I was humbled to know that God had chosen our family to bring comfort and guidance to them, and I wanted to make sure they felt as much a part of our family as possible.
The journey has been a big step of faith. It's unnerving at times, even a little scary. These boys have a past — a past that's not of their own doing and one that Jean and I are walking our way through with the help of the Lord. As I talk with and am inspired by other foster parents through Focus on the Family's Wait No More initiative, I know that Jean and I are not alone in these challenges. But I also know this: If God leads us somewhere, He equips us for that journey. I see this truth demonstrated in other foster families and in our home. He knows the past, and He helps us forge a new path forward.