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Choosing to Do Foster Care for Medically Fragile Children

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We were busy raising three sons and two daughters; life felt somewhat manageable. During a quick weekend getaway, my husband and I decided to go listen to some missionaries speak. Sitting there hearing about their work in Guatemala, we wondered if perhaps this was something we should get involved in. We were at a crossroads in our family’s journey and seeking out what was next. Before the end of the evening, we knew exactly what it was we were to do. Something we had always said before, “No, not ever, thank you very much.” That “something” was foster care.

By Monday, I was on the phone seeking out an agency to get licensed with.

Needless to say, my husband and I were both excited and scared out of our minds. We had worked side-by-side with others doing foster care for years, but this would be different. No longer would we be supporting others — this time, it would be our comfortable life being shaken to the core.

As we considered our options, we became aware of the needs of medically fragile children. We had no previous medical background. I had never even held a child with disabilities before. One step led to another, and one day we found ourselves meeting an amazing little girl. She was a gift we were scared to receive. Our beginning together was anything but comfortable or pretty. Her health was a complex train wreck, and let’s face it, we didn’t know what we were doing. Night after night of holding her screaming, suffering body everything I knew in life changed. She didn’t have words to tell us what was wrong. Little by little, we built our team and got her needs addressed. It’s been a long hard road, yet one also filled with the most amazing miracles. She’s changed our lives in every way … for the good.

People often say how we’ve made such a difference in her life. More accurately though, is how she’s made a difference in all of ours. She has taught us what it means to really live and love. Being her mom is one of the most humbling privileges I’ve ever known. She paved the way for us to welcome two more gifts into our family a few years later. Their list of diagnoses are long, yet they are so much more than any diagnosis. They are world changers and they’ve changed ours for the better.

Originally published: April 22, 2018
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