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Hi. I am Elizabeth. 

Welcome to my blog. I use this little space to chronicle the adventures of the Noel family!

Foster Love

Foster Love

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I am so excited about today's post. I met Terah and her family at church many months ago, but it turns out we went to the same small (and I mean small)  Christian college and didn't know each other. Such a small world.  Terah and I hit it off immediately, and she is the kind of person you just want to be around and learn from. She is so loving and wise. I absolutely love her family- that is built through biology, adoption, foster care and lots of love. I asked her to share about their foster care journey, as I have learned so much from her and I wanted her to share her wisdom! May is Foster Care awareness month and I didn't want to let it go by without mentioning this important journey. 

About 6 years ago, we started this foster care journey without one single clue what that really meant. When we began, we didn’t know anyone personally who were foster parents. I felt lonely. I felt ostracized, at times. I felt crazy. I felt pitied. When our first placement ended the way it did {quickly and with a lot of grief}, those feelings were exponentially magnified. The comments went a little like this: Are you sure God has called you to this? Maybe you should just have your own kids. It’s not meant for everyone. What if your family gets hurt again? With many sideways looks, just wondering why. Honestly, many of those sideways glances came from me, wondering why in the world God would lead us down this path that seemed to lead to death and why we would choose to follow.

I often think about how different our lives would be if we had simply walked away after that first placement. It would have been easy and expected. We were still healing from the pain caused. My dad had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Our then 3 year old and I were miles away in South Carolina dealing with the aftermath of said diagnosis when we received our next call. It would have been easy, expected, understandable if we just called it quits.

When talking about foster care, I’m often told, “I couldn’t do what you do.” For many different reasons: I’d get too attached. You don’t know what you’re going to get. They come with so much baggage. What if they hurt our dog, other kids, me? I don’t want the government in my home all the time. I don’t have the time, money, energy. I don’t have a big enough house, a big enough car, a big enough budget. And here’s the honest truth about them all: They’re all true.

I can go through each one and tell you many stories about how they were, are experienced in our home, in our lives. We have 6 kids and a dog. We fill up all the rooms in our home and almost all of the room in our 12 passenger van. As a mom of 6, a wife, and a counselor, I never have enough time, money, or energy. The government is rarely in our home because they don’t have enough time, money, or energy either. Our dogs, our kids, and ourselves have been hurt, in some way, by every.single.placement. I have never known what deep amount of trauma will walk through my door with any given placement. And I always get “too attached.”

I would do it all over again. I do it all over again every time we get a call about a new placement. The statistics are staggering. There are too many kids and not enough homes. So we keep showing up. Usually, with shaky hands, wobbly knees, and weary bones. But we still show up. These kids are worth showing up for. These kids are worth fighting like hell for. They are worth all the blood, sweat, tears, and sleepless nights. It’s not always easy. In fact, it rarely is. I don’t get it right all of the time. In fact, I rarely do. But they are worth every bit of it.

And Jesus. He is always, always worth it.

And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40

 

Current Favorites

Current Favorites

A Dinner A'Fare

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