One of the most important lessons we have learned in the Christian life is that we are not created to do life alone. God has designed us of course to have relationships with him but also to have relationships with others. This can be difficult to grasp, the idea that our relationship with God is not enough, but it is true. If you look in Genesis2:18, everything is perfect, sin has not yet entered the world, and Adam has perfect fellowship with God. But God says something very interesting, “It is not good for man to be alone…” God knew that we needed relationships with others along with our relationship with him because that is the way that He designed.
This fact has become vital for us as foster parents. There is no way that we can continue to do what we do, and live out this calling that God has placed on our lives without the support of others. Be it a difficult child or a failed adoption, we need loving encouragement of friends, family, caseworkers, agencies, fellow foster parents, and anyone else we can find so we can continue on this challenging and rewarding journey. We believe this now more than ever having dealt with multiple situations that did not go as we had hoped. We were not really sure how we would pick up and carry on. But so many people around us, including Buckner were there to lift us up and we were able to carry on because of the clear picture of Christian community we saw in our lives.
But there is something else we need to consider. The children who come into our home are the same way. At the point that they are placed with us they are very likely at the loneliest point in their lives. And while we often think of their needs we often forget about what Mother Teresa referred to as the greatest need in the world, loneliness. We must ensure that we do everything in our power to meet this need for the children in our home through getting them involved in activities, helping them meet friends in our area, keeping them in connected with family as much as is allowable and appropriate, and most of all through the loving, nurturing relationship that we ourselves build with them. Because just as we cannot carry on in this often difficult journey of life alone, neither can the kids from hard places who we have been called to love.