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October 2, 2012 by greenhouse04

Foster care is a path of the unknown.

We said “yes” to a new foster daughter nearly two weeks ago. The next day, “Mari” came to live with us. All I knew about her before we met was her first name and that she was 8 months old.

A few days after we met I still felt I hardly knew anything about her. What food does she like? How many ounces of formula does she usually drink in a day? What is her sleeping schedule? What are her signals to let you know she’s hungry, tired, or uncomfortable?

Now, nearly two weeks later, I’m beginning to get to know her. We’re finally on a feeding and sleeping schedule, I know her signals, I know her birthday, her eye color, her middle name. She knows me – she cries for me when a stranger holds her (even though I was a stranger too just a few days ago), she smiles and laughs when I get her out of the crib in the morning.

But the unknowns continue to loom.

What is her birth mom like? Will I meet her this week at the two appointments Mari has? Will she get her act together and get her child back?

Why does her birth dad want to meet his daughter for the first time ever? Will the court decide to place her with him if they find him viable, since she wasn’t taken from him in the first place?

In one year from now will Mari still be with us? In five years? Will she grow up in a loving home? Will she ever hear about Jesus?

I’m reminded, yet again, of the truth I learned back when Eddie and Emma were foster children: life is one big unknown. We can delude ourselves into thinking that the future is certain, that we know what will happen tomorrow, next week, next year. But being a foster parent clubs me with the fact that the future is never certain. It is always unknown for us.

I am so thankful there is One who knows, for whom the future is as clear as the past, for whom there is no past or future, but only the clear and fully-known present. He knows. I can rest in that knowledge. Even in the face of the unknown.


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