We have finally finished the last of our paperwork, and can I just say...HOLY BANANAS. My hand is cramped and limp from writing, and my brain is feeling quite overloaded. While I completely understand the necessity of the task I must admit I am taken aback at the emotional detail! My dear husband at one point exclaimed, "What is this? eHarmony??" Ha! Certainly feels that way. It's not that the questions are terribly invasive, it's more that it forces you to consider yourself, your family, your marriage, and your life in a way you probably never have before. How does your family express happiness, frustration, disappointment, love, etc. etc. I wanted to write something like, "I don't know, like most regular people? We smile when we are happy and we cry when we are sad?" Of course I did not respond that way and indeed did think about it at length and respond appropriately. While the exercise does force you to take the time to evaluate your life it can also trip you up because above all you want to be honest, but on the other hand you don't want to sound like a lunatic! But I suppose all I can do is be completely honest and leave the rest to God! As if this entire venture isn't His anyway, but you know we in our flesh love to pretend we have an idea of what is going on. Silly earth dwellers!
The other part of the questionnaire that threw me a little was the section concerning religion. Perhaps this was short sighted of me, but I had never considered the thought of fostering a child from a different religion. That one was a tough one for me and took me a while to pen. We are a Christian family and our faith defines our relationships and certainly our parenting. Naturally, the old "WWJD" mantra came to mind, and (surprise surprise) I had no idea! Jesus asks us to love unconditionally as He loves us. I could absolutely love a child of a different religion, of that I am sure. But the question goes further and asks about raising the child according to his/her religious practices. Would doing so contradict my own beliefs? How would I explain this to my other children? What happens if this child becomes available for adoption? So many questions. So many unknowns. In the end we decided that for our family it would be best to submit that we feel most comfortable taking in a child with parents that have either no religious preference, or Christian preferences. We have to trust that God will work out the rest. If we believe that God is sovereign, that can only mean he is sovereign over everything, or sovereign over nothing. His sovereignty cannot be fragmented. For me, this is a comfort because I know my life is only a tapestry weaved out of faith, relationships, and obedience by the Creator, and I am blessed enough to be considered a thread.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."