Whenever a friend or family member gets engaged, I immediately begin praying, “LORD, please let me have a date to this wedding – someone I really like, maybe even someone I will eventually marry myself.”
More times than not, I have still ended up attending those weddings alone.
My cousin is getting married next month and, as usual, upon hearing of her engagement, I began praying for a date. This time God answered; however, not in the way I requested or expected.
But as often is the case, He answered it perfectly and in a way that He had been working out long before my cousin began planning her wedding.
I have been a licensed foster parent for a couple of years now but have not had any placements. I knew that God had called me to be a licensed foster parent, so I just rested in that truth and waited.
His timing came this summer when I had the opportunity to take a new position in the non-profit where I work. I am now a professional foster parent to teenagers who have had to flee their country, without their parents, because their lives were in danger from persecution. (For more information about the program, check out: http://www.ccdofw.org/ifc) Currently, there are four teenagers from the Congo, Guatemala, and Burma living in our house. Plus, one of the teenagers has a baby.
Needless to say, my life has changed drastically from being a single woman living alone to being a foster mom of four teenagers and an infant.
The other night we decided to watch a movie together as a family. We chose a Jackie Chan movie, The Spy Next Door. At the end of the movie Jackie Chan’s character, Bob Ho, is talking to the teenage daughter about family. He says, “Family isn’t whose blood you carry. It’s who you love and who loves you.” As I sat there with my unusual family I couldn’t agree more.
We are a family.
We have laughed with each other at the dinner table, discussed hopes and dreams for the future, worshiped together, and celebrated together as the baby took her first steps. I have learned about fixing African hair, and I’ve survived practice driving lessons so they can get their driver’s license.
A couple of weeks ago as I was preparing dinner, I enjoyed the laughter of my kids playing on the Wii. It was one of those perfect family moments like you might see in the movies. And in case you were wondering, there were no leftovers from the dinner I made. That never happened when I was living alone.
We are leaving in a couple of days for a road trip to Colorado to see the mountains and attend my cousin’s wedding.
That’s right, I will be driving a van of teenagers and a baby on a 15-hour trip to Colorado, and we are all extremely excited about it. I showed one of the kids a picture of a gondola we will ride while we are there, and she said, “Oh, like I saw on Real Housewives!” I am looking forward to teaching them road trip games, bonding on the long drive, and enjoying the mountains together.
This is not the answer I had in mind when I asked God for someone to go to my cousin’s wedding, but thankfully He does more than I could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).