Tag Archives: Foster Children

What allows a person to love self-sacrificially when it is difficult and painful?

A long journey through the night
A long journey through the night

All my regular readers know that I hold former Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann in high regard, especially because of her devotion to classical liberalism, her knowledge of economics, quitting her job to homeschool her children, and her defense of helpless unborn children. Michele also had 23 foster children stay in her home at different times, for different periods of time. Michele never went into details about the difficulties of foster mothering, but this article from The Federalist  does go into details. It turns out that being a foster parent is a lot harder than I thought.

Excerpt:

I hear people talk sometimes about what a blessing being a foster parent is. I know many devoted advocates who encourage their friends and their relatives to sign up to become foster parents because it’s so needed and it’s such a wonderful ministry.

I don’t want to damage their work, but I need to be honest. I can’t tell people, “You should foster!” and I will never (again) try to persuade someone to foster who doesn’t feel led to do so.

[…]As I look back over the past three years and I am overwhelmed with such horrifying memories, I can’t help but think this really isn’t for everyone. This really isn’t even for me.

I think about the time my son was punched in the face by his foster brother. I remember the screaming and the blood and the ER trip that cost me over $1,000.

I remember my husband being attacked by another child. I remember that child kicking him and biting him repeatedly while I ushered my children out of the room. I remember a computer being thrown in the bathtub and destroyed, my van scratched up with the key, and so many of our things broken and ruined by children who were, for a lack of better word, untamed. I remember finding a little boy drinking water out of the toilet like a puppy and pulling down his pants in the middle of the store to pee on the floor. (He was five.)

There were the moments of insane desperation when I called our caseworker begging for help and was simply told, “If you want him removed, then I will need a few weeks.” I wasn’t asking for removal, I was asking for help.

[…]I think about how my son was told terribly inaccurate things about sex and relationships by a foster child whose father had numerous affairs with family members. My son hadn’t even heard the word “sex” before. I was forced to explain things to him that he was really too young to know. I also recall this same child trying to touch my other son inappropriately.

I have cleaned feces off the wall and off my children’s pillows when a foster child liked to act out her emotions with her poop.

[…]There is the absurd amount of money I have spent on resources for our foster children that the state was supposed to pay for, but didn’t: daycare, therapy, and counseling. I know those things are supposed to be covered. I know. Don’t tell me about how those things are covered. But somehow I have still paid an absurd amount of money for them.

Then there is the time two little boys that had my heart were removed from our home to go back with their biological family, and three months later a story was all over the news about the same boys being found naked in the middle of the road late one night throwing rocks at cars. We weren’t allowed to take them back because we already had new placements and were at capacity. I think about other children we spent so much time and energy pouring our hearts into, who went back home and within weeks returned to their old ways.

Now there is this precious little girl, that after two years of loving I must send back to a home that allowed terrible things to happen to her sister.

So, why does the author of this article do it?

She explains why:

So, why do I do it? I do it because God asked me to. I do it because in his word he told me there would be a cost to following him. I do it because God is greater than the broken foster care system and God commands the seas in ways I can’t possibly imagine. I do it because I trust in God with all my heart, and although my understanding in this moment is that this path is not worth it for anyone, God tells me not to lean on my understanding, but to trust him. I do it because someone has to, and he has asked me to, and I surrendered my heart to Jesus and his will, not my will.

[…][I]f God calls you to it, then do it. Not because of who you are, but because of who he is. You might see the blessings. You might not. But it’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about him.

I think that in our society, we have sort of divorced self-sacrificial love from the worldview question. We don’t really look to marry or make friends with people who have a defined Christian worldview. We just sort of think, well, this person is or is not fun for me. Rather than thinking, this person has the character to deny themselves and their own interests and do what is right for others. A lot of times, secularists whose lives are devoid of caring self-sacrificially for others (e.g. – support for abortion) don’t realize how attacking Christianity creates a worse society. You aren’t going to find lots of people doing things like caring for difficult children in places like India, with their caste system and law of karma.

If you are the kind of person who thinks that self-sacrificial love is a good thing, then don’t expect it to be emotionally fulfilling. You won’t be happy with caring for others a lot of the time. Other people can be demanding and ungrateful. But if you want to do it, then take care to have a strong worldview that grounds this sort of self-sacrificial behavior. The foundation comes first. It is really hard for atheists to love other people self-sacrificially, without the example of Christ to make it objectively meaningful. If the universe is an accident, and you only get 80 years or so, and there is no one and nothing waiting for you when you die, and the universe itself dies by running out of usable energy (heat death of the universe), then it is not rational to care for others this way. But if Jesus himself sets the example of caring for others self-sacrificially, and you face him after you die (as judge or as friend), then suddenly doing the right thing becomes reasonable, even if it is not fulfilling and pleasurable right now.

I don’t know if non-Christians really can appreciate how Christians are motivated by the idea of following Jesus and choosing to experience the loss of personal happiness for the sake of others, just because it is a way of honoring Christ and sharing in his sufferings.

UK judge rules that Christians have no right to religious liberty

From the UK Telegraph. (H/T ADF Alert)

Excerpt:

Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson made the remarks when ruling on the case of a Christian couple who were told that they could not be foster carers because of their view that homosexuality is wrong.

The judges underlined that, in the case of fostering arrangements at least, the right of homosexuals to equality “should take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values.

In a ruling with potentially wide-ranging implications, the judges said Britain was a “largely secular”, multi-cultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity”.

[…]The ruling in the case of Owen and Eunice Johns, from Derby, is the latest in a series of judgments in which Christians have been defeated in the courts for breaching equality laws by manifesting their beliefs on homosexuality.

[…]In their ruling yesterday, the judges complained that it was not yet “well understood” that British society was largely secular and that the law has no place for Christianity.

“Although historically this country is part of the Christian West, and although it has an established church which is Christian, there have been enormous changes in the social and religious life of our country over the last century,” they said.

It was a “paradox” that society has become simultaneously both increasingly secular and increasingly diverse in religious affiliation, they said.

“We sit as secular judges serving a multicultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to ‘do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will’.”

The judges acknowledged that there was a “tension” in the case of Mr and Mrs Johns between the rights of individuals to maintain their religious beliefs and the rights of homosexual people to live free from discrimination.

However, when fostering regulations were taken into account, “the equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence” over religious rights, they said.

The world becomes a more evil place when Christians are forced to retreat into the shadows by the fascist state. I wonder if the two defendants voted for the Labor government that brought in these anti-Christian changes? I hope that they did not vote for the Labor Party, because it is a fearful thing to be your own executioner.

Related posts

Christian couple barred from having foster children

The UK Daily Mail reports on a Christian couple that has been banned from having foster children as a result of anti-Christian policies passed by the secular-left UK Labour Party. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

The couple in the High Court test case, Eunice and Owen Johns, said Derby City Council’s fostering panel rejected them as carers because they would never tell children a homosexual lifestyle was acceptable.

Mrs Johns said: ‘The council said: “Do you know, you would have to tell them that it’s OK to be homosexual?”

‘But I said I couldn’t do that because my Christian beliefs won’t let me. Morally, I couldn’t do that. Spiritually I couldn’t do that.’

The Pentecostal Christian couple from Derby, who have fostered almost 20 children, are not homophobic, according to the Christian Legal Centre, which has taken up their case.

But they are against sex before marriage and do not recognise as marriage civil partnerships between gay couples.

Their beliefs are at odds with Derby City Council’s equality policy, which was drawn up under the terms of the Sexual Orientation Act brought in by Labour.

The Christian Legal Centre, which campaigns for religious freedoms, said in a statement: ‘The case will decide whether the Johns will be able to foster without compromising their beliefs.

‘The implications are huge. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Christian foster carers and adoptive parents hangs in the balance.

‘It may not be long before local authorities decide that Christians cannot look after some of the most vulnerable children in our society, simply because they disapprove of homosexuality.’

This reminds me of how gay activist groups banned Catholic adoption agencies for insisting that children be placed with a mother and a father. Clergy may face prosecution for refusing to perform same-sex marriages. Similarly, leftists insist that doctors and nurses be forced to perform abortions against their consciences. And of course, the left regularly tries to silence Christians from talking about their faith in public, because talk of “morals” and “truth” offends leftists – it makes them feel bad, and that means everyone has to shut up and pretend to be atheists like them. Where can you see thorough, consistent atheism on display? Well, North Korea and Zimbabwe, of course.

Here’s another story I found at the Blog Prof. Michigan teacher bullies students into accepting gay agenda on “anti-bullying” day.

Excerpt:

Unionized teacher hacks sure have a funny way of educating their captive audience on national ” Anti-Bullying Day.” One teacher – Jay McDowell of Howell Schools who is also the local teachers union head – took it upon himself to make sure each and every one of his students endorsed homosexuality. When two students did not, he unilaterally suspended them from his class.

YOUR public schools in action. You pay for them. See, only certain students deserve bullying protection – certainly not the Christian students.

Where will this end? Well, I would expect that private schools and homeschooling will be be abolished and if any child expresses any preference for traditional marriage or protection for unborn children, then that child will be seized by the state and placed in a boarding school, or perhaps a more liberal household.