i too thought to myself multiple times through our process so far, "you have to be crazy to be a foster parent". how can someone pour out so much love with little to no love reciprocated, or even as much as a sign of appreciation? isn't it just easier to guard your heart from such pain, and ignore all of the orphans in our country?
this quote hit me today:
"to love at all is to be vulnerable. love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung, and possibly be broken. if you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. wrap it carefully round with little hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. it will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable" -C.S. Lewis The Four Loves
fortunately, the same One who calls us to care for orphans ("pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God our father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained from the world" james 1:27) is also the One who enables us to love them, without concern of reciprocation ("we love because he first loved us" 1 john 4:19).
jesus frees believers up from having to seek out love from other people, including our spouses, children, friends and co-workers. he loves us with a perfect love first, and as a result we can pour out love to others without having to expect love back from them.
this sums it up well:
"'by this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers' (1 john 3:16). this kind of love is the clearest indicator of a gospel-centered life. but laying down your life for others is impossible. it's too scary- unless you know you've been eternally loved by Christ. then you're free to give your life to others, because you've recieved so much yourself"
-tullian tchividjian, surprised by grace