Monday, January 21, 2013

a tribute to a foster daddy

happy birthday month to my love!  my hero :)

alex leading us in prayer before
our wedding ceremony

there are so many things to celebrate and be thankful for in my husband alex.  today i want to write about his faith, especially as it plays out in foster parenting.

when i say "his faith" i don't just mean the fact that he is a christian or that he believes in jesus/spiritual things or that he goes to church.  this is how our society defines faith.

i define faith the way that the bible does.  alex shows his faith by actively living out what the bible says, showing that his trust is in God and not himself.  consider these verses.

"for as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead." (james 2:26)

"pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God our Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world" (james 1:27)

and part of the greatest passage about faith in the whole bible (IMHO).  it never ceases to give me chills every single time i read it:

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city..." (Hebrews 11 ESV)

now let me tell you the story of alex's faith (this is not exhaustive, but a picture into part of it).

by faith alex wanted children from the moment we got married, not seeking to follow the world's standard to "enjoy yourselves" and wait a few years (decades) before having kids, but believing the bible to be true when it says that children are a blessing.

by faith alex wanted to adopt orphans, not believing the world's warning that orphans are damaged goods and someone else's problem, but believing that God had first adopted him and wanting to extend that blessing to children in need.

by faith alex said yes when we were asked to take in our first two foster babies.  and by faith he suggested that we also take in their two older brothers when they needed a home a few weeks later, not listening to the world's warnings that we don't need to take on such a heavy and burdensome task, but believing that God could do more good through us in four lives than in two.

by faith alex faithfully served and poured himself out to these four young kids, especially seeking to help them understand spiritual things, even when it became clear that our hopes of adopting them would not be fulfilled.  by faith he knew that it was more important for them to be a part of our spiritual family and spend eternity with us than to be a part of our physical family and spend a few decades with us.

by faith alex wanted to try for adoption again, and nicely (but passionately) persuaded our agency to allow us to start the process again when esther was 5 months old.  by faith he did not hold our biological daughter on a pedestal and try to protect her from the difficulties that come along with fostering, but included her in on the process from a young age.

by faith alex said yes when we got the call about baby girl, as it seemed she might be adoptable, but having his trust fully in God in the situation, knowing that God would determine whether we would adopt or not.

by faith alex trusts God day by day knowing that God's will for this situation is good, and that even if we pour ourselves out to her for another year and continue to put on hold our desires to grow our family, it is for good.  by faith alex knows that he might be the only daddy that baby girl ever has, and seeks to love her while he can.  by faith he knows that it is more important for her to be a part of our spiritual family and spend eternity with us than to be a part of our physical family and spend a few decades with us.

alex lives by faith: his life is fully dependent on God being the God he reveals himself to be in the bible.  alex is dependent on God to give us the strength and ability to pour our lives out to these kids.  by faith, alex trusts God to bring the children into our home that He knows are best.  by faith, alex lives not for what is easy here and now, but for what will have an impact in eternity.

by faith, alex lives "not for the things that are seen, but for the things that are unseen.  for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 corinthians 4:18)

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