How can you share your love and conviction about foster care and adoption without being “preachy?”
While I love to talk about foster care and what that looks like for our family, I certainly hope I never sound “preachy!” (I’m sure I do at times…)
I went to a conference a couple of weeks ago and there were about 400 women there, so you can imagine all the first-meeting conversations that happened. At each meal, I would find myself sitting at a table with six other women I didn’t know, sharing elevator pitches about our lives and blogs. We all share that we’re married (or not), have kids (or not), where we’re from, and what we blog about.
“I’m Kindel. Married to Cody. We have one son and we are hoping to finalize his adoption soon. We have a dog and a cat…blah blah blah.”
This always opens the door for more questions about Little Man. Are you foster parents? How old is he? How long have you had him? And on and on.
Here’s a secret: I LOVE these questions. It gives me a chance to talk about my kid because HELLO! He’s adorable! But is also gives me the chance to normalize being a foster parent. I’m not some super hero out to save all the children. I’m not some weirdo who takes in kids like stray cats. I’m just a normal person who has lots of love in her heart and room in her home.
That weekend at the conference, I met so many other people who either are foster parents or who are interested in foster care. I sat with a new sweet friend and answered questions about foster care (many like the ones in this series!) for the entire meal. It was so wonderful! If I hadn’t opened the door for the conversation, we may never have mentioned it at all and I would have missed out on such sweet community and kindred spirit-ness.
I hope that by making myself available to talk about foster care and being honest about the structure of our family, I am making a way for others to see that normal people are foster parents. Normal people with normal kids that are in such need of love and attention. Doesn’t that sound like a normal kid to you?
Here’s the thing: foster parenting is hard because parenting is hard, not because fostering is hard. Yes, there are difficult aspects, but they are so far outweighed by the good!
So how do I not sound “preachy” when sharing about foster care? It’s all about sharing honestly, without putting any expectation on anyone else, and living openly. It’s a beautiful way that God has chosen to grow our family. Currently, we have 9 kids in our family. We get to welcome one (so far) forever, and eight have moved on to other chapters of their stories. I hope that it’s inspiring without being preachy, normal without sounding strange, and loving freely without obligation.