Foster care and the kidney transplant are really the only two things I have been thinking about this week… I am so preoccupied with thoughts of what is on the horizon for us (Steve and I and our foster children). Bear with me… this might be a stretch but I was thinking about it today – fostering and living donation are similar. I don’t think of my kidney as being mine. Ever since I decided to start the process of donating my kidney to my husband I have thought of it as already his. Right now I am just incubating my husband’s kidney. I am taking care of it like I would my own (actually even more carefully because it does not belong to me and I want to give it to him in pristine condition) but in the back of my mind I know that eventually (hopefully) it will be going home to live inside my husband (haha that sounds so weird). That is where it belongs if the doctors determine that it is safe for it to live there! In some ways foster care is a lot like that.
People say all of the time “I could never give them back!” about fostering as a reason they could never foster. While I understand that fear of loss and I have experienced that enormous grief of having to let go of foster children the intention is to love them and care for them temporarily. Fostering is not about my wants. As much as I would love to adopt, as much as I would love to never have to say good-bye to these precious babies that I am madly in love with, as much as I do not want to let them go, they do not belong to me. I was given the blessing of “incubating” them for a season until it is safe for them to go. It will be painful. I knew that going into it but the outcome is worth any pain I might feel if it helps them feel less pain. Nobody said it would be easy, but it is worth it!
Fostering and living donation have become two of my greatest passions and I hope that my story can inspire someone else to consider fostering or becoming a donor. Fostering and going through the process of trying to become a living kidney donor has enriched my life so much through all the friendships I have made and all that I have learned through my own weakness and need for help! There is nothing better than being able to give the gift of life! The act of taking care of something/someone, for someone else, despite how it may hurt has brought me so much closer in my relationship to God and understanding how He loves me.
John 15:12-13 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”