We Are Family

It is still painful to know that Cam and I will not have our own natural children…

1 Chronicles 4:1-43

Reference: Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers did not have many children; so their entire clan did not become as numerous as the people of Judah. (1 Chronicles 4:27 NIV)

Explore: I came from a fairly large family, and yet, my husband and I have not been able to have our own children naturally. Our home, however, is far from empty.

We became foster parents to Joy six and a half years ago now. While she is not biologically, or legally our daughter, we are the only family she has.

We care for her like we would our own daughter and strive to teach her how a loving, caring family works. She may not have known us for the first 13 years of her life, but our house is what she now considers home.

Nearly a year ago, James and Jack came into our lives (their names have been changed for privacy reasons). Having active 4 and 5 year old brothers enter our family certainly turned our lives upside down!

Their situation is different from Joy’s. They still have access with their mum and, although they live with us full time, she has the legal right to make decisions about them. She decides things like where they go to school, if they receive any kind of medical treatment, and how they have their hair cut.

Although we are the second family these boys have, we treat them as we would our own sons. We’re there to calm them after a nightmare, we take them to parks, and teach them the best way to act in public. We don’t always get it right, but I guess that’s what makes us real parents!!

Application: When I read through all the lists of descendants listed in 1 Chronicles 4, I wonder what our family tree would look like. Do they even have a symbol for foster children?

It is still painful to know that Cam and I will not have our own natural children, but I have always known that the best families are not necessarily the natural ones.   My parents taught me that families go beyond blood lines and can wrap anyone into their warmth.

Not everyone has the capacity to take kids in need into their care full time, but there are always others who need a family’s warmth. It might be a colleague who would value a home cooked meal, a family friend who would value spending a day with another family, or even some parents who would value some down time as you care for their children.

We were not created to live in isolation. As a community we can help and support each other to be one big wider family who looks out for the best for each other.

Prayer: Lord, we are all one family as we are all Your children. Help us to see those who need some extra support. May we offer our assistance rather than waiting to be asked. Help us to go the extra mile for all Your family. Amen.

Who would value some family love from you?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.