We've said for years that it's one thing to be against abortion, but it's another thing to be pro-life. One of the best ways to be pro-life is to foster or adopt, like our friend, Peter, out in California.
Peter and his wife have fostered more than 25 children and adopted one. They're an extraordinary couple, and their story is a beautiful picture of what it looks like to be a bridge between heaven and earth in a child's life.
Check out some of their story, taken from our book, "Bold and Broken":
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Fostering has been an emotionally hard time for us, but we would never trade it for anything. Since we began, my wife and I have had the pleasure of fostering more than twenty-five children, and we actually adopted one little boy who came into our home at three months old. It took 790 days for his adoption to be final – but we got him. Praise the Lord!
Fear – selfish, protective fear – almost kept us from being a bridge of grace for these kids. Foster care and adoption are scary things because you put all of yourself out there, all your emotions and resources on the line, and to be honest, you get hurt. You get crushed.
One set of kids we fostered was especially hard for us. Foster care forces you into situations where you fall in love with them, see them in your homes, begin to imagine a future with them, and then suddenly they're torn out of your lives, like the first child we fostered. But despite our hesitation to foster again, we strongly felt God wanted us to help one more time.
Three sisters showed up at our house one day – a twelve-year-old, a four-year-old, and a two-year-old. Beautiful Hispanic girls with long, flowing dark hair. We immediately fell in love with them. The twelve-year-old was tall. The four-year-old was a little chubby, adorable, and always wanting to be picked up and held. The two-year-old had big, beautiful eyes, but she didn't speak and always cried. We couldn't imagine the emotional pain she must've been experiencing.
So we decided to have a little welcome dinner that night to make them feel comfortable and loved. After dinner, I asked if we could take a picture, and what the little four-year-old girl did next shook me to the core.
She said to me, "Sure – we can take a picture. Gimme one minute." She then went into the bathroom and came back out in her underwear, saying, "I'm ready for my picture."
My wife and I were horrified. What on earth has this child been through?!
Then her twelve-year-old sister told us the story of what happened five hours before they arrived: They were rescued out of a child pornography ring. Here was this little twelve-year-old girl, who should've been playing with friends and enjoying her childhood, describing to us every gross detail you can think of about what one man was doing to her sisters while she had to watch. It turns out the guy had one of the biggest child pornography rings in our area, selling child pornography out of his home.
The twelve-year-old said, "This is why my sister took off her clothes. She understands pictures as 'picture time.'" We couldn't keep the emotions in any longer. We sat there bawling our eyes out. Now we understood why this two-year-old girl didn't speak. Her little mind was traumatized. We called the social workers, who said they knew about the situation (failing to tell us first), and the authorities had arrested the guy.
Right then I felt the Lord say to me, "I am calling you and your wife to be a father and a mother to those who don't have fathers and mothers in their lives." It completely broke me.
If Christians get involved in the foster care and the adoption system, we have a chance to show these kids – these abused, forgotten, discarded kids – a God who will never hurt them, forget them, or forsake them. For me, that's what being a bridge is all about.
Wow, thank God for all the couples like this out in the world who are connecting heaven to earth for the most vulnerable among us. You can read more of their story in our book.