Jesus and Fostering

Ever wonder how it works with foster kids and church?  Like can you bring them with you where you attend?  What if they are a different religion than you are?

Like so many questions in foster care - the answer was, "Maybe and it depends."  Every situation is different.  A lot depends on the wishes of the child themselves and their birth family.

I had a Muslim boy with me for a short time and it was his parents an expressed desire that he not attend a Christian church in ANY manner at ANY time.  For various reasons, he moved on quickly, but if he had stayed I am not sure how we would have handled it, but for one sweet moment, I saw something sweet.  During dinner one night he looked and me right in the eye and said, "WAIT, you guys are Christians aren't you?"  Me, "Yup, I am.  And your family is Muslim."  He said, "Yeah... Wow, I have never stayed at a Christians house before."

But, the vast majority of my kids have either had a Christian background or no religious affiliation and were okay with attending church with me.

I like to let the kids take the lead in spiritual matters and I answer the questions.  Here is an example, a month or so back, Buddy asked me why we don't pray before we eat.  I told him that was a great question.  Which was followed by a bunch of other questions, like what is prayer, why we pray, how we pray, etc, etc.  I answered questions as they came up.  Not pushing the issue, just answering questions.

Now, every mealtime I ask, "Who wants to pray?"  Inevitably all three hands shoot up.  They all want to talk to God - to thank him for the good things and ask for help with the hard things.  And they really do say the sweetest and most sincere things at every meal.

  • Thank you for this house, and Alisa, and Bug, and Buddy, and the fish, and Sunday School, and my family and oh God, just thank you for everything.  ~Monkey
  • I wish that I would be in charge of everything, everywhere.  ~Bug
  • Thank you that we don't touch our food when we pray (AS he is touching his food as he's praying).  ~Buddy
And there are those private and tender prayers that all my kids pray - some quietly, some occasionally and some every single mealtime:
  • Please help my family - my mom, my dad, my grandma, my grandpa, my aunts, my uncles and everyone else be happy, healthy and get better soon.
  • I wish I could live with my family again soon.