Look at the Family God Knit for Us!
June 14, 2016
By Molly McCollough
Molly and KR McCullough were one of the first couples to step up when Mt. Bethel launched our Foster Family ministry nine years ago, and they have been fostering ever since. Earlier this month, they finalized adoption of Mari (5) and her sister Kira (almost 3). Here is Molly’s story:
Two thousand three hundred seventy six days. Together, that’s how long our two youngest daughters lived at the mercy of a broken foster care system. That’s how long they waited to feel safe and know they would be in our family forever. That’s how long they had to endure unsettling visitations, perceived (and sometimes real) rejection, and fear of being taken away. That’s how long they had to overhear people say, “So you haven’t adopted them yet?”
Now I know why God only reveals to us what we can handle in that moment. If I had known nine years ago the heartache and pain I’d have on this journey, I probably wouldn’t have answered His call. I am so, so grateful He expanded our family, but the pruning has been painful. Long-term fostering and raising kids from hard places has exposed wounds and ugly sins that I didn’t know I had. Prior to fostering, I thought I was a pretty good person. Maybe even a little self-righteous. And then having to pick up the pieces of someone else’s messy life, I have been pretty darn resentful. Like, “Why me?” As if I’m the victim.
The “pieces” are often difficult behaviors that no commonsense or traditional parenting could ever tackle. It’s also marriage discord, jealousy and resentment developed by my bio kids, more sibling fights, and countless trips to therapy appointments. And then, I have the hateful thoughts, which sometimes turn into hateful words and even hateful actions. And I realize I’m no better than the one I cursed for “causing” this mess. I heard the other day on the radio that we are defined as Christians by, not how we act, but by how we react. Ouch.
So many people along this journey have called us “amazing” or “angels” or a “beautiful example ofChrist.” But we’re not much different from other Christians who have a heart for the orphans. The only difference is that we said yes to the call. We do not deserve any credit – God alone is responsible for orchestrating this outcome. God is the one who sustained us through this storm; He sent us my friend and foster mom who had eerily walked this road before; the volunteer babysitters; the prayer warriors who prayed when I was too bitter or angry or just “didn’t feel like it;” the sweet man whose name I don’t even know who delivered Wednesday night dinners to us for two years; the Sunday School class who provided us meals, clothes, and diapers; the other foster parents at our church who encouraged and loved on us; our sweet friends who listened to me cry for myself and cry for my family; the amazing adoption therapist who was miraculously (seriously, it was a miracle – that’s a whole ‘nother blog) available to us when the real storm hit. He knit this amazing story together. It has been the Body of Christ that God provided, so these girls would have a forever family and see the love of Jesus.
This process revealed and caused hurts and wounds that need healing and reconciliation. Some of these, praise God, were healed last week with the official adoption. The others, I wish I could tie up with a pretty bow and be done. But I suspect God is going to leave us with some, so we can continue to see Him work in our lives, and so we continue to be dependent on Him.
I hope this is not discouraging to anyone wanting to foster or adopt – I hope instead it reveals the power and love of God in a very ordinary and sinful momma. These girls, who we never in million years thought would be in our family, are the light of our lives. They are adorably cuddly, smart, funny, and so, so loving. And, in God’s sovereignty, they are teaching us to be better people.