A Foster Family Update from the Ballew Family
In late 2017, we began a journey that we never would have guessed we would find ourselves on. We had been married for three years at this point, and we were ready to start building a family. Ever since we started dating, we both knew that we had a heart for adoption, but for both of us it was more of a secondary priority than anything else. We both planned to have a child naturally, and then we would consider pursuing adoption. However, we did not expect the difficulty that we would experience in trying to have a biological child. After trying for a little over a year, we started to become very discouraged in our efforts, but we put it in God’s hands and trusted that he had a good and perfect will for our future.
As time passed with us trying to have a biological child, we began to see that maybe adoption was not something that needed to wait. God began to change our heart to be centered more on adoption, and less on having a child biologically. It became less important to fulfill our desires of wanting to be parents, and more about fulfilling God’s desires for the orphans. We still had a long way to go, but again, we were trusting in God because we knew we could not do it alone.
It seemed like we were spinning our wheels on adoption, and nothing seemed to be working out. We knew that this was the direction God wanted us to go, but we did not know how to get there. It was during this time that we started to consider foster care. In the beginning, we were completely against foster care. Why would we want to take the chance of finally getting a child, only to have it removed from our home and returned to its family? Again, we were becoming selfish with our plans, while God’s plans seemed to take a back-seat. It is funny how God has a way of changing our plans to align with his.
Back to the end of 2017, we were going through the Poured Out series in our gatherings. This series discussed pouring ourselves out to serve others. Wouldn’t you know that the first message in the series would be centered around orphans and the fatherless. During that series, God began to change our hearts toward foster care. We began to realize the great need for children all around us to have homes, and to learn who Jesus is, if even for a short time. It slowly changed from being about us being parents to us being possibly the only Jesus some children will have in their lives. While we still had the desire to be parents, God showed us that there are so many children out there with a much greater desire to be loved and that we could help fill that gap.
Since then, our home has become open for foster care, and we have had our current placement for almost four months. God has taught us so many things about trusting him, leaning on him, and loving someone else more than ourselves. There is a special type of love that being a parent teaches you, and we are so thankful that we are learning that the way we are. There are thousands of children in foster care in the state of Tennessee, but if we get to love only two of them at a time, it is worth it. Foster care has been one of the most rewarding, and at the same time taxing, things we have ever done as a couple. We thank God for giving us the opportunity to pour ourselves out to these children who need it most, and we continue to trust in him through it all.