The first thing they're asked to give up...

Mr. Man and I have completed 7 of our 11 Foster Care Training classes, in order for us to become licensed Foster Parents. The first few classes were on topics that we already knew a lot of information about, and I felt like I wasn't gathering anything new or helpful. However, these last three classes have been pretty informative and emotional. I wanted to share one of the exercises we did last week (yes, there are group exercises... most are cheesy, but some are not too bad). 

We were discussing ways to help keep and build-up the identity of the children that will be placed in our homes. We all know (for the most part) what "identity" is, but they wanted us to think of five things that identify who we are, so that we could have a better understanding of how to help the children identify who they are. We all wrote them down on separate post-it notes. Here were mine:

Arizona (my birthplace/current location)

My relationships (my family and friends)

Technology (something I use everyday/value)

Jesus (my faith)

Mr. Man (my husband)

Then the instructors asked us to take one of them, crumble it up and throw it away (I should have seen it coming, but alas, I did not). I tossed AZ. I am not a huge fan of my hometown, and while it's the only place I have ever lived in, I *feel* like I could go on to lead a happy life without it. 

Then they asked us to get rid of another one. I got rid of technology. While I use a computer or phone every single day, and most jobs require its use, I know it doesn't truly identify who I am. I am still me, even without technology. 

Then we had to get rid of another one. Thats when I started to feel emotion tied to these things. My parents, my friends who are my family, my church family, these relationships are so important to me! But, something had to go, so I crumbled up the paper and tossed it aside. 

Of course, they asked us to get rid of one last identifier. And you know what? When it came down to the last two, it really was the easiest choice for me to make out of all of them...

My husband and I ARE one. He is my closest relationship, my best friend, the greatest earthly love I have. But, he wouldn't be any of those things to me without Jesus. Jesus is my everything! Even when my earthly life has ended, Jesus will still be there. Even before my earthly life began, Jesus knew everything about me. He is my greatest identifier. I am me, because He is He!  If everything else was taken away from me, yes, I would be heartbroken, angry, and sad. But I would still know my identity. I would still know that I am a child of God, the daughter of a loving Savior.

Many others were left with family on their post-it. The instructor explained that most, if not all, of the people doing this exercise are left with family as their last post-it note. When children are taken from their homes and placed into Foster Care, family is the very first thing they have to give up, when its the last thing they want to lose.

Please pray that Mr. Man and I may fearlessly reflect the love and compassion and joy of Jesus to these children, so that they will know who they are, no matter what!

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful." 

Colossians 3:12-15

1 comment:

  1. This was beautiful and oh so right Stacey. Thanks for sharing. What a poignant exercise.