If there is one thing I have learned this year, it is that God wants me to parent with an open hand. Some of you know this and some of you don't but this year we took in a foster son that we were hoping to adopt. We have been working through our County the past year and a half to get certified to foster adopt and back in May we were put on the matching list. We got our foster son AJ in July. He was a high risk case in that there was about a 50% chance of him being reunified with his birthfamily. We took the chance while maintaining an open hand to God with AJ in our palm. I believed that God placed AJ in our care for a reason and I needed to hold him up to God to either be kept with us or to move on. I decided to trust God for his care rather than holding on to him so tightly and not letting God have control. We had AJ for four months before he was reunified. I'd be lying if I said it was easy to let him go but it definitely was easier than it would have been if I'd held on too tight. God has a plan for AJ's life and it was not to be in our forever family. But that doesn't change God's goodness or faithfulness.
There are many people I know who say that they could never do foster adoption because the risk is so scary that the child could be removed from their home after they have bonded. But isn't the risk just as real with naturally born children? A child could get sick and die of a disease and be gone but I don't think any parent would wish they had not had the child even though they couldn't keep him forever. You are just thankful for the time you had with them, cherish every memory, and pray for them always.
We have to hold our children with open hands to God. They are His after all. He has entrusted them into our care for a specific amount of time, whether that be 4 months or 40 years. We are to care for them and love them with all the strength that we have but when God says it is time, we have to trust them into His care. In the Bible, Abraham is one of the best examples of holding a child with an open hand. He had waited all those years for the son that God promised and then when he was finally able to rejoice in seeing God fulfill the prophecy, God asks him to go up to the mountain to sacrafice his son. In the end, God didn't actually require Abraham to do this but he was just testing his faith to see if he would follow God at all costs. He passed the test.(Hebrews 11:11, 17)
Let's keep our children in open hands to God, taking care of their needs but always trusting God with their futures.