Our journey towards becoming a host family started as many of our God journey’s begin – ignoring the call. Thinking of every excuse: “There isn’t that big of a need”, “Someone else will step up”, “We are far too busy to add this to our plate”, “Maybe when our kids are older”. Eventually, God will take away your excuses, sometimes subtly, other times very bluntly – and that’s what He did with us.
He showed us a host family, who were good friends of ours, take in a child. The moment we saw our friends with that child, every excuse of ours was gone. We couldn’t ignore God’s prompting anymore so we went through the process of becoming a host family. I remember after going through the process of becoming a host family, I was ready to take a placement but my husband, Kurt, was not. The first opportunity a need came up, I had to convince him that we NEEDED to do this. The irony in this was that Kurt had to convince me to even consider becoming a host family. Most of the excuses not to do it were mine.
So the first hosting was an emergency placement for a 2 year old girl and it was anticipated for 3 weeks. I remember picking up this little girl at 9:30 at night with my two kids, wondering what I had gotten our family into. That first night was challenging! We had to come to terms with the fact we were taking this child, whose mom had a different parenting style, and add her into our life. And mostly, accepting the fact we were only called to love this child, not change her. After this, we saw a change in the whole house. Our kids were excited to have this little girl in our lives, this child showed us such joy, and we saw this little girl how God saw her – as His own creation, made in HIS image.
After those three weeks, we thought we would be ready to be “back to normal”. Oh how we were wrong! The day we
had to bring her back, we cried. We cried tears of joy that this little girl would be reunited with her family but also tears of sadness. After three weeks, she was a part of our family. We were not prepared for the attachment we had to this beautiful little girl. This was unexpected and difficult.
We struggled after this to get back to “normal” but we have only since realized, you never go back to “normal”. You have changed so your “normal” has changed. You can’t unsee the mess, the struggles that these families have right in your own community. You can only be changed. Taking in these kids turns your life upside down on so many levels, levels you aren’t even aware of or prepared for. But once you look these children in the eyes, you can see how God sees them, not as a burden or a waste, but as a beautiful creation made in HIS image.
We have changed and so has our “normal”.
by Amber and Kurt Bush, a Safe Families for Children Host Family who are no longer “normal”