I bet every foster parent has heard it. "You are such a blessing to those children . . . I know you're doing great work . . . It's such a wonderful thing you are doing for them . . . "
I don't know how to respond to these kind, well-intentioned people without being rude. I can brush off the casual "Oh, I could never do THAT"s and the "How will you let them go?"s with relative grace and ease. But I cannot figure out how to respond to the person who is putting my husband and I personally on a pedastal.
What makes it hard is that I feel -- deep, down in my heart-of-hearts -- that they're right. We are stepping up to do a wonderful thing in opening our home and our family to children in desperate need of a stable home life. I hope to be a blessing in their lives.
BUT . . .
It's not about us. We didn't enter into foster parenting to put a trophy on the wall: "See us? Walking the walk of caring for God's people right here!"
We entered to foster parenting because we felt called to answer a need. And the NEED is where we need to place our focus, not on our wonderfulness of filling it.
Mr D and I both cringe when the praise goes on because we're afraid. Afraid that the focus is on the wrong thing. Afraid that the need will go unnoticed. Afraid we'll buy into it the personal accolades and forget why we're here in the first place.