~By Sharon Czerwien
I had something completely different that I was planning to post today. Just days ago, I changed my mind!
I recently virtually met someone professionally who opened my eyes for what this month represents: National Foster Care Awareness Month, 2022.
I met the author, Rhonda Wagner. Rhonda has written a children’s book series called the “Joy of Avery.” In her three-part book series, here is what her website says about her books (you can read the entirety of the quote and check out her book series here):
“The 'Joy of Avery' series offers resources for foster care families and brings the world of foster care to life by exploring Avery’s feelings as her family welcomes foster children into their home.”
National Foster Care Awareness Month
I was attracted to her books, as I have always respected the families who care for foster children.
Because I recently learned that the month of May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, I desired to post this blog before the month was done!
Lisa Robertson’s Foster Care Story
Rhonda Wagner sent me a link to her daughter’s personal story involving foster care (which is featured on “Love What Matters”). Rhonda’s daughter, Lisa Robertson, had a journey of faith that I wanted to highlight in this Bumps Are Okay blog post.
On this blog, there is a heavy theme of trusting God during life’s bumps. Lisa Robertson experienced intense bumps as a twenty-six-year-old newlywed and first-time mom.
I encourage you to check out the entire article, but I will hit on the highlights here.
Just days after having her baby girl, whom she named Avery, Lisa had an emergency hysterectomy after a battle with Group A Strep and postpartum sepsis.
The mortality rate for this is high, but Lisa was thankful for her survival. However, she was no longer able to bear children, and this brought understandable heartache.
After recovery, she and her husband tried IVF treatments through a gestational surrogate but lost three babies.
After an encouraging sermon at her church, she and her husband discussed getting involved in foster care, and they were approved as foster parents that next year.
They have been fostering numerous children for seven years and have adopted two brothers.
Faith Kicked In!
Here is what drew me to post this amazing story. Lisa’s faith was stretched beyond her comprehension, and she had a choice to make. Here are a few of her thoughts from the article that I could not help but share!
*Here are her understandable initial thoughts:
‘Why, God? After everything I had already been through…What was the point of all of that? What in the world are you doing?’ *
*Here is the humanly hard part—FAITH had to kick in!
"The doubt. The fear. The questions began to flood my mind. And that’s when God really began to work on my heart. The more I dug into Him, the more He dug into me. The more I opened my Bible, the more I heard of His love for me. And I began to realize I was faced with a choice. Through my worldly suffering, through the non-ideal life plan unfolding before my eyes, I began to see I could choose to trust God—or I could choose to doubt Him."*
*The following made me go wooowhoooo after reading (seriously!):
And in a broken-hearted cry on my knees to the Lord, I chose to trust Him. I chose to have faith, REAL FAITH. *
THAT statement, my friend, is why I wanted to post Lisa’s story. What a HUUUUUGE set of bumps—and what a HUUUUUGE choice of faith!
On an ending note, thank you to those who willingly foster some of the most vulnerable kiddos in our society. I hope this post helps shed light on foster care while also providing a resource for a great faith-based children’s book series on the topic.
Take it easy,
*Lisa Robertson, "Just 2 weeks after becoming a mother, I received a life-saving, emergency hysterectomy: Foster mom shares change in plans after near-death experience," Love What Matters, accessed 5-18-22, https://www.lovewhatmatters.com/foster-mom-shares-faith-journey-change-life-plan-after-near-death-experience/.
**Here is the link to Rhonda Wagner's books: https://rhondawagnerbook.com/ .