Fostering has helped me to understand God as Father

Paul has seen so much about how God works and why he loves vulnerable children through becoming a foster carer.

I’m a bit slow. It took at least two years of hearing phrases like, “Shall we become foster carers?” and “we could do fostering” before the penny dropped.

“You’re serious, aren’t you? I thought you were joking!”

So began my exploration. I needed time. I walked my usual walk along the beach, trying to make sense of the idea, trying to think through the implications and trying to find where God was in all of this.

I remember clearly the day that I prayed honestly to God about my reservations. “It’s not important enough for me!”, I admitted. As soon as the exclamation came out of my mouth, I knew I was in trouble. God began to show me why vulnerable children should be hugely important to me. I started a journey of discovering why fostering was God’s agenda for us as a family.

From May through to August, He pursued me – newspaper articles, documentaries, films, music, books, conversations, all part of opening my eyes to why fostering was so important to God and, therefore, to me.

We went on holiday in August, and every day I awoke at 5am and I felt God show me over and over why it made perfect sense for us to become foster carers.

For many years I have been passionate about the part of our faith that shows God as ‘father’. My own journey had shown me how powerful it is to know that God is like a father to us. I sensed that there was no greater way to respond to God’s love for me than to become a foster carer.

In December 2013 we were approved to be short term foster carers for our local authority.

In January 2014, the first two little ones arrived, and we were crashing into a world of pain and darkness that I had never touched before.

It is now years later. As I write at in the early hours of the morning a seven-week-old baby is asleep in her pram. She is the eleventh child we have welcomed into our home, the ninth baby. Three have returned home to birth parents, and we still see one occasionally; the first two are in long term care; five have been adopted. That is the plan for this little baby too.

Amazingly, we still see the five who have been adopted. We are treated as family, and the unfolding of their stories continues to amaze us and fill us with awe at the grace and kindness of God.

Being a foster carer is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. It is so much more than a job. It is also the most rewarding thing I have ever done. To see little lives plucked from the pain of their challenging starts and see the beginnings of restoration as we try to love them with all that we have has been such a privilege and a joy. It is through this process of trying to do the best we can for them that we have learned so much more than we could have imagined about God, His love for vulnerable children and how He works through us and the many other people in each child’s life to bring about change.

>

Paul and Teresa Cook were fostering for six years up to February 2020. Paul is now working on a project called “The Papa Journey” to encourage others to discover the Father Heart of God. His blog is thepapajourney.com.

Author:
Paul Cook of thepapajourney.com


Date published:
Wednesday 22 July 2020


Tags:
Articles


Share:


Related pages

Father's Day Broadcast - main

Watch our 'at home' broadcast

Hosted by Krish Kandiah and many other familiar faces.

Read more
Father's Day: Our first Father

Father's Day: Our first Father

Our thoughts for Father's Day 2017

Read more
Reflections of a foster carer: Father’s Day

Reflections of a foster carer: Father’s Day

Don't underestimate what you give and how you influence other lives.

Read more

You might also be interested in

We fostered a teenager in lockdown

Articles

We fostered a teenager in lockdown

Welcoming a teenager into our home of four young children was a great decision for us.

Read more
Why homeschooling in lockdown can be hard for fostering and adoptive families

Articles

Why homeschooling in lockdown can be hard for fostering and adoptive families

For some families caring for children who have experienced trauma, this is a time where that additional pressure is amplified.

Read more
Why does my son freak out on Zoom calls?

Articles

Why does my son freak out on Zoom calls?

For so many of us this technology is a gift. The connection it brings us is precious. However, for those caring for vulnerable children, it can also herald new challenges.

Read more
How will fostering affect my birth children?

Articles

How will fostering affect my birth children?

Will they feel left out? Will they all get on? How will they cope when a child moves on?

Read more

Connect locally

I would like to find out what is
going on in my area

Connect Locally

Keep up-to-date

I would like to stay up-to-date with Home for Good's news and how
I can give, pray and get involved to help vulnerable children.

Home for Good will never pass on your details to third parties for marketing purposes and you can unsubscribe from our communications at anytime by emailing info@homeforgood.co.uk.

reCAPTCHA helps prevent automated form spam.