I knew all that.
And the heart sacrifice. Oh boy. You give up a certain amount of peace and stability and certainty and sanity the moment you open your door to a foster child. You start sacrificing tears and prayers almost the moment you lay eyes on them and begin to love them instantly. And I knew it was coming when we signed up. I couldn't imagine how hard it would be, but I knew it was coming.
What I didn't know was how much sacrifice would be required from those around me. Foster care was a decision Andy and I made--a lifestyle we chose--but it has impacted our friends and family members as well.
Certainly our kids have had to sacrifice, that wasn't surprising. And they've been super troopers about it. But so many others have been super troopers as well, and I'm so thankful. I have been blown away by how much others have been willing to sacrifice.
There's my mom and mom-in-law who have whole-heartedly given their grandma love to any "extras" we've had. They've willingly accommodated our extras on family vacations and during special Grandma times. They've bought Christmas and birthday gifts without hesitation and gone above and beyond to not only help us with our extras but also help the bio families.
There's the lovely ladies at church who have sacrificed to provide childcare for our current extra so Andy and I could keep co-teaching our Sunday School class. There are all the wonderful friends who have taken our extra during times we needed to do something as a family and couldn't include him. There's the people who have dropped off clothes or diapers for kids who have shown up unexpectedly with none of their own. All these people have given of themselves even though they never asked for any of this. We brought it on them, brought it into their lives, when we made the choice to foster. And they've been nothing but gracious.
I've never seen such an abundance of sacrifice. We are blessed and grateful for the people around us who love us so much that there's enough to cover an extra (or two) as well. Thank you to everyone who has sacrificed along with us. We notice it. We appreciate it. We love you all.