When we began our life as foster parents 4 years ago, our most reliable vehicle was a 1999 Toyota Camry with 185,000 miles on it. I bought it in college and it was a great car. It was perfect shade of green and my beloved double jogging stroller just fit in the trunk.
We knew having three small children across the back of a sedan wasn’t going to be super convenient (anyone who has installed 3 carseats across a back seat can vouch for this!) but it felt like a flimsy reason not to add to our family through foster care when we were otherwise willing.
So we took the plunge. It took us about 6 months to get licensed, and 10 days after we received our foster parent certification in the mail, the phone rang with our first placement. LLM joined our crew and made us a family of 5.
Also around this time our dear friends were in the process of adopting internationally. Their mini van was pretty much maxed out with their current kids, and when it failed inspection, they offered it to us. For free.
That’s right. They gave us their car.
These are not rich friends. In fact, they were (and still are) in the throws of fundraising to bring their little one home. But they are generous friends. They saw our need and knew they had a way to meet it.
My dad generously did the repairs necessary for the van to pass inspection and kept it on the road at very minimal cost to us for 4 years.
Grace upon grace.
Two weeks ago, we traded-in that old blue van with 258,000 miles on it for a shiny new one.
And I wept.
Despite the sagging headliner, the sporadically-functioning air conditioning, the fact that the exhaust pipe fell off in recent weeks, and a multitude of other issues that made it clear it was time for an upgrade, I grieved letting that car go.
Everyday for 4 years, I drove a promise–the promise God made to provide for our needs. The promise our friends and family made at our wedding to love and support us. Boy, have they ever.
There were many things I worried about before LLM came: How would fostering affect my other boys? How would they do sharing a room when a foster child came? Was there enough of me to go around?
And one by one I got to see my worries fade away in the light of God’s provision.
One time after a sermon included the story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, I commented to my mother-in-law that it seems as if God waits until we are in the water up to our ankles before He parts the sea. She laughed and said, “Oh honey. You’ve got to be in up to your knees at least!”
So we wade in, up to our knees, our waists, our shoulders…
Sometimes He parts the waters. Sometimes He gives you a minivan.
If you’d like to get to know our generous friends a little more, you can read about their family and their journey to adoption at: http://www.thegregoires.blogspot.com