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The Waiting & Wondering of Foster Care

Starfish Ministry


The Waiting & Wondering of Foster Care

Dec 18, 2022

The Waiting & Wondering of Foster Care

Dec 18, 2022

God is with us in the hard moments of waiting.

My wife and I recently welcomed a sibling set of three little ones into our home. The season they spent with our family allowed us to love on them, build some foundational elements in their little lives, and comfort them with the comfort we had received.

Love is often described as a choice that usually requires sacrifice. Jesus chose to come to earth to offer us salvation because of His great love for us. He chose to suffer so that we might live. Inviting children from hard places into our family is a choice often filled with uncertainty, sacrifice, and brokenness, but it is also filled with hope. Hope in what God could do in these children, in their biological family, and in our own family, as God walks with us through the emotional rollercoaster of foster care. 

As foster and adoptive parents, Donna and I have experienced many seasons of waiting, wondering what God was up to with our family. We waited four years from our final failed IVF to the first child being placed with us, whom we later adopted after a very tumultuous and trying year of waiting. We waited two years for our second placement, who reunified with his family, and three more years for our second child, whom we adopted a year-and-half later.

Sometimes foster parents get to see the healing and restoration, while other times God uses us to set a foundation, till the soil, plant some seeds, and water those seeds so that those kiddos are ready to grow and thrive in their forever family.

About nine months ago, three siblings, ages 3, 2 and a newborn, came into our care. It was the third time in foster care for the 3-year-old and the second time for the 2-year-old. When they arrived, Donna and I, along with our two girls, felt overwhelmed, scared, and wondered what God’s will was for our family. The three littles felt the same way we did – but we were in it together.

They came to us with clothes that didn’t fit and numerous unknown emotional, physical, and medical needs. While we waited to see what the courts and social workers would decide, our family sacrificially loved on these little ones and laid the groundwork for the foundational elements of safety, trust, and a consistent and loving environment where they could simply play and be kids. In a more practical sense, we also identified medical, emotional, and psychological needs that had gone undiagnosed. It was a family affair — our two girls sacrificed their toys, clothes, their room, and time with mom and dad. Donna and I sacrificed sleep, a clean house, and control over the future of our family. 

Every week questions of their future would weigh heavy on their infant minds, and ours too, as they would come home from birth-parent visits filled with uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and questions about what their future would hold. We tried to comfort the hurt and pain of a 3-year-old feeling lost and alone.While we walked with them through their time of waiting, we got the privilege of introducing them to Jesus and teaching them that God loves them with an always and forever kind of love. Every night as I would put them to bed, I would say, “Do you know that you are beautiful, kind, smart and important? Do you know that you are so important that you are worth the death of Jesus Christ? And did you also know that Jesus died for you just so He could love you forever and ever with unstoppable, unending, always and forever, kind of love?”

They would smile and say, “yes.” I did not know their future (or ours), but I wanted them to always remember that God loves them would never leave them. I wanted to impress on their little minds what God had impressed on mine — that He is with me in every circumstance because He loves me!

Foster care often requires us to hold our most precious possession — our family — with open hands, trusting that God will work it out for our good and His glory as we wait for decisions to be made.The little ones are thriving in their new home, which we pray is their foreverfamily, where they never have to move or change again. We were part of their plan for a season. We walked these little ones through their season of waiting, comforting them with the comfort we ourselves had received from God as He walked with us through our seasons of struggle and doubt. Our seasons of waiting equipped us to walk with these little ones through theirs.

Our family mantra for 2022 has been “we can do hard things” because His Spirit dwells in us and therefore we are not alone. He is with us in the hard. 

The reality is that seasons of waiting are hard and sometimes the ending hurts. Walking with these little ones through things no adult, much less an infant, should have to face was hard and painful; but we can do hard things because God is with us in it and we can walk securely in His love. Sometimes God uses us in someone else’s life for a season and other times it’s forever.

God’s plan for us is not on the other side of the “delay.” His plan is often worked out in us through the process of waiting building our character, our trust in His faithfulness, our confidence in Him, our belief that He really is in control, and ultimately, our hope in Him. He opens our ears during these seasons so that we are more attentive to hear His voice. Waiting grows our spiritual maturity in Christ by increasing our faith in Him, which equips us to help walk with others during their seasons of waiting and wondering. 

You are not alone. He is with you and He loves you.


By: Chuck Varadin

Chuck Varadin

Chuck is the Director of Finance & Business Administration for Hillside. He reigns from the great state of Missouri, uses “y’all” properly in a sentence and enjoys diving deep into data and analytics. He and his wife started The Starfish Ministry, a beautiful organization that connects foster and adoptive parents.

Chuck Varadin

Chuck is the Director of Finance & Business Administration for Hillside. He reigns from the great state of Missouri, uses “y’all” properly in a sentence and enjoys diving deep into data and analytics. He and his wife started The Starfish Ministry, a beautiful organization that connects foster and adoptive parents.

Learn More About The Starfish Ministry

The Starfish Ministry is a foster and adoption community that exists to educate, equip, and empower individuals, families and churches to make a difference one child at a time. We envision a future when every child has a safe, loving family and every family who is standing in the gap for children from hard places has a community of support around them so that they know they are not alone. It is in this gap that we believe the Church is called to bring healing and hope to our local communities.