See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.Matthew 18:10

My bride likes to hold babies. Rita is also vocal about her pro-life stand. And she doesn’t just talk about stuff she cares about, she puts her words into action.

All of which explains why we became state-approved foster parents. With my blessing and partnership, we went through the classes, did the background check and fingerprints and put our name on the list of accredited foster homes, signifying that we would take newborns and also that we were not intending to adopt.

We were told it might be months before our first placement. It was hours. Because of the confidentiality laws, I can’t tell you much except that we had that little guy for almost exactly a year. Just after his first birthday, we turned him over to a wonderful forever family with whom we still keep in touch. It was very hard. But it was awesome.

I give Rita credit — and so do his mom and dad — for teaching that little baby boy how to love. And how to be loved. She held him constantly, and that’s a great way to go through the first year of life.

We made two discoveries that year. First, parents can love an adopted child just as much as they love the kids who share their genetic makeup. And second, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.

Since that initial fostering experience, we’ve been privileged to welcome nine other newborns into our home for various lengths of time. Several were addicted to cocaine because their birth mothers had been crack users.

As a family, we all had the disturbing experience of holding those babies while they shivered through cocaine withdrawal. By the way, comforting a helpless infant through coke-induced tremors is a pretty strong antidrug message for teenagers.

All that to say, if your bride has a true calling, don’t be surprised if it impacts your entire family.

What about you?

Foster dads. Adoptive dads. Stepdads. Single dads. You’re all dads. And every bit of advice holds true across the board. Especially this: One of your most important jobs is to teach each of your children how to love and how to be loved.


Adapted from: One-Minute Devotions for Dads. Copyright © 2012 by Jay Payleitner. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

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