Jessica Satterfield always knew she wanted biological children before she eventually adopted. That was the plan at least: have bio kids and then adopted ones—but never, ever fostered children. Fostering was a part of her sister’s plan, but not one of Jessica’s own motherhood expectations.
Now, after 10 years of marriage to her husband, Brandon, Jessica finds herself with two adopted children, one fostered son, and the fierce faith of a biological baby still to come. None of it unfolded (or is unfolding) the way she dreamt as a younger woman. So, despite the beauty of all the Father has brought her family, Satterfield says, “I had to die to what I thought my life would look like.”
After years of longing for children in the midst of infertility, God brought Jessica her two adopted children, Selah and Micah. It was only a few years after, however, that God brought the Satterfields their most unexpected gift: a foster son already at seven years old. And even though fostering was never part of the plan, Jessica reflects, “He has taught me more about the Father and the Kingdom than anyone else in my life.”
Through her fostering experience, Satterfield has seen how caring for the orphan often looks like putting a freezing body in warm water. A child desperately needs that love, but the initial shock can make him want to run away. Jessica has learned connection, more than anything else, is vital in parenting those who have come from hard places.
Instead of disciplining with shame or isolation, Satterfield recognizes that profound healing doesn’t come through shame or isolation. It’s when we go after the broken heart and not just the behavior that we find ourselves experiencing a genuine breakthrough.
“Isn’t that what God is after?” Jessica asks her followers in an Instagram Q & A. “He’s after our heart.”
Fostering may be something that the public reserves for exceptional martyrs, but Jessica insists it’s nothing extraordinary. Fostering isn’t tailored for superheroes. “It is a command to take care of the orphaned,” Satterfield shares passionately. “You can’t call yourself a believer and do nothing about it.” Whether it’s bringing children into our homes or donating resources to a new mama at church, we all have a responsibility to care for them.
Satterfield understands that there are challenges, of course. “Of course you get attached,” she writes in one of her blog articles, “Dear Foster Mom.” “But you also know this is Love, and Love expects nothing in return.”
While Jessica originally planned to fill her home without the testimony of infertility, it’s been through her seasons of barrenness she’s been able to minister to others. She started inviting women into her living room to provide a place for their stories of infertility, miscarriage, and adoption. And within weeks, the “The Garden” was born.
To learn more about the non-profit or to hear more about Jessica’s heart for the orphaned, visit her website here at gracewhilewewait.com.
Featured Image by Pixabay