St. Joseph, the Original Foster Father

When a childhood friend first told me about the love she had for her foster brother, I vowed to become a foster parent someday. Now that “someday” has finally arrived and I’ve begun my fostering journey, I am beset with fears and doubts. Do I really have what it takes to follow through with this long-held dream?

As I contemplate becoming a foster parent, I turn to none other than St. Joseph for help: What did it feel like to be Jesus’ foster father? How did he find the courage to raise the son of God? Did he ever regret his choice?

I’ve gone back through the scant references to Joseph in the Bible, mining for some hidden clue to guide my fostering journey. While meditating on the stories of Joseph, a favorite verse came to mind: “In quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV). Truly, Joseph’s life is a testament to the strength found in quietly trusting God, and I hope that the example he set will help me walk humbly through the foster care system.

A quiet life speaks loudly

Fostering is not glamorous work. It is a vocation of long nights, uncertain days, and a sharp learning curve. There is little fanfare or gratitude involved. When I face these challenges, I may be tempted to complain about my strife. I pray that, like Joseph, I will find the strength to keep my head down and continue quietly serving the children God entrusts to me.

Though the quiet example of Joseph is well known, the only direct scriptural reference to Joseph’s quiet ways is that he planned to divorce Mary quietly. This decision, though it never came to pass, met his twin criteria of being faithful to the law and protecting his

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