Can You Love A Child?

Joy Chua, advocate for families, shares about her fostering journey and how God is using Kingdom families to show love to His children.

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When my children came along, my only goal was to be a great mother, to sow all that I had into them so that they would be better than myself. After a few years of working hard at mothering, I finally felt that our family was in a good place. As I was reflecting on my life one day, I found myself asking the question: “What’s next? Now that I have a stable home and a great family, what’s next?”

I became aware of a growing desire to accomplish something beyond building my own family. Feeling limited in my intellectual abilities, skills and talents, I prayed: “Lord, I want my life to count. If I can impact one life, what would that look like?” The answer came in a whisper: “You can love a child.”

“Yes! I can love a child,” I thought to myself. My four children were well-nourished, loved, happy and confident. I knew that I could give a child a loving and stable home and I was thankful that God did not ask me to do something that was beyond me.

At that time, I did not know where I could find a child in need until I came across a fostering brochure from a local government agency while in church. I took it home and thought about it, not knowing much about foster care and what it entailed. Two church friends who were involved in social work helped me explore the idea of becoming a foster parent. They were very supportive and excited for me, and believed that I would make a great foster mother. They had more faith in me than I had in myself. Friends like them are a real blessing. Armed with their encouragement, I submitted my application.

In February 2012, our first foster daughter (whom we later adopted) was placed in our care. She was two-and-a-half-months old. This placement marked the start of our fostering journey.

Mothering with the Father’s Love

I always thought that a mother’s love was the strongest, fiercest and most sacrificial love that one could experience. However, I could not trust myself to selflessly and unconditionally love a child who was not born my own. I needed God’s love to love this child. Knowing that my love for this foster child was limited, I prayed to God to fill me with His love. He flooded my heart with it and I felt waves flowing into me to love this child.  

I had revelations of the Father’s love for the orphans, a glimpse of His love for this fallen world. I felt strength and courage to love in spite of the pain and grief that I would experience when the time came for me to return her. I became the voice for my foster child and her defender, fighting any flawed system in her best interests.

I also remembered my dreams. When I was 16, I went to an orphanage in China, and I came back with a desire to start an orphanage for the orphans. However, after having children of my own, I realised that the best place for children to grow and thrive is in a warm, loving and stable home, supported by family. I saw that healthy growth in my foster child. Psalm 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in families.” I genuinely believe that every child deserves to be in a loving home.

Love Speaks Up

Like many others, I had forgotten and undermined the value and power of my dreams. I had forgotten my desire to help orphans, but God had not. He was the one who put that dream in me and it was a powerful one. When we wrap our thoughts around His purpose, transformation takes place.

I believe that we will one day see every child placed in loving homes where they can experience transformational love. My dream is for Kingdom families to fully express the heart of God who is the Father to the fatherless, and open up their homes to orphans.

Joy Shuo (center) with her family (from left) Jed, TItus, Mary Beth, Megan, Catelyn, Daniel, Melody. Taken in Singapore, 2018.


Joy is a strong advocate for fostering and adoption in Singapore. She believes that it is a family that makes a home, and that every child deserves to be in a home.

This article has been adapted from Champions 2018.