What a beautiful example of why we do what we do!
There’s been a lot going on the past few days. Not necessarily personally (although we are still waiting on a decision in E’s case), but ‘big picture’ stuff. And tonight I find myself in a funk. I told the Lord I just feel powerless. I feel impotent to meet the gigantic needs of children around this country, in my state, my city and sometimes even in my house. I read a blog tonight about a single mom with 39 adopted children….thirty-nine. When I read that, I felt guilty about not doing more, and yet I know that God has different parts for each of us to play. I feel like I can’t even get the right words out. My heart is so heavy and I feel like I have a rack of dead lift weights tied to my back. It all comes down to one thing….kids: foster, waiting, hurting, wounded, unwanted, forgotten, disposable kids. How can this world continue its quest for beauty and money and power and fame when all around us kids are languishing? How can we move forward with our every day lives when children are in need? Watch the video below to see a precious 11 year old named Kevan who is in need of a forever family.
Although I may be in a ‘funk’, I believe with all of my heart that God really can use each of us to make a difference…(maybe not by adopting 39 kids), but by meeting the needs of kids in need one child at a time!
The reality for foster parents is that we will experience loss. We will grieve. If we foster for any length of time, we will be forced to our knees by a system that falters.
Today is Baby B’s 3rd birthday (The Middle Mom-Chapter 18). We haven’t seen her since she was ripped from our home unexpectedly on December 4, 2008. I can still picture the look on her face as I loaded her in the car and the car pulled away. Honestly, I didn’t know if I, if we, could recover from it. It just seemed like too much; too much grief, too much loss, too much vulnerability, too much. It was a very dark time.
But, little by little, over time, the hole in my heart began to heal and the ache that followed me everywhere began to ease. Now, 19 months later, I don’t think about her every day. I look at the pictures of her (which are all over our house) with a smile and joy in my heart for the opportunity I had to be this precious child’s mother. I admit that I did call her former caseworker today just to see if there was any word, and I did drive by her house to see if by chance she was out in the yard.
But tonight, as I tickled Baby E, played with him, and said his prayers, I praised the Lord that in this mission field called foster care He is able to take our sorrow and turn it into joy- that with Him the impossible is possible.
There are lots of costs in fostering children, but there are also lots of benefits and blessings! I’ve found a new one since E has been in our home. Triceps. Yes, you read correctly, triceps. Don’t know that I have ever had them before, but after carrying around a 34.4 pound baby boy…I do now! It is hysterical! Now if I could just find a way to carry him on my abs
On a more serious note…we had a termination hearing today on E’s case. No decision was made- the judge has ‘taken it under advisement’ with a decision forthcoming in a couple (or a few) weeks. As is often the case there were surprises and missteps….but we are trusting the future of our little son to the hands of the One who never takes a misstep and to whom there are NO surprises!
I’ve had the opportunity lately to talk to several ‘young’ foster moms. I am convinced that God is moving in miraculous ways in the lives of these women (and the children they are blessed to care for). There is, however, something I think is worth saying to them and to you (and to me, for that matter!) Here it is…..you can’t do everything.
Foster care is by nature a sacrificial process. It requires that we put aside our agenda, our schedules, our very selves in order to fulfill the calling that God has placed on our hearts. That said, we can also have times when we feel defeated, let down, weary, worn out and even like a failure. Those emotions are NOT in God’s plan. He wants us to ‘cast all of our cares on Him, for He cares for us’. Sometimes that is easier said than done when the day- to-day trials and chaos of foster care overshadow our spiritual eyes. Times when our own expectations or the expectations of others dictate what we do, instead of what the Father wants us to do. It is okay to say no to a new placement. It is okay to prayerfully bow out of ministries or organizations that you have been a part of, (for a season or for good). It is okay to have laundry waiting to be folded or dishes needing to be done. You are doing a great work. You are a missionary with a ripe field that needs harvesting. Other things can wait….hurting kids who need nurturing and love and forgiveness and hope- can’t.
God knows our faults and frailties, yet He is still willing to supply all of the mercy and grace we need to live out His plan. I think His words for you today might be “well done; good and faithful servant”.