Those words (from a praise song we sing at church) always move me. I don’t think I have the capacity to see the extent of what breaks the heart of a loving heavenly Father, but foster care definitely gives me a glimpse….
*a pregnant 11-year-old prostituted by her mother for drugs
*a 5-month-old baby almost beaten to death by a family member unable to handle the normal stress of caring for a little one
*a 16-year-old boy languishing in foster care while his extended family tries to ‘decide’ if they want him-and since there isn’t a waiting line of families to adopt a teenager…he’ll just have to wait
*a sexually abused 12 year old boy; confused and lonely
*a 5-week-old baby girl- dangled over a bridge by a bi-polar mom
*a 17 year-old girl who remains in foster care after all of her much younger siblings have been adopted
*a tiny newborn with a mother who knows only that the birth father was some guy at a rest stop who drove a van.
*a 5-year-old who witnessed the violent death of her 2-year-old sister..and continues to struggle…Really?
*babies born in prison, babies who have survived abortion attempts, babies who are addicted to drugs, babies who have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
*teens who have lived in a cult-like atmosphere where everything they know and believe turns out to be a lie: what’s left is confusion and desperation.
These are not just stories that I conjured up on a bad day in a dark room. I know all of these kids. Some of them have been in my home; I’ve parented them with joy and grief. It’s hard, really hard, to hear the stories. I think many times the Christian community puts in it’s earplugs and continues on its merry way. I’ve been there. That’s easier.
Easier, maybe. But right, no. This time of year hearts are tendered to the plight of children in foster care, and for that I am so grateful. But, after Christmas is over and the community has done its ‘thing’, the children remain…hurting, broken, alone, desperate. They must wonder if anyone really cares.
My heart tells me it is time to get busy. My Father tells me it is time to PRAY. Pray that every single one of the children in our system will have an appropriate, loving, nurturing foster home. And that those who are waiting will get the one thing they really want for Christmas (and all year)….a FAMILY. How I pray that God’s people will take out the earplugs, open our eyes and our hearts and really make a difference! I know from experience, we will all be changed.
This great Steven Curtis Chapman song is such a fitting tribute to foster kids all over our country and the world who just want a family.