First of all, thank you to all of you for your incredibly encouraging comments about my last post. I came downstairs the morning after I posted it and almost hit the delete button! It is really hard for me (as a people-pleaser) to be vulnerable in a negative way. I didn’t hit delete because in all honesty-that was how I was feeling…and this broad spectrum of conflicting emotions IS the foster care process! So again, thanks!
Tonight it’s on to a different subject…continuing relationships with foster children who have returned home. If you have read “The Middle Mom” you know about Kenny…actually, his real name is Kendrick- our little Moses. He came into our home at the age of 2 months and was with us until he was 9 months. His mom was very committed to getting her children back (11 of them). She has 12 children all together, (the oldest was too old to come into care).She worked her case plan hard and within the shortest amount of time-her kids were back with her. It has been an incredibly difficult road. I am proud of her- she has had the same job for 5 years. Kendrick’s father (and the father of 5 of the other children) was killed in a drive-by shooting several years ago- so she is doing this alone.
About 6 months after Kendrick went home, his mom called DHS and asked them to have me call her. When I did, she told me that she knew how much we loved Kendrick and that if we ever wanted to keep him for the weekend, we were welcome to. We picked him up later that week and have kept him a few times since then, but most of our interaction has been in helping his mom. Our church family and personal friends have been so gracious to help us in HUGE ways with Christmas for them and with back-to-school needs-as well as groceries and things throughout the year. I do struggle sometimes with the decisions she makes and find myself playing the ‘martyr’ roll (which never deserves an Oscar nod!:)) Yesterday was one of those days.
I sent out an e-mail to some of our friends asking if they would be willing to buy school clothes for one of the 10 children we were outfitting. The e-mail was forwarded to others and before I knew it we had 7 of the children taken care of! We finally got all of the clothing bought and I made two separate deliveries to this mom (along with gas money). Yesterday morning, she called at 7:00 am to say that Kendrick’s shoes didn’t fit and since it was the first day of school, he couldn’t go because he didn’t have any shoes. She wondered where I had gotten them and then said she didn’t have enough gas to get to that store and back home. I told her I would call her back. Ummm. I was not happy. After all, I was getting kids off myself and had planned to spend the day with Cara getting her ready to head back to college. I didn’t have time for this. Didn’t this Mom realize that I have a life too?
There it was….the ugly, grouchy, selfish, non-Christ-like truth. Meeting the needs of people; ministry, is almost never convenient. But it is what it is….living out the life of Christ through our actions-whether we ‘feel’ like it or not. My precious husband brought me back to that reality and off I went to gas up her car and get her the money for shoes that DID fit her boy/my boy. And along the way, the Lord reminded me again that it is not about me- that “whatever I do for the least of these, I do for Him”.