Today, I was in charge of a Heart Gallery photo shoot that our adoption coalition hosted. It was an incredible morning with 5 volunteer photographers and a host of other volunteers who gave up their Saturday morning to drive kids, feed kids, love-on kids, corral kids and help kids ‘shop’ from some donated clothing we had received. The kids had a blast. Me, not so much. I mean, the event was a blessing and it was great to see the kids have such a good time, but waves of grief flooded over my soul. The first wave white-capped with my tears as I saw a precious little girl that we had photographed 3 years ago- after we placed her incredible photo in the Heart Gallery, a fight ensued to have her placed with her much older teenage sister. So, we photographed them together. Today, after no inquiries (even with the help of a beautiful television interview with them), we, once again, photographed her by herself. Only now, she is 3 years older. Her countenance is no longer that of a bubbly bouncy 4-year-old, but a somber 7-year-old with a few too many disappointments in her life. My heart absolutely broke and I cannot get her out of my mind.
Next, wave after wave of teens that we have photographed at least once before (sometimes more) came. There they were. Waiting. Hoping. Grasping at just one more chance for permanence. They continue to put it all out there with the hope of getting a family, and yet photo shoot after photo shoot, their names are still on the list.
Tonight I am resolute. Tonight I am committed. Tonight I am crying out to the Father; THE Father who is a Father to the fatherless and who ‘puts the lonely in families’. I pray that He will equip me, inspire me, and bouy me as I search for out-of-the-box ways to find families for ‘my’ kids. There is a quote on our Heart Gallery trailer that says “there are no unwanted children, just unfound families.” Tonight, I pray that those families will be found….and soon.