Today I got the kind of call I dread. It was a precious young foster mom that I have communicated with on several occasions. She had asked me to pray today for a court date they were having regarding the future of the precious little son they have had for 14 months. I did pray and hoped with all of my heart that God would intervene and allow him to be their son forever.
When I heard her voice on the other end of the phone, it was all too familiar to me….and it certainly didn’t mean he was staying. As I held on to the receiver, all I could do was listen to her cries and pray. There are no words to describe the shock, the grief and the gut-wrenching heartbreak that comes when a judge makes an unexpected and seemingly unwise decision. There is no way to comfort or console a mother who is losing her most valuable possession. Prayers seem to go unanswered, quoting scripture seems pharisaical and all the anecdotes in the world cannot cover the pain. All I could do was listen, pray and let her know that I truly and completely understood.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t truly and completely understand. Instead, I wish my daughter was here and that I could just sympathize on the surface with these situations instead of empathize deeply and internally. I wish I didn’t have the picture ingrained in my mind of my child looking up at me from the backseat of a car as she was whisked away never to see me again. I wish….but then God brings me back to the reality that foster care is hard. This world is sinful and all of us in this world are sinful. The system is a mess and the individuals within the system are a mess. But, nothing and no one can change the fact that I had the honor and privilege to be Baby B’s mother for 15 months-that God allowed me to pour into her life- love and peace and passion while she poured into me life-changing truths that would alter the course of my ministry.
And tonight, my precious friend Paige, God is saying to you ‘well done, my good and faithful servant’- your baby B will always carry with him the joy, the nurture and the unconditional love that could only come from having you as his mother during this difficult time in his life. Whatever happens from this point on, he is forever changed because you listened to God’s call on your life and you were willing to sell-out to your son-no matter what the cost and no matter what the outcome. I pray that God will hold you tightly in the palm of His hand…because He, as well, knows what it is like to give up a son.