There were two foster kids in the waiting room at court the other day. They were sitting next to me with an investigator and caseworker. The boy was 7 and the girl was 2. She stayed right at her brother’s hip the entire time and although she would look me in the eye, she never smiled or even changed expressions. Obviously, they had just been brought into care since they were there for a probable cause hearing. The investigator quizzed the boy about whether he had ever ‘brought his mom anything to smoke’ or ‘seen her smoke anything’. The receptionist asked him how old he was and if he had enjoyed the snow. He told her he had enjoyed it, but he wasn’t allowed to go outside to play in it. His little sister held onto his pant leg with one hand and clung to her doll with the other. Before they were called in to court, an announcement was made that their court appearance was canceled. The investigator was clearly unhappy, but gathered her little group together and off they went.
This scene happens thousands of times a week in courtrooms all across this country. There are haunting statistics about how many kids come in and out of foster care in a given year, and yet the majority of people would gasp at what innocent children have to go through in the world of foster care. I thought about these two. What must be going through their little minds- ripped from their home by strangers, taken to a ‘new’ home to live with strangers, changing schools and daycare, and then being taken out of school to go to a courthouse filled with metal detectors and police officers and strange people asking you strange questions in a room full of strangers. It is just not normal- and it is depressing and discouraging. My heart broke for them.
When we look at the big picture-that there are over 500,000 kids in foster care in the United States-it is a daunting task…an impossible one. I really do think the Lord would have us see the big picture, to catch a vision for the impossible. But, today, as foster parents, I think He would have us see our little corner of the picture; just one piece of the puzzle, the child or children that He has called us to care for. He has chosen to use us, you and me, to make a difference. He has given us the grace and mercy and love to take children into our homes and more important, into our hearts, and pour into their precious lives. My friend, through His power, we CAN make a difference! We can be the conduit for a changed life. We have the honor of taking a little shriveled up seed and through the watering of God’s love and restoration flowing through us, see that seed germinate and bloom into a beautiful, unique flower. What a gift, what an honor, what a vocation, what a calling.
So, today, in the midst of dirty diapers, temper tantrums, violent outbursts, educational challenges, bad attitudes, exhaustion and discouragement, remember that you are about an important work, you are about the Father’s business and HE will give you the strength you need to carry the burden and to carry out the tasks He has entrusted to you. Not only will foster children be changed, but you and I will be changed as well. Love and blessings today!