As you know, 6 months ago we decided to follow a lead we have felt for years and enrolled in foster to adopt classes. We faced some opposition, because I don't know if you know this, but we have 6 children already. We had our share of "What?? Are you guys crazy!?"
And clearly, yes, yes we are. Why do you even have to ask?
But when you feel like God has led you to a place, and then basically yelled "GO!", you just take it all in and move on the best you can.
We were nervous. And we didn't have a lot of extra space, or time, or anything. But we said, "Uhhh, ok, we'll do it!"
I am a normal mom. I get up in the morning and shuffle to the kitchen and fix waffles for my kids. I sat in foster classes and felt sad for these kids and had visions of what our future would look like down this road. And while I took in all the facts and such, I'm not totally sure I was emotionally prepared to look into the face of a hurting child.
Stay with me while I start to cry.
"A" busted through our door on Friday like he was coming home. And in many ways, it was home to him. When you have been removed from multiple homes in your 4yr existence, then any decent place with people who actually want to love you feels like home.
For the first 2 hours he was here he called me, "New Mom."
He was sweet and happy and stuck to my side. He was fine as long as I was in his sight, but if I stepped away, he came looking for me. Because when you have a lot of people leave you in your lifetime, you start to have attachment issues. I'm not going to go into all the sad details like how he wore the gloves his brother gave him almost all weekend, or how he slept at the wrong end of the bed because it scared him when he couldn't see out the bedroom door.
Because I want you to know that this sweet little guy eventually sank right into our busy crew. The madness of his life stopped at our front door. Because as foster parents, you are able to say that the pain and the ugliness stops in your entry way. You can deal with their past, pick up the pieces, and move in a positive direction.
And somehow, by the grace of God, our big and busy family seemed to be a refuge to this child...
I was blindsided by my emotions and my motherly instinct to take care of this boy that was only with us for a few days.
I was amazed at how he adjusted so quickly, and was just another sweet little 4yr old in our house. They just want to feel part of a family, friends. They just want to feel important and loved, that's all.
I want to tell you that I THOUGHT I was ready. I thought I was prepared and I thought I was strong. We've had the encouragement of great friends and amazing training. But you can be as prepared as you want to be, and when it comes down to it and you are in the midst of it, the only thing you have to rely on is a supernatural strength.
Cause the pain and the past seems so unfair. It makes you want to step out on to the back porch and scream, "What the heck is going on here and WHY??"
And then you may cry a little, because you're desire to love and the urgency to intercede in these babies lives just overwhelms your heart. It's a lot to take in.
But the bottom line is that the only one who can bring redemption and sense to the whole situation is Him.
The weekend went really well. It wasn't all warm and fuzzy feelings, but he was real sweet and played and giggled with our crew. There were signs of pain, and my mommy heart just wants to pick him up and promise him that everything is going to be ok. But you see that's the hardest part, right now I can't promise him anything.
But God. He can. And what we can cling to is that the love we showed him will get tucked away in his little heart for a while.
There were some comments recently that said foster care and adoption were on some of your hearts...but you just aren't sure yet. I know how you feel, cause we have been there, for years. I just want to encourage you to take that first step. Call your county, contact an agency, and see what happens. We decided in the beginning that we would take this one step at a time, pray through each move, and assess how we felt as each page turned. He will reveal His plan for your family, and the bottom line is that the pull in your heart to try it won't go away until you give it a go.
This weekend changed us. Caring for him and saying yes to the madness that is the foster care system is something I couldn't do without His promises. It will never be easy, but I know that He is here in all the tiniest of details, and that He can bring beauty, and hope, and mercy into any situation.
It's hard, but it's SO worth it. Full of redemption and reminders of the gospel that saved all of us. And that's why we would do it again, and again, and again.
So we continue to wait for the kiddo that will be a "permanent" placement for us. Praying for patience and guidance as we move on.
Thankful for your encouragement and prayers, they were felt!