Last week, we found out our kiddo would be heading home soon. We were a little surprised by this news but the more we found out, the more at peace we were with the situation.
We’ve had to explain the situation multiple times now to people and I find myself saying the same things over and over. It is complicated and hard for people to understand. I think what we are trying to communicate to people is that our end goal in all of this is for kids to get another chance at a family, whether that be with us forever or with their biological family who is committed to making a change for the better. In this case, we are confident that the latter is happening and we have been fortunate enough to have established a positive relationship with our kiddo’s family. Honestly, I cannot even begin to tell you what a blessing this experience has been.
Inevitably, people ask, “But aren’t you attached?” Yes, we are. We entered in to this process with the goal of attaching and neither D nor I have the capability of ignoring the extreme cuteness and charm of a five year-old who says things like, “Comcast and Johnny Cash – that rhymes” or “Why do they call it a toothbrush? They should call it a teethbrush.” (You have to admit, he has a good point).
Although the court gave permission for him to return home last week, it took a few days to get all the paperwork completed. He just went home this morning and there were some tears. Tears of sadness because we are going to miss him like crazy. Tears of joy because there is an opportunity for a new start for this family. I could not help think of them as we sang these words Sunday at church:
Everyone needs compassion,
Love that’s never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.
Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.
Everyone. Everyone. Everyone. I’m thankful for the compassion, forgiveness and kindness of Jesus that I have experienced in my own life. I’m thankful for a God who extends this gift to everyone. I’m sure there will be kids in the future who we have uncertainty about sending home. I’m sure we will struggle. But I am also sure that everyone is eligible for the grace and mercy of God that I’ve experienced in my own life.
We get many people who tell us, “I could never do that.” To that, we have to say, there is nothing special about us. Nothing. Speaking for myself, I know I have major faults – I lack patience and kindness too often. I’m selfish and I want time to myself. I can be judgmental and stingy and unfairly selective in extending grace and mercy. I often think God probably could have found someone better suited for this. But He called us to do this and I could not be more thankful. We have been told by our agency to “not expect a long break.” In fact, one of the social workers told us that they are already talking about who to send to us next.
I am actively praying for more Christians to consider becoming foster parents in Michigan (and elsewhere). Sometimes I’m praying for specific people (I guess that is a warning to some of my friends). This is not just because there is a great need but it is because you have no idea what your are missing out on. I hope that does not sound prideful or arrogant. I know not everyone is called to foster parenting and I know that many of you are involved in other awesome ministries. But I am hoping more Christians will open their hearts and their homes so that they may know the frustration, chaos, fatigue, sweetness, laughter and joy of this experience.