There is a light. Which is a good thing, as long as that light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train (the boys’ social worker told me that one this morning and it made me smile.) We started this fostering process as an emergency shelter home. The little boys came to us with the thought that we’d have them for one night, maybe two. I am quickly learning never to trust these estimates, as we are in week three here. As it turns out, once foster kids are placed in a good home, the placement workers understandably shift their focus onto kids who still need homes. We’ve learned that if we’re not ready to take kids longer term, we shouldn’t accept them even for one night. The respite care mom who had the boys last week told me that their first placement was for three kids whom they were supposed to have for two weeks. A year and a half later, the third one left their home. Yes. Things change quickly. It’s not that they are trying to take advantage of us, it’s just that there are so many kids needing placements.
Anyway. Back to the light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope that a home will be available next week for the little boys to rejoin their sister in a long term foster placement. Pray, pray, pray! Although these boys are by no means the worst kids in the foster system, it has been a trial having 6, 4, 2, and 11 mos. in the house and trying to meet all of their needs, some needs being enormously bigger than others. But just knowing that there’s only one more week makes things seem easier to handle. That’s not to say that my house isn’t still a disaster, and I didn’t still have a good cry last night, and I didn’t do anything crazy like invite another first grade boy over to play for four hours today. I still don’t have my head on straight, obviously. But things are calming down and we’re more prepared for the behaviors we’re dealing with. If we can make it through this week, we’ll be home free. Maybe. Remember what I said about things changing quickly in the foster system…
In the end, I keep reminding myself of why we’re doing this. We both really did feel called by God to serve Him in this way. As I’ve gone through these weeks and watched our friends and family serve us in love, I get the feeling that we’re doing the same for God. Remember how the bible says that when we do things for “the least of these,” we’re really doing them for Him? God’s heart just must be breaking like crazy for these kids. It’s incredibly sad to see these kids and know what they’ve been through. Then multiply it by how many kids there are in our county, our state, our country, and our world. God’s heart must be so heavy for these children. Then Greg and I come to serve and we take two little ones from His hands and care for them for a while. In the same way that our friends and family have helped out an hour here and an hour there to ease our burdens, I feel like I’m easing God’s burden just a tiny bit by caring for these boys for a month. Not that they’re ever out of his thoughts, but He knows they’re in good hands for a bit. So as I sweep up Cheerios and wipe bottoms and give time-outs and buckle carseats, I am serving Him in some small way. It’s easy to write as the house is peaceful but hard to remember when everyone’s screaming and the floor is covered with bananas.
We’ll keep you posted as things progress this week.