Thursday, October 27, 2016

To the stranger staring at my family..........

Hello there.
I see you.  Watching us.  Yeah.  I know.
I know that little boy just filled that tiny bag with three bags of complimentary Doritos and two waters.
I saw.
Yeah, it's selfish.  And gluttonous.  And probably rude.
But here is what you don't know.  I don't know him.  And I have no idea why one bag wasn't enough.  Or what the two extras will do for him.
But at this point, I don't really care.
See, he just came to be with us.  Literally.  Today is our week anniversary.
He is still a mystery to us, with his quiet disposition that accepts whatever comes at him with grace and acceptance.  He has just accepted that he will live with us for a while.  And that the new bed we showed him to is actually his.  And that the half of the dresser we put his few things in should feel like his.  And that eating the weird dinners I make is safe and okay, even though his favorite food is tacos.
(Note to self- buy ground beef and make that kid some tacos).
So I don't really understand why one isn't enough.  Or why he is afraid of the dark (actually I probably understand that a bit).  Or why he calls Emily girl.  Or why throwing away a half empty bottle of water from his sister caused such rage in his heart.
But I am here, standing in this gap for he and his family.  Loving him and opening our home for him in the interim while we wait to see what happens next.
And while we do, if filling that bag with doritos he will never eat brings him peace, I say go ahead.
So please don't cast your judgement on my 'son'.  You don't know the load his tiny little shoulders have been asked to bear.

Friday, October 21, 2016


We have been licensed in foster care for 8 months, but just got our first 'call' today.  The call that I have been wondering about.  The one that says there is a child and he has a need for a home.  She described him as sweet, a good student, kind.  All the buzz words that should 'sell' him.

But the truth is, he already had a place here.  Without a doubt, this is the boy who God was preparing a place for in our home.  His place was ready.......we just didn't know it.

The caseworker picked him up from school and brought him 'home'.  All day I prayed and wondered and worried about a little boy who must be overwhelmed with fear.  How scary to go to a new home, new people, new bed.  It just really must suck- to put it blunt.

He arrived with his belongings stacked neatly in tied up plastic grocery bags and one giant paper handled sack.  His chapstick, a lanyard, some books, his clothes, shoes that have seen better days and lots of hoodie sweatshirts.  And a basketball.  A sure tell sign that the boy in him is alive and well- just waiting for a time to play.

This burden, the one piled on his tiny 9 year old shoulders, is more than I can even begin to comprehend.  He has bright eyes, beautiful hair, he is a fabulous speller with amazing penmanship.  Yet in his eyes there is something distant, something far away.  Probably something that has allowed him to be the adult for his little siblings in a home where  mom refused to step up to the plate.


It isn't fair.  For him I am grieving, literally my soul is crying out to God begging Him to let this little man out of the injustice that has been heaped shoulder high on this young man.  Truly, this little boy.   Crying out for the tools and the compassion and the heart for our home that can receive him right where he is and love him well.  And maybe, just maybe, that he could love us too.

We choose to stand in this gap.  The one between where his parents are, and where they should be.  And it is my hope, my deepest and desperate prayer, that his mom can rise above out of the ashes that have been created by bad choices and a desperate need of the Savior.  That she can lay down herself in order to mother this boy well.  And until then, we will stand with him.  And wait.

And we will, without any uncertainty, remove those barbie dolls left by the girls in our bathtub.  He won't be needing those : )

Monday, October 3, 2016

You never go 'back'

"Hows the quiet?"

"Are you enjoying some rest?"

"Bet your kids are glad to have their rooms back?"

As quickly as we became a household of 10, we have shrunk back to just us 5.

Yep.  Just like that, the judge saw this woman and her children and their healing path they have walked and the checklist of crossed off goals and she ordered the kiddos home.


Amazing how God has so changed what that could be in my mind.

I have have the amazing honor of walking this path next to this woman as I have provided a 'home' for her kiddos.  This woman who is strong, and weak.  Who is whole, but broken.  Who has been so surrounded by love, but alone.  Her 'home' scattered across the place while she tried desperately to seek out what it was and what it could be.

And that home for her kiddos?  Man I will never forget the way God wove all of those huge and tiny details together.  The hands that rang my door bell with hot meals, toilet paper, hand soap, toothbrushes.....  The texts of love and encouragement.  The calls of concern and help.  The unbelievable love poured out for each and every single one of us.......all 10 of us- breathtaking.

And here we are, crossing the finish line of sorts. The one that God has carried my family to.  But truly this is just the beginning of the big journey for this beautiful woman and her sweet five kids.  Now they begin the hard race.  The one where they try to make sense of the complete chaos that has enveloped them for almost a year.  An entire huge long year.  And God will do it, I just know He will.  And someday we will look back to this time in complete and sheer amazement at how He orchestrated it all.

And yet I do feel a release.  An excitement of sorts that we made it.  We Made It.  WE MADE IT.

Man there were days that I wanted to throw in the towel.  It was all too much.  Too many needs.  Too much anger from people who couldn't receive my love.  Too much confusion from kids who didn't want life to look different.  Too many people for a small space designed for less but adequately accommodating us all.

A broken doorbell.  A shattered TV.  Nail polish stained carpet and bathroom counters.  A mysteriously dented garage door.  A worn out washing machine.  Stained walls from taped posters and pictures.  Hearts forever missing a piece of what once was a part of our home.  We will never be the same.  Thanking Jesus today for the honor of holding these kids until their momma could.  Looking anxiously to the future of who might join us next.