My whole life. At least as long as I can remember, that's how long. How long I have known I wanted to foster children. I'm not sure why. No desire to be a savior. No plan to change the world. Just knowing that there was a hole there and I somehow was going to stand in it.
And once the time came, it just kind of happened. And it washed over me like a wave and knocked me flat on my rear end gasping for air as the water continued to beat me down. And I wondered if maybe I misunderstood. Maybe I was supposed to donate to foster kids? Volunteer at a children's home? Something easier, less consuming, more manageable? Something that could be 'done' and then I go back home? Because how on earth was I going to do any good if I couldn't manage a kid with obvious trauma.......now that I know what 'trauma' does to a young soul? I'm impatient. Angry. I have my own stuff that prevents me from feeling whole most days. Surely this isn't what it was supposed to be for me.
But we've already begun this chapter.....we will finish it out and see what is next.
D is back with us- the 10 year old who pushed me to the edge and then gave me a final shove. He didn't mean to. He doesn't have hate in his heart. And he didn't ask for this crappy hand that has been dealt as his life. And I'm sure I just make him that more angry, with my rules and manners and plans and consequences. Being parented feels like a tight pair of pants I'm sure to one who hasn't really been a part of it before. We have to hang in here for him, but then who knows.
And of course for the baby. Please let his parents find their way to the surface and swim to shore for this little man. We will remain here for him, we can't give up on him.
While on vacation I got to read This Life I Live by Rory Feek. The beginning is about his young life. How his mom worked her entire life to provide the little bit of nothing she had for her kids while moving constantly to try and afford a home. All over the place. All kinds of jobs. All kind of boyfriends. His father was in and out. Home for a while, then would leave again. Not really visiting, calling, or supporting. Only speaking of love with his words, but never with his actions.
And yet the only person this man desired more than life itself? His father.
He wanted to make him proud. To see his love. To grab his attention and feel like he mattered to him.
Sure he loved his mom, but not like he was so desiring his dad. His dad, the dad of this man, was the one who hung the stars in the sky and who he still wishes could see the success he has achieved in his life.
In one chapter, he speaks of an uncle who tried to fill that male role in his life. He references an act of kindness his uncle did, "...leaving another beautiful memory in the mind of a seventeen-year-old who desperately needed a man to leave one."
And there on the beach chair I was sitting in, under the beautiful sun by Lake Michigan I feel like God spoke to me. This calling, this role in which we are serving, this place where we are.......has never been about me. It is about my husband.
Our entire married lives, he has had constant impact on the young men in our lives. And every child, male or female, desires the love of their daddy. Generally it's not about the moms. They nourish the kids with food and emotional gifts, but the men do the heavy lifting in the hearts of young adults. And when fostering a child that is no different.
And as I sat there, relieved and excited, all I could do was cry out to God that He would give me the strength and the energy I need to walk this ever so important path with my husband. Because He has an amazing opportunity before us in the lives of the children God brings to our home, and I don't want to get in the way of what He is going to do.