I was not going to post today because I really wanted you to spend your few minutes visiting Andrew and Hollyn's cancer pages and praying for them, but I read this in the paper this morning and nearly threw up.
Now the story has been breaking for a few days. I know because most places I've gone in the last few days, people have made the comments. You know, all the ones about the failed foster care system, bad social workers, bad foster parents, blah, blah, blah.
Those comments are a pain to be sure. They're right up there with some of those others, like "aren't you worried about your kids socialization?" and "wow, your kids have a lot of energy". That last one is a personal favorite because we all know that really translates to "wow, your kids are obnoxious, I can hardly wait for you to leave".
The story hits close to home as this is a situation that we are potentially looking at for Little Miss. Now, I don't know a thing about the relative that came forward and is interested in adopting her other than she is also a foster parent. I would never put her in the catagory of a foster parent that would kill the very child she is supposed to be protecting, but it is alarming to say the very least.
These are the days where it is hard to see God's hand in all things. I know it is there, but it's still hard to see. In the days since we learned there is another adoption option for Little Miss, I've come back around to where I was at the begining and where I've gone at one time or another with each one of my kids, that is, simply, they are not mine. They are His. I'm blessed to have them in my life as long as He sees fit, but beyond that is second guessing God. I certainly don't know better than God, no matter what my mommy heart might feel.
So I stand firm that I love her and would love for her to be a part of our family forever, but if that isn't the way it ends up, I will be ok. I will hurt and wonder what if and pray over her for years and years, but I will rest in knowing that I did what I was asked to do as best I could for as long as was needed. I will be able to let her go.
Now, the next part. Get involved. There are so many kids in our country that need help, get involved. Not everyone is cut out to be a foster parent. I think it's just reserved for us nuts, but that said, there is plenty you could do. Be a mentor to a child. Be a mentor to a parent. Help out at a school, maybe not just your child's school or classroom, maybe one in another part of town. Donate what you can for the kids. They need so much more than just a few Christmas gifts. Create a scholarship. Go hold babies in the NICU or PICU. Donate some child's hot lunch for a year or a semester. Offer to give a ride. Baby sit. Fund raise. Walk or Run for charity. Buy one extra thing each time you grocery shop and leave it in the food pantry box at the grocery store. Stop giving sideways glances to the person using a WIC check. Don't be smug about never going to the public health office. Provide respite care. Don't be afraid of social workers. Don't judge them either. Same said for the birth parents, even when they're addicts or felons, some of them are nicer than the average suburbanite. Don't give those fake friendly comments, like, "wow, you really have your hands full". It's just judgement in disguise and we all know it. Trust me, if my kids are acting up or out, I'm aware. Really. Don't say, "I could never do what you do" whether you mean a medical thing, a foster care thing, a homeschool thing or just a general life thing, because you probably could. We can all do tons of things we never think we could do, we just simply haven't been in that situation yet. When God throws you into one of those situations, you will be strong enough to do whatever you need to do.
Stretch yourself to find ways to help kids. One day they will be the big people and if we haven't helped them, taught them, loved them, we'll reap the rewards.
OK, I'm just about done crabbing today.
Today, the thing I'd like you to do first for the kids is pray. Pray for Andrew. Pray for Hollyn. Pray for Little Miss and Little One. Pray for all the kids in foster care and all the kids that should be in foster care. Pray for the ones left alone, beaten, starving or scared. Pray that some big person would come along and be the big person.