Sometime after we got J but before the twins left, we got a phone call about a sibling set of three – Hispanic, a girl and two boys, ages 5, 4, and 1 – could we take one of them? Maybe two? After the twins leave can we take all three? “No” was our answer. No, no, no. We were so very broken and didn’t have the capacity to take on more kiddos. The next day we got another call – the three kids were in a shelter (read: orphanage), would we consider taking them after the twins left? Ok, we said. After the twins left we’d think about it. But we didn’t want to hold up them finding a forever home so we called back a week later and said count us out, find another family.
Then the twins left and a few days later we got another phone call – they heard through the foster care grapevine that the twins were gone, and they still hadn’t found placement for the sibling set of three – would we take the three kiddos, they’re still living in the shelter. This time we paused. Three phone calls about the same kids, so we had to at least consider it.
We have said no to these types of phone calls far more times than we have said yes. We get called about kids often, sometimes every other day, and we’ve felt really good about every “no” we’ve given, even the first two no’s to these kids. But this time? This time we felt reason to pause and consider it. We’ve been wanting to take in a sibling group, and these three kids kept coming back to us. So we decided to meet them and think about it.
A few days after we agreed to meet them I had a dream about them. The only thing I specifically remember is that the baby had blue eyes. I woke up and told Gary. How funny that I should have a dream about this Hispanic baby with blue eyes, surely he had brown eyes. Surely.
We walked into the shelter, and they handed me a blue-eyed baby. Of course we didn’t base our decision entirely on this, but what a sweet little sign of confirmation from the Lord for us. I was terrified, yet I could feel the “yes” rising up out of my heart.
We called the caseworker on our way home from that visit and told her we’d take them. We had a vacation and some home renovations planned, and we wanted a little time to prepare our home for three more kids so we wanted to wait three weeks to take them in. Prep time is a coveted foster care luxury. We asked if that would that be ok? If not, we’d cancel everything, we’d make it work. But she agreed so we started scrambling to get it all done. We built bunk beds and rearranged furniture and collected clothing. We decorated bedrooms and organized toys and cleaned the house from top to bottom. And then we went on vacation – it allowed us to hit the reset button, and we were so grateful for this time together under the sun. We soaked it up and recharged our batteries and geared up for the next foster care battle.
Foster care? It is war. War against parents who abuse and neglect their kids. Sometimes even war against the powers that are put in place to protect these kids we love. It is completely and utterly exhausting, but entirely worth it. So, so worth it. And how can I look these vulnerable children in the face and tell them any excuse? They all fall flat. How can I tell them there’s no room in the inn or that I can’t make space or time or room for them? How can I know that while they’re sleeping in the CPS office or living in a shelter with no mom and no dad and no home and no family, that I’m standing by idle?
We carefully consider this question – where do we put our time, talent, and treasure? We want to invest those things in advancing the Gospel by taking care of orphans. We want these lives of ours to make His name known – the name of Jesus that saves our souls and drives us to do hard things and love so big.
If we believe that Jesus is who He says He is, that He is the only son of God and that He purchased and saved our souls by his death on the cross, then the only conclusion is that He is entitled to the whole of our lives without any limit whatsoever. So we’re handing it over, piece by piece. We’ve said yes again, and now we’re finding our new normal for the umpteenth time this year. We covet your prayers, meals, support, and encouragement. God has shown us His deep care and love for us through the work of His people time after time, and it truly is keeping us moving onward and upward.