Wednesday night was a really hard night for me. At around 7PM that night Dave and I realized we had both missed a call from our foster agency at around 3PM that afternoon. I listened to the voicemail, and immediately was internally beating myself up. Dave at the time was getting ready to take the kids outside to play in the hot tub before we put them to bed for the night, and I was glad for the peace, and quiet because I just needed some space.
The house was quiet, and within moments, I found myself sobbing and weeping in an all-out ugly cry. “How did I miss the call?!” I heard myself say. Guilt laced internal blame for what I fool I was for missing it. “What if I missed ‘the’ call?” came soon after. “What if this was our assignment, and I missed it!?” I sat this way for awhile just crying, and praying, and I realized the very root of what was making me so upset…
You see we haven’t had a call in months now. The last call we received, was another call for a child in another county, and I told the social worker that we really only wanted calls for this county, because we were unable to commit to a child out of county that would require more driving, and accommodations being made from our family. So when I found this missed call, I assumed it was a child from our county…the first call we had had in months, and they come so seldom, that I feared that we had missed our chance, and really buried underneath all of these layers, was that I am so scared….scared for our potential future child who is somewhere right now, that I don’t even know, in a probably not so great situation, and she is scared and helpless, and I might be her mama someday, and SHE. IS. NOT. HOME….. My scared mama heart just WANTS HER HOME where I know she will be safe, and in my arms.
Man this foster to adopt stuff is hard. It’s different than fostering…..where a family knows it’s probably temporary, but they are a safe place, and a family for a child in need, and it’s a role that is so needed. They love on kids, and they pour their lives out, and fostering is such an important role too. It’s also very different than adoption, but it’s so very similar in that your heart is aching for a child that is not yet yours, but that you can’t yet have, and that you so desperately want to just be home in your arms. Fostering to adopt is letting your heart live in this place where you pour it out to love on a child that isn’t yours, working to reunite them with their birth parents, while at the same time trying to break down walls in your heart to love them and welcome them into your home, because they may truly someday be yours….. my heart doesn’t know how to deal with these feelings yet. It’s uncharted territory, that there is no right or wrong way to walk through these muddied waters, but it’s a necessary course. Either way people end up broken…birth parents losing rights to their children was never God’s design. Reunifying children with birth parents is mending brokenness that never should have been. It’s grace, and forgiveness, and starting over. Fostering to adopt isn’t us saving children…it’s God bringing wholeness out of brokenness, but either way it started out as broken…
Time spent with Jesus that night was just what I needed. My heart calmed down a bit, and I received a few encouraging texts from friends, and one wise friend, in particular, said:
“God does not let His children miss His voice.”
I just love that image….absolutely nothing, can keep me from missing the call that will be God’s assignment for us, and even if we miss it, and it is His assignment for us, she will eventually come to us missed call or not.
Missing this call, and experiencing these emotions was really good for me. My reaction that day seemed so dramatic though….why in the world was I ugly crying about a missed phone call, but it made me realize how much I had compartmentalized and numbed myself in this waiting to not feel anything. I distracted myself with busy, parenting, and work, and wouldn’t let myself feel towards this. Another dear friend helped point out that God may be using even this to ready our hearts, and stir up a deep longing for this child to prepare us even more. Dave came inside that night to a wife with mascara dripping off her face, and he looked at me slightly terrified, and said “what’s wrong?!” It gave us time to process, and unravel feelings that we haven’t been letting ourselves feel in this time of waiting, and honestly was a unifying moment in this process that helped us both realize that we’re in this together, and in his own way he feels the very same way I do, he just doesn’t talk about it as much 🙂
On Thursday I got another call…..go figure…no calls for months, and then 2 in a row. I honestly almost thought this call was it, until the social worker revealed at the END of the call that this was an out of county case…. I hung up the phone, and like every other phone call from the foster agency, was overwhelmed with emotion at the notes I had scribbled about this girl on a page of paper that summarized her life in horrid words that no child should ever have used to describe anything about her, but this….this is foster care. Kids with hard pasts that they don’t deserve, who just need someone to come alongside them and show that them that they aren’t worthless. That they aren’t defined by their parents choices that have littered their pasts, but they can have a much greater hope in a God who mends the broken hearted, and finds them so worthy of being loved.
Would you pray for these kids?
For their safety, for God’s protection over them while in homes that may be harming them.
Pray for the foster families- that God would ready their hearts, and give them wisdom to help the specific children He has assigned to them.
Pray for God’s plan for your family in orphan care- is it to support a foster/adoptive family? To walk beside them, give of your time, and resources to help? Maybe God’s stirring in your heart to consider adoption or foster care….it’s ok to be scared of that. I was. Terrified actually, but God is so very good to gently walk me down this path in His time. He will for you too.
Lastly, pray for our girl, and my mama heart, that so desperately just wants her home….that God would keep her safe, and that ultimately we would trust that His timing is perfect.