We get lots of questions.
We get lots of insensitive comments.
We get lots of just plain unthoughtfulness.
But we are also encouraged.
There's alot that we can't tell people. Logistics about the case, the kids, their history, parents…etc. We just plain can't tell anyone. And its hard sometimes, to feel like you can't talk about stuff with anyone. But I also realize that's because we live in a society that feels the need to talk about everything, comment on everything and gossip about everything ( I say…while blogging. I know, it's ironic). And there's so many times that I remember this little saying that I heard back when Jax was having surgeries, "Don't tell the whole world, they won't understand. Tell God, he does."
And there's also the enemy, who likes to whisper at us to try and get us to doubt why and what we are doing. Sometimes this come through unkind words from people you expected better things from, sometimes it comes from the a/c going out in the CRV (for the third time…when its 103), sometimes it comes from just loneliness that can set in after a long day while Kyle works nights.
But God, he's so clever, he sends people my way that encourage me and help me just when I need it. A new friend from seemingly out of the blue, who just seems to get me. A new friend that I just met this weekend who has two adopted african-american kids and TREMENDOUSLY helped me in the skin and hair care department. Random comments from friends or family like, "you guys are our inspiration" or "you've really grown as a mother." Or even the fact that everywhere Mr. Mannerly goes, he gets awards; like the "mannerly award" at school, or bible verse memory and magnetic friend award at Day Camp, and Star of the week award at the B&G Club. He's thriving and it shows.
And you know what i love? I love that God is El ROI, its always been my favorite name of his. "The God who sees". He sees everything, minute by minute. And I can't tell you how many times a day, I say aloud or think, "Lord, you saw that." It helps me not overreact, it helps me not sass back, it helps me trust him and know that I'm not alone. He sees and he cares for us. He takes care OF us. And I'm so glad because there's days where I feel like I'm taking care of everyone and I'm not sure who is taking care of me. But that's really just the enemy too, the truth is: HE holds the WHOLE world in his hands. We're just a part of HIS plan. And He's taking care of everything and everyone. And he's orchestrated every detail.
(you may take a break to sing…he's got the whole world….)
One of the most frequent questions we hear is, "How long do you think you'll have them?" And I know that people are curious and maybe they mean well (who knows?) but I was thinking on the way home from church and this is, honest to goodness my response that runs through my head when i get asked that, "does it matter?" Do we only allow ourselves to love people if we know their going to stay for a long time? Do we only allow ourselves to get involved if we know we can make a "long term" difference? No, we give ourselves. All of ourselves in order to plant a seed. Even if thats just for the summer, even if that's just for a year. Even if that's just till their 18.
And here's the kicker for me lately, I hear this phrase alot, "I think that would be so hard, to get so attached and then have to give them back." But think about it, parents have to make this choice all the time. It's called college for some, it's call the mission field for others, its even called death sometimes. Somehow we've gotten this mentality that our kids are "ours". This is why some parents have trouble letting their "babies" leave the nest…ever.
And on the way home, I just felt God show me that He's teaching me this early. And honestly, he started it back when we first had that infamous ultrasound of Jax's little face. We gave him God that day. Not just a little. More like, Samuel in the bible. We felt like God had asked us to be his parents because he had a special mission in God's kingdom and he was going to be a arrow. And the point of an arrow is to be released so that it can soar and hit the target.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,offspring a reward from him.4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
This is true of all our kids. In our house now, and anyone that may follow. They may be with us for a night, a summer, a year, until they graduate…only God knows that part. Most of the time a foster family never knows. But knowing is really irrelevant, our jobs is to love them, care for them and through that make them a little straighter of an arrow. Its only a seed. With a biological kid or a foster kid. The Holy Spirit, through us plants that God seed in their heart and then when its time, we release them (literally) and get to watch the Holy Spirit continue his work.
Do we get attached? Yes. It's vital for them and for us.
Its is going to be hard? Of course. But we're not called to do only the things that feel easy.