Have you ever sat down and wondered how far you could go if you did something in faith?
No...me either. My inclinations are to shrink away and hide or jump blindly full speed into the abyss. The latter is usually my first choice unless it involves a large group of people, particularly if they are all adults. I have had to learn to reign in the leaping because I needed to consider my husband's thoughts first.
Foster care is something we both agreed to step into but getting approved demands that you rehash the past over and over - verbally and on paper. Couple that with the fear of being rejected and it just makes an emotional mess for me. Good thing that is over, besides it is NOT about me which is what I told myself during each interview and stack of paperwork.
So far, our experience with foster care has been for respite, which is temporary care of a foster child while a foster family takes care of something or gets some rest but it can also be a place to stay while a new placement home is found.
The children waiting for a new placement home are really sad because they are so scared. Each move is starting over again and it is unsure what you are getting when you move. Will it be a family with children? A single adult? A different school? A place with plenty of food? A safe place or not? It is even more sad to get a teenager who is pregnant and even more sad than that is a teenager who is pregnant and has an infant. This was our latest call and we said yes. At the moment, we are not supposed to get calls because we are in the process of getting a teenager from a group home and the counselor does not want anyone else in the home when she gets to us but, the phone rang and I answered. They assured me that it would be just for the week. Again, I was given the "talk" which includes any behavioral issues and the reasons why the child is having to move to a new home. The whole thing stirs up my insides because I feel so unprepared and inadequate but the car pulls up and the nerves dissolve when I see this child with child and holding a child.
The woman who washed Jesus' feet came to mind as we ventured out on errands. Luke 7:
"36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37 And
behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he
was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster
flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
We have had lots of stares since being a different color makes it obvious whose baby it is and it is very clear that she is about to have another any day. We also had an encounter with a rude sales lady that I tried to kill with kindness, a smile, and the face of the sweet baby. She was obviously disgusted by a pregnant teenage mother and would not crack, so I thought it best to continue on as if her rudeness was nothing to dwell on.
Jesus proved it - compassion is rooted in love and love is Christ. Again, another reminder to walk through situations NOT thinking of me but displaying Christ. So hard sometimes...
Several days in and this young lady felt comfortable enough to share some challenges in her life right now. She knows that she has made some choices that were not wise and she knows that she many obstacles to overcome. No one needs to point out those things but someone does need to draw her near and point her in the direction of hope. Her story is made even more challenging as the system struggles to find a new placement home for her and the baby. I know we cannot keep her because we had our first meeting with our child from the group home and, if you can believe it, she is in more need than this young lady. Fortunately, this young mother can be re-unified with her family. She just has to keep working on her goals and make better choices so I pray that a good placement home opens up soon and her ears are open to the message of hope we share. For now, we are going out to purchase a duffel bag or some kind of suitcase to replace the garbage bags in which her stuff is packed. People are sinners but they are never trash.
More on our child from the group home later...