on my way to training i was feeling nervous. i wondered if i’d be emotional and totally soaking things in. or would i maybe be disconnected? i’ve been down this road before. i’ve heard the stories and the statistics. i was a social worker for crying out loud. i’ve been parenting adopted children for almost 7 years. i’ve heard it all. and then i thought,
oh, i know what’s at stake this time.
last time around, it was very much about me. i was infertile. i wanted to be a mother. i knew there were children who needed a mother and i could be that to them. we could have a family. we’d be complete. it’d be done. this time it’s different.
this time, i know my life is about to be turned upside down and my heart inside out. this time it isn’t about me becoming a mother. this time it’s about saving some lives. this time it’s about giving a hope and a future. this time it’s about stepping in and saying, “it stops here. the abuse, the neglect, the cycle, the uncertainty, the moving, the changing. this is it. you’re home.”
yes, it was about all those things the first time too. but this time the desire to be a mother is replaced even more by the desire to follow Jesus once again into the depths of pain and trauma and separation and abuse and neglect. i know what’s at stake because i’ve seen it. i live with it daily. i know what life could be like for my kiddos if they weren’t here. it scares me. it breaks my heart.
i can’t, knowing what i know, seeing what i’ve seen, stand on the sidelines. i’ve got to be in the game. on the field. fighting the fight. standing up for the fatherless. caring for the orphan. just like Jesus entered my messy life and has stayed in my life, i need to be willing to enter into the lives of children in foster care and stay in their lives. i need to be willing to let my heart explode with love, the same way God’s heart explodes with love for me. and i need to be willing to let my heart break under the weight of the sadness of what life was like for the precious little ones who have been so wounded.
after our introductions tuesday night, the trainer started our class with these statistics:
1 in every 4 girls has been sexually abused
1 in every 7 boys has been sexually abused
50% of kids in foster care have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
he reminded us that “these aren’t just cute little kids, these are kids that have been through a lot”. my thought on my way, about knowing what’s at stake, was confirmed. there’s a lot at stake. am i willing to walk away? am i willing to pretend it’s not there? that i can’t see it? no. i’m running straight into it because i know what’s at stake.
~that more people would consider entering into the messy but beautiful world of caring for orphans
~that God would be protecting and caring for whoever He has planned to join our family and the rest of the orphans waiting for forever families
~that God would continue to prepare our hearts for whoever He has planned to join our family
~that we would be able to prepare our home well
~that we would learn exactly what we need to learn in training and be able to speak from experience when it would be helpful
~that we would continue to faithfully take the steps God places before us