Today was our eighth goodbye. We love them for just a short time, and then they are gone–perhaps never to remember us, but always to leave an imprint on our hearts.
The kid who left our house today has a difficult road ahead of him. He didn’t want to leave us, and we didn’t really want him to leave either. But we couldn’t provide him everything he needed, and so he had to move on.
Each time one of our children leaves, my heart breaks a little. Today’s cloudy weather seemed to match the mood of the day. It was a gloomy day, and the other children felt the gloom as well. My oldest, especially, takes it hard when the children leave–even though she has done nothing but complain about them while they’re with us! There were a lot of tears today.
So why do we do this? When the children are with us, we are exhausted with emotional outbursts, family visits, doctor appointments, social worker appointments, school assignments, etc. But when they leave, there is an emptiness in our home, one that could only be filled with the laughter of that child.
We do this because the child who came to us broken and resistant to loving us cried when he had to leave us. He loves us now, and he knows he is loved.
We do this because we have room for one more at our table, and there will always be room for one more. And God will supply the food to fill that plate.
We do it because our cup overflows with blessing, and we want to spill it over into someone else’s cup.
We do it because this is what God has called us to do–to love the children of the world as He does. (This is the call for everyone, by the way!)
We do this because God first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19).
Today, my friend left with a team of other like-minded women to spend a week in Ethiopia, helping the orphans there. She is a mom to five (one of whom is adopted). Her children have a lot of extracurriculars. They’re in school. They’re in the process of moving to a new home. So why would she go to Ethiopia?
She goes because she is willing to step out in faith.
She goes because she desires to see one less orphan.
She goes because she doesn’t know what it’s like to suffer need and wants to share her blessings with those who only know need.
She goes because she knows the One Who loved her first, therefore she knows she can love others well (1 Jn. 4:19).
This week alone, twenty-five children were brought into foster care in our area. One child I know (not from the twenty-five) spent two days at the Department of Social Services office because they couldn’t find a home that would take him. He’s three. The need is so great, yet no one wants to be the one to step out on faith. No one wants to step out of their comfort zone and help the helpless. We complain about the system and how there needs to be more help, but then we aren’t willing to be the ones to help.
We can start an argument about government problems, and some of them are valid. But we also need to start taking matters into our own hands. The community needs to get involved.
We need to advocate for these children–many of whom are getting lost in continued cases that should have been closed months ago.
We need more guardian ad litems, who will stand up in court and speak up for these kids.
We need more social workers who will make these children a priority instead of seeing them just as a job.
We need more teachers who are trained well to deal with the issues that come from a child being removed from their home.
We need more families to agree to take in just one more child–even if it’s inconvenient for your other children.
We need more people willing to fly halfway across the world to love children they don’t know.
Everyone seems to be using their voice lately to scream at each other about politics or racial divides or whether or not to take a knee. But my newsfeed has been silent when it comes to people screaming for the ones who have no voice. I haven’t seen people fighting over the injustices of children who don’t know where they will sleep tonight or where their next meal will come from.
Don’t get me wrong–political debates are important to how our country is run. Racial injustices need to be made right. But I wonder if we adults are losing sight of the ones who need us to take them by the hand and lead them to a safe and loving place. I wonder if we have allowed our “issues” to blind us to the ones who can’t stand up for themselves. And I fear that we are at risk of losing our children.
So here I am, humbly asking for your help. Won’t you please consider how you can help these kids? If you could just take them for a night while DSS finds a long-term placement for them, that would be a huge help! If you can mentor just one child, that would be such a blessing. If you can donate items to a local foster care group or send funds to an orphanage, then please share!
We CAN fight, and we MUST fight! But let’s fight for what really matters. And let’s stand united in the fight.