How do you know if you should help suffering children? For many of us, this question is utterly preposterous.
What a ridiculous query.
I speak from experience. There is a reason I can go where I am about to go – because I said no to an injured 3-month-old baby boy. I believed that foster care was a noble calling, but I know me, I am hardly noble. So in an effort to trick the system, God, the universe or mother nature, I decided we would become a foster-to-adopt foster family.
Hold your applause.
A foster-to-adopt foster parent was my way of saying yes, within the confines of what would bring me the most comfort… a safe place.
“I can’t do foster care, I am afraid I’ll get hurt.”
Update: Life hurts.
“I am not going to have children, I am afraid I’ll get hurt.”
Update: You rarely – if ever hear couples say this…
How is it that we as a nation have become so comfortable that we are motivated only by that which will feel good? How can we sign petitions, march, or sit in on that which offends us and not be utterly offended that the child next door, on the bus, or sitting next to our children in a classroom is neglected, abused, or starving?
Three years ago we got a phone call late at night, the call was from our caseworker.
“Jami, we have an emergency. A baby boy, he’s injured and alone at the hospital. Will you come sit with him with the possibility of him coming home with you when he’s released?”
“Is he adoptable?”
“Well, Jami, I don’t know. But he is hurt and alone.”
Would I really say no to suffering children?
I think about this – I don’t wallow in it. I am glad I said it because now I can say to you… “Don’t say this.”
Do not say you can’t. Don’t say you won’t… please don’t say, “I’m afraid I’ll get hurt.”
Fast forward from that night to 18 months later, my dear husband was walking the floor with a tiny pink bundle singing a George Strait song to the little nugget on his chest.
“Justin…” I cautioned, “Don’t…”
He shot me a glare.
Ah yes. Don’t love her too much… you’ll get hurt. Your heart will break. It will nearly kill us when she goes.
Brown eyes blazing he whisper/barked… “Jami, this little girl will be loved fearlessly. She will know she was adored.”
Update: She knows, oh and life hurts.
Brash, sassy, or snarky I can say these things to you from a place born of brokenness, not piety. I do not judge you for saying no because I said it more than once.
Guard your heart.
I’m not called.
I could never.
And nope, we currently don’t have a foster placement. We adopted the injured baby boy I said no to, last October. And the pink bundle? After 18-months of loving her fearlessly, we buckled her in a car seat, handed her a little scrapbook with pictures of us, her room, her life in our home and stood in the driveway and watched her wave bye-bye to us… as she was delivered into the arms of her restored momma.
I would never trade a love so great as a selfless love. A love worth having, worth grieving, worth – all of it.
Tonight as I type this I know this much, I know I should always help a suffering child.
I know I am capable of things that I could not fathom… I have never regretted saying yes to loving a child well.
They might be out of sight, but they cannot be out of mind. As believers we must rally our courage, we must believe we can, and we must step out and do that which we are all called to, a world where children are cherished.
The least of these…
Today, your husband may not be on board to pursue that foster license. You may be like us, healing from a great loss before that next big step. Or, maybe it truly is not within the scope of your home life or health, but together TODAY we can make an impact.
Please consider joining me and Upbring.org for #GivingTuesday
“With the help of Ubring donors, Upbring is empowering 7,500 boys and girls annually who share a story of success, and this #GivingTuesday YOU can help. With your support, we will help children of abuse and neglect to find their voice, to overcome trauma, and to be seen. Join us on November 28 as we let these suffering children know that they matter, that they deserve love, and that they are seen.”
Watch this video and then please follow the link below to join me, because YES, we should help suffering children… always.