Well, our home seems a lot emptier these days. Our very short-term first placement left quite a mark on our hearts! Now we are in the position where we again wait for our next placement. Every time the phone rings, we jump to answer in hopes it is a placement call. So what do we do in the meantime?
The answer is quite simple and clear and today as I pondered this, I quickly realized the answer was right in front of me all along. We will serve HIM while we are waiting! So how do we serve the Lord in this area of our lives? Well, we truly believe that we have been called into foster care. We have no intent only serving as foster parents, rather we want make a difference and impact as many children in the foster care system as possible.
Last evening we attended our Empty Chair Orphan’s Ministry meeting. The intent of this meeting was to generate ideas of how we could serve in all areas of orphan care. There were so many amazing ideas generated and it was awesome to see what God had for us. Leaving the meeting quite satisfied that God’s plan is unfolding before our eyes in caring for orphans we began to have quite a conversation in the car ride home.
From the time I was a little girl, I imagined nothing else in my life other than being a teacher. To me, teaching is a noble profession and I really couldn’t imagine anything else for myself. Now, here I sit in the passenger seat explaining to my husband that although teaching is and will always be my first love, I feel drawn now, more than ever into a new mission field. In one way or another I will find a way to answer this call into foster care on a much deeper level. While I am not sure what that looks like at this moment, I am certain that God will reveal this master plan in HIS timing! So again, I will serve Him while I’m waiting!
One thing that has been placed heavily on my heart is how we care for children when they are removed from the home. Often times when children are removed they are handed a trash bag and their belongings are packed into them. To me this is so very unacceptable on so many levels that it keeps me up at night crying and dreaming of ways I can change this. There is a level of respect, dignity and integrity that must remain intact at all times in this process. These are children, they perceive things that we cannot imagine and we owe it to them on every level to care for them and their hearts! It is a simple cause, but one that sends a message loud and clear. They are not trash, and they do not deserve to place anything into a trash bag other than trash!!!
When our first placement came to us, his belongings were brought in two plastic grocery bags. My heart broke and I was thankful that he was oblivious to this as far as we could tell because of his age. When we were instructed to pack his belongings on the chance that there would be an immediate reunification, my husband and I insisted that he not go back with grocery bags. So off to a local discount store we went to purchase a duffle bag for his belongings. It was the right thing to do and it did not go unnoticed! We didn’t to this to be noticed, we did this out of respect for this child. It was that simple.
So in this mission field we have felt lead to change that practice. I must say this. It is not the fault of protective services that this is the practice. I truly believe that it is often convenient and easily accessible for each case worker. As we looked at the various types of bags available, we were excited to find a nice sized duffle bag housed in a nice little zip bag pouch. It was perfect. What was more important is that it was something I thought would be extremely convenient for case workers to carry in their car. They literally took up no room and were perfect for all children big and small.
So, what’s next? Well, between my husband and I have been awarded a grant and had won an additional monetary donation to get us started with this idea. We are in the process of creating donation letters, seeking discounts and other donations to fill these bags with some comfort items for each child that has been removed.
We haven’t quite come up with a name for our project, but we are still seeking one as we would like for this to become an ongoing project. It seems that every name we have come up with has been taken in one way or another. Although this is not as important as getting those bags into the hands of the children, we still feel strongly about naming it properly.
For those of you that read this blog and know either my husband or I and want to be involved or donate, drop us a call, email or text. We would be honored to have you be a part of this journey. For those of you that read this blog but do not know us, please feel free to send me a message through the blog and we will make arrangements for donations. If you are reading this blog and you are in another part of the country, we encourage you to check into this and see how these children are impacted on the simplest level. Once you know the needs, we encourage you to do something, even if it is small!
Thank you, thank you for your listening heart, your interest and love for our children in need, thank you for considering the possibilities and being open! We know God is at work and we pray daily for his guidance.
Psalms 46:10 ~ Be still and know I am God…
I’m waiting, I’m waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I’m waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait
And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race even while I wait
While I’m Waiting ~ John Waller