I want to step back for just a moment and tell you about our kid’s attitude and response to our talk of adoption and private, Christian foster care.
Our children have been burdened for the orphan for a long while.
When Matthew was 4 (he’s now 14), he told me that he wanted to go help the homeless, parentless children in India when he grew up. When he was 10 he asked for Hindi lessons for Christmas so that he would be better equipped to go to India.
Our children have prayed and grieved for children who do not know the blessing and love of a family. Our children have watched dozens of our friends bring home orphans from around the world and from foster care here in the United States. Our children have asked to adopt. Our children pray for more siblings, regularly.
So when we announced that we would be working toward hosting these two children for the month of May the response was immediate, exuberant rejoicing.
Oh the blessing of teenagers, all those years of changing diapers, wiping faces, teaching, correcting, instructing, training. All those years are paid back many fold as your children grow older. And the true benefit isn’t just what you think when you look at a family with teens and see the amazing physical help that teenagers can provide. The benefit is much bigger and deeper. When you have teenage children, you have children who are able to walk alongside you. They challenge and encourage you to think more biblically. When things get hard they give you a hug and it’s not the sweet, unknowing hug of a two year old (although that is also encouraging), but the understanding hug of a companion who is facing the difficulty by your side.
The teen age years are the icing on the cake.
The cake is good. I love the little years. I love mispronounced words and chubby, toddler legs. I love bear hugs and having the power to make everything better with a kiss, but the icing is sweeter and richer.
Be encouraged, young mama!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~Galatians 6:9
So when, the day before the children arrived, I began to have serious doubts my older children gathered around and encouraged me.
The foster kids were scheduled to arrive on Tuesday and Monday I was thinking,
“There is NO WAY I can do this”.
The truth is that I couldn’t do it.
But the bigger truth is that I can’t do anything without Him. And with Him, I will not fail to handle anything that He sends my way, even 13 children.
Monday night I slept poorly. Here was my Facebook status on Tuesday morning:
I didn’t sleep much last night. I’m excited about the two children who will join our family today. My biggest prayer during the wee hours was that God would comfort and bless that other mother who is willing to temporarily give up her children in order to get back on her feet….It’s hard to imagine her hurt.
Tuesday we headed to a Cracker Barrel to meet the two children who would live with us during the month of May.
To be continued…