I told my best friend this morning right before our morning church service started that I am running on God fumes. It is the only explanation for how I have been able to even function this weekend. Our family has gone through an emotional week. We have found ourselves in the midst of a situation that I quite frankly, would never have imagined we would be in.
Last Monday two children, who will be turning 2 and 3 in the months of July and August, were removed from their home. They attend the daycare/preschool center that I work at. It was a very sad scene—the mother actually beat the social workers to our center and so we each had a role to play—one was a lookout for social services, another hid the children, a couple of us tried to calm the mom down. It was hard to keep it together as you watched these children get taken away by three complete strangers—the sounds of their cries in that car as they drove away can still be heard in my mind.
Through the course of events, my boss ended up receiving emergency temporary placement of them. However, my family has stepped up and offered to take them in as our foster children. We have been spending lots of time with them this week and have been amazed at how quickly they have adapted to our family. There is a lot going on—there are still unanswered questions as to the timeframe of how long they will be out of the house, how becoming a foster parent works, the issues concerning so many hearts that have been drawn into this. We know that most likely, in the end, we are going to face heartache. The chances of us getting these children and keeping them forever are unlikely. So we know that it could be anytime soon or even further down the road that they are no longer in our keeping.
Needless to say, a lot of emotions have been at work this past week. I have had many a sleepless night. I was up early Saturday morning for a prayer breakfast and up early this morning for church—so I haven’t even been able to catch up on my sleep. On top of it, having these young children has required more energy than I would have thought I could muster. Just getting them dressed, bathed, in and out of car seats, picking up what they dropped, getting them a “passy” (pacifier) or “cuppy” (sippy cupy) and doing it ASAP or you will be hearing it…it has been a task that while I have questioned “How can I do this???!!!” it has also come quite easily. What makes it easy is that it’s not me—it is all God. He has been empowering me, equipping me, and strengthening me for this glorious task.
Of course, I cannot fail to mention the efforts of my children. My younger two immediately took to them. My oldest tried to pretend they weren’t there at first—but now he is picking them up in his arms and I heard him tell the little girl, “I love you too,” when she crooned, “I love you Daniel!” It has just been absolutely amazing how helpful and loving my children have been. Of course, this could all not be done without the support of my husband. Not only do I have his support but he desperately wants these little ones, too. Our entire family has connected to them.
What lies before us is uncertain. The social services system is confusing and disorganized. We are not getting clear, concrete answers on the future of these children. We are not sure where we stand as a family—if we are just very temporarily helping to take care of them or if we are going to eventually become their foster parents. We know what we want but it rests entirely in God’s hands.
The idea of having five children sounds insurmountable—can we raise teenagers, preteens and preschoolers? Can my mind and heart handle all of the various scenarios associated with the wide range of issues to be dealt with? Can we afford this? Can I physically and emotionally do this, day in and day out? What will become of us? What will become of them?
I don’t have the answers—just as you have many questions going on in your life—you may not have the answers either. It is time for us to wait on God. There is nothing we can do. We can’t make things happen. We can’t know the outcome. We have nothing in our control. It is all in His hands and it’s where we need to be, too. Whatever you have going on in your life, put it in His hands. Allow yourself to be held by Him as well. When you feel you can’t go on, you can’t make it another step, He is there to pick you up and carry you.