Using a pre-set coffee pot as an alarm clock at the head of my bed and eating mac and cheese for dessert sometimes are “because I can” things. Foster care is not a “because I can” thing.
Adveturer is fascinated by all things animals. Sweetpea has the gentlest spirit. Brave is an amazing big brother. Honeybee straight up refuses to wear anything without good pockets. Noble has the sparkliest eyes.
Each of these children had this moment, whether hours or days after coming, when they looked into my eyes without doubt, anger or fear guarding the view. The profoundly humbling beauty of that gift is not lost on me. That’s the memory that consumes my heart and mind when we say our goodbyes. Every time.
I was told it likely wouldn’t work out with my Noble girl’s first-choice back-up plan just minutes after her moment. It did though and I’m not it. I am not the best option for her and she’s getting closer to “best” than many do. And so I kissed her sleepy head and handed her over to a loving stranger in a rainy Sam’s Club parking lot as each of us cried our different tears.
Dear ones, acquaintances and strangers are always saying, “I could never do that.” Can I tell you a secret? Neither can I.
Every day in a daunting new way a piece of who I am is fundamentally forever altered. In a very real sense, dies. Dies to self. Because these children don’t need a baby sitter, they need a mom, “for such a time as this,” and moms pour out their whole hearts. Somehow our Heavenly Father makes it all happen and happen well. That’s what this is. This is the strength of Christ being made perfect in my weakness. I get it now more than ever; when I am weak, then I am strong.
I am not a super person, not a remarkably equipped person, not even a particularly good person; I’m a person with expired condiments in her fridge, unanswered texts in her phone, a dirty mouth when fired up, a deep sense of purpose and a habit of telling the relentless fears, naysaying doubts, sorrows and Satan to stick it. Every single morning over coffee. So much coffee.
Because this isn’t simply a good thing to do with my life, it’s desperately necessary for theirs, a costly pursuit most worthy.