Madison, Carter, and "A"
This week has been full of finishing up (we hope) our end of paperwork and running around for the Baptist Home. TB tests have been done, paperwork notarized, and we've sent our money to the State Police for our background checks. (which was odd to pay my husband's own people for the service..) I think we may be done. Now we wait.
We'll have a home visit soon, and for some reason I'm freaked out about that. I have no idea why. I even am VERY close with the woman that's doing it. We've gone to church together for a couple of years now. I asked her Sunday,
"What exactly are you looking for when you do a home visit?"
She sort of laughed that I would even ask and explained that she was just making sure it was a safe, clean home. Of course this just sent me into wondering if our house was clean enough.. and safe enough.
Once all of our references have sent in their paperwork and everything is completed on the Children's Home's end... I suppose that means we'll be done. Then what? Who? How many? Why am I getting nervous here?!
When I started looking into this several months ago, I sort of thought it wasn't too big of a deal. Like these kids would be similar to having our kids' friends over to play and nothing more. Getting to get a glimpse into this with being blessed with "A" getting to come over once or twice a week has proven that theory dead wrong.
When they bond with you, when they bond with your family, and when you bond with them... it's hard. When they explain you're the first "real" home they've been in in over a year... it's hard. When they tear up loading into the van to go back.. it's really hard. When they ask, "Can you just please call and see if I can stay just this one night? Please?".. it's super hard. When you want to do more than you are allowed... it's hard.
But, this is where God has put our hearts. From the first minute I stepped foot into the girls' cottage, I knew it. This is where he's been pulling us. This is where he wants us to start this journey.
Since "A" cannot have a family friend, we're only allowed to be a "friend." This is very different. Limited visits, no staying the night, things of that nature. With a child that is allowed to have a family friend, they can spend two complete weekends each month with us. They can stay the night. We can be as involved as we want to be. This makes me really really joyful and excited - and super afraid.
These kids have had their hearts broken. Some of them hide it so well.. like "A." It comes out in small tears, on rare occasions. Others are more outward with their anger and sadness. Who can blame them?! All they want is a home. A family. Love and acceptance. There are so many of them.. and so few helping it seems. What does this say to them about who they are? I know that "A" has said several times that she is so happy that a REAL family lets her come to play! That we like her enough to spend so much time with her. If you knew this kid.. you would be crying at this statement. She really believes it's HER. Because her parents are the way they are, and cannot raise her, that this means something is unlikable or unlovable about HER. I have to imagine that this is a common theme amongst children in her situation.
So, we're choosing not to live in fear. As I told a friend on the phone yesterday,
"We may not be the best home. We may not handle everything these kids throw at us the perfect way. But we're going to try our hardest to love them and be better than what they have."
I feel like for the longest time I would see children like this and would think,
"That is so horrible. Someone should do something about that..."
I refuse to sit back and do nothing now. My youngest child is finally old enough that I can take on more. So, here we go. It's been a fairly lengthy process of paperwork, tests, etc.. and we're still not finished. Once we are, I am simply choosing to trust that God will work all of this out. He will give us the words to say to a hurting child, he will give us the love to give, and the patience to wait if need be.
Fear keeps us from doing so much of God's work. Is fear keeping you from fulfilling anything that God might be pulling you towards? Can you let go and trust that if he leads you there, that he will not leave you there alone?