Monday, April 05, 2010
Posted by Mandy at 6:48 AM
I am a huge music lover. I can hear a song that came out 15 years ago and remember what was going on in my life when I first heard it. I have a vivid memory of hearing that crazy "Red, Red, Wine" song on my way to the first day of Kindergarten. It's no wonder that as we embark on this crazy journey of helping children that many songs have brought tears to my eyes and will forever hold special meaning to me as the ones that encouraged me through this.
One of my favorites right now is by Brit Nicole - Walk on the Water. (you can hear the song and hear the AMAZING story behind it here.) (They play it on The Biggest Loser Now!)
The basic message is that, with faith in Jesus, you can do anything. To push past your fear, the criticism, the doubts, and just GO. DO. BE what God is calling you to be no matter how insane it sounds.
Today I will take paperwork from DHS to be notarized, and I will give it to the our go-to Family Service Worker. She will get to work, hoping to push it through quickly so that we can get involved with the parenting classes scheduled to start THIS MONTH. If you've never dealt with foster care or similar things and aren't aware of how incredibly long it typically takes for them to get a class together - then you can't appreciate this. When I called last week, and she excitedly said to hurry and get the papers and send them back so she could get us in.. it was like God's plan unfolded right in front of me and he said, "see, I told you so."
I keep going through different emotions with this: I'm scared, I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm anxious... I'm everything. When I feel doubtful I remind myself that just because we are licensed it doesn't mean we have to say 'yes' if we don't feel it is right for our family. (Then I remind myself of how hard it is for me to say 'no' to even rescuing an abused or neglected dog... like I'll easily say no to a child?)
I am SO blessed to have close friends to reach out to with my doubts and fears. They've walked this road before and they are totally candid about each step along the path. There's no sugar-coating, and also no lack of expressing the amazing joys and blessings that it brings.
The hardest part of this will likely be the judgment, the dirty looks, the doubt from others. I've already caught a glimpse into some of that just with the girls we've let into our family from the Baptist Home. Such sweet, amazing girls... but people constantly say we should be afraid of them. That our children aren't safe around them. And, when you add another older child to your family and go out into public... people look at you like you have 5 heads. (of course, these people have no experience with foster care... so they know everything.)
At first I could keep my cool easier about people's doubts about these specific girls. I understand that they're only going by what they've heard, what they assume, and they've likely never been blessed like I am to see these children IN REAL LIFE. Now, these girls are a big part of us. You talk about them... and Mamma Bear will come out. MY girls are not dangerous. MY girls are not going to harm my children - they love them. MY girls have NO FAULT in what's happened to them in the past and should not be outcasted by others because of it. Those are MY girls. If you choose to live in fear of children that have been harmed, neglected, and abandoned, then that's your decision. But, please, do not question our decision to do the opposite. We know the risks. We know how to be cautious, and we will continue to learn. This journey is so full of doubt already, the last thing people stepping out in faith need is reminders of why they shouldn't, or why you wouldn't. Just like when we wanted a third child... it was amazing how many people felt the need to let us know all the reasons we were wrong for that, and why they'd never have 3. Guess what... for our family, 3 was perfect.
Life is so short, but God gives us opportunities each and every day to be a blessing to someone. He puts people in our paths constantly and will give us wisdom to know which ones he wants us to reach out to and which ones are to be cared for by others. As people are already telling me, "You can't save them all."
My response is, as it will always be, "No, but I can try."
Categories all of 'our' kids