May 102010

Some days this job sucks.  Some days I can’t tell that there is any progress. 

“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist…”  1 Corinthians 13:12 (MSG)

Four years is a long time in kid life.  I remember meeting the sibling quartet four years ago.  They were strung out across three foster homes, and it took me a couple of clinic visits to figure out they were one family.  The boys were all a little unruly, but their freckled faces, dimpled cheeks, and quick smiles got them out of a lot of trouble.  The girl was harder to connect with – she was older, and less trusting.  But over time, the relationship grew. 

Time went by, and somewhere along the way I met their parents.  Fell in love with them.  Poured into them.  Opened my heart, my mind, and occasionally even my checkbook.  They got their kids back. 

I thought I saw progress, or did I just imagine that?

Then the kids showed up with foster parents again.  And I was devastated.  And angry.  A little at the parents.  But mostly at God.  “Why don’t you do anything?”  I complained.  “When are you going to show up?  I am tired of this, tired of being disappointed.  Tired of watching foster kids come and go.  Tired of hoping that their lives will improve, only to realize later that nothing is better.  When are you going to do something about this?” 

His answer?  I did.  I sent you.

I don’t like that answer.  Because I can’t see very well.  I don’t know if what I am spending my life doing makes any difference.  I don’t know what happens to that group of three brothers and a sister whose parents can’t get their act together.  I don’t know if they get to stay with each other or get separated.  I don’t know at what point hope is lost in them.  At what point they give up.  I just don’t know…

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity…Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.”  1 Cor. 13:12 (NLT)

Mar 092010

From kids in foster care…

No one could really understand what my life is like.  No one pays attention to what I do, or cares about how I feel.  No one looks me in the eye and say “I love you and care about you,” and even if they did, I wouldn’t believe them.  No one that I love has stayed around for very long.  I don’t feel safe because there are too many dangerous things in the world.  I hurt in ways that no one else understands.  When I needed you most, you left me and now I am broken in a million pieces.  Please help me put the pieces together, because I don’t know what to do.

Enough said.  What will you do to help?

“Pure, unstained religion…is to take care of orphans and widows when they suffer…”          James 1:27 (GWT)

Jan 072010

Have you ever seen something that was unjust? Of course you have, if you have ever watched the evening news even a single time. But have you ever done more than just glance, have you ever really stared at it? Have you ever gotten this knot in your stomach that won’t let you eat? Or woken up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night thinking about the faces or the events you saw?

I have – it happened to me when I sat in a juvenile courtroom where a judge was reviewing the status of foster kids and their families. Were the parents repairing their lives to the point that their children could return home? Case after case, family after family. Then, the one – the one that made me sick. A whole group of adults assembled around the judge’s bench – lawyers for the state, the child, the parent. The parents themselves. The case worker. The judge asked a simple question – “where are the kids and how are they doing?”


 He asked again. Shuffling of papers, then silence again. No one knew. Who was supposed to advocate for the child? That day I didn’t just watch, I noticed. I stared. I got physically sick. And I got heart sick.

What makes you heart sick?