Monday, August 23, 2010


Ben and I have been house/foster parenting for 4 1/2 years now. We began this work in New Mexico before moving to our current children's home in Ohio. During that time we have seen 34 different children between the ages of six and eighteen walk through the doors of our home. A few boys, even more girls. All broken and in need of love. Tonight we will be meeting number 35. Not sure why that feels significant, but it does. You see, sometimes I forget. When I was first called to this work, I had such passion. I was out to save the world one child at a time. I took God's words about caring for the orphans very seriously. I covered each child often in prayer, and my mind never wandered far from all that these children had endured.

But then time passed. More and more children came and went. Faces began to blur. What started out as a bold mission, turned into mundane life. Foster parenting just became something that we do. A daily part of our life. A good part of our life, but the passion faded. I would begin to look at others and wonder why their life seemed more exciting than mine? Why wasn't I feeding the homeless? Being a missionary overseas? Why was my life so regular? Plain? But then I would mention this to someone else, and they would laugh. They view my life's work as a mission.

The problem was, I had forgotten. When I sit with the kids in my care at the dinner table each night, I now just see them as kids. It has become such a daily part of my existence that I no longer see sexual, physical, or verbal abuse when I look at them. I don't think about how they were homeless and lived in a shelter each night, or if they were lucky, in their car. I don't remember that their parents tried to kill them by putting rat poisoning in their bottle as an infant, or that they used to be dressed up for some sick person's pleasure. They are just my kids. The big kids (as we call them in our house) in my life. On one hand this is a good thing. Because they are NOT their pasts. They are more than the abuse that they have endured. But on the other hand, I need to remember. I need this to keep my fire going. I need this to get over the awkward transition that is moving someone new into this house. I need to remember so that I remember to pray, and so that I never get so comfortable that I think I can do this on my own.

So tonight we get someone new. It still makes me a little nervous each time someone new moves in. Probably always will. But my passion is revived. I want to love the kids who come my way the same way that God loves me. I feel so blessed to be in this work, and I just don't want to forgot. Each child. Each story. Each face.

John L.
Jackie H.
Jackie Y.
John M.
Brittany M.
Brittany B.

These kids have touched my life. I pray I have touched theirs. I don't want to forget. Here's to 35 more!

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