December 31, 2012
I resolve to ADVOCATE, to use my voice, however small and insignificant, for the defenseless, innocent, fatherless child. May I courageously speak up at every opportunity. (Psalm 82:3)
I resolve to BELIEVE that the Lord will provide for me, even when I feel lonely in the path that He has chosen for me. It is not for everyone, but I am so thankful that He has called me to this journey, and I know that He is walking with me every step of it. (Joshua 1:9)
I resolve to CARE for every child He brings into my home, no matter how unlovely or unworthy. Sometimes the greatest blessings can come from the most unexpected people! (Luke 6:35)
I resolve to DEPEND on the Savior’s grace and forgiveness, especially when the accuser reminds me of my inadequacies and parenting failures. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
I resolve to ENJOY the children that God has led into my life, believing that they are a part of my family in His perfect timing for His specific purposes. May my face be filled with smiles as my heart is filled with joy! (Proverbs 15:30)
December 21, 2012
45 different children. Tens of thousands of unforgettable moments experienced, challenging conflicts resolved, feeding schedules perfected and complex behavioral issues researched and figured out. Young lives literally saved with tender nurturing and attentive care. So where is the sure confidence I should be feeling? Why am I unable to find the sense of pride in my accomplishments?
Perhaps it is because I am sitting at the well-worn table in my slightly cluttered kitchen, and across from me is a woman I have never met before, questioning, probing, prying into every imaginable area of my life.
“What was your relationship like with your siblings when you were younger?” Oh, right, do any siblings always get along perfectly when they are growing up? And anyways, what on earth does that have to do with who I am today?
“What age were you when you first started dating?” What kind of answer is she looking for? If I was quite young, she might question my moral convictions. If I was older, she might think I was too sheltered and couldn’t possibly understand the experiences of today’s teenager.
“What kind of parent are you? How do you plan to discipline the children in your home?” Well, of course any kind of physical discipline is out of the question for a foster child. I strive to be strong yet not over-bearing, consistent but not too strict, loving and kind without being too permissive. Is it even possible to find that perfect balance?
The palms of my hands are a little sweaty and I can’t help but feel nervous and insecure, as if this is an interrogation in the principal’s office, and with one wrong word she just might yell, “Aha! I caught you!” It’s really a simple, standard home-study. However, in the midst of this tedious process, I am receiving a lesson in humility.
December 14, 2012
She is a well-known public figure . . . strikingly beautiful, invariably poised and impeccably dressed. And incredibly famous. In fact, her name is recognized around the world, familiar in nearly every household. Wherever she goes, she is surrounded by an entourage of personal attendants, her bodyguards protecting her from people who are trying to get a glimpse of her.
Most people in her position would have simply secluded themselves in their well-appointed, professionally decorated mansion, immune from the troubling social issues that exist. But not this woman! She wanted to do something, to make a difference in her world.
So she does something that was previously unheard of from someone of her social stature. She rescues a child, a little boy who had been abandoned by his parents. It didn’t matter to her that he did not share her ethnicity, that his skin was a different color than her own. She brought him into her home, and welcomed him as a part of her life. She became his mother, and loved him as a son, completely and unreservedly.
The news spreads quickly . . . “Have you heard what she has done? She saved that child! She is truly amazing! What an inspiration and role model she is!”
Now instead of a life of unimaginable poverty, he has everything a family of affluence could possibly lavish upon him. Instead of being raised in an illiterate, uneducated family, he is now attending the best schools, is being taught by the finest tutors, and has access to every academic and extra-curricular opportunity he could possibly want. His bleak future has been replaced with infinite promise.
Everyone who hears of what she has done has similar reactions: What an incredibly fortunate boy he is to be adopted by this generous, compassionate woman! It’s hard to even imagine what his life would have been life if she hadn’t saved him. And what a great example she is setting for other affluent people in our country. Everyone has watched this very public figure adopt her son, and look how many other families are following in her footsteps. What a hero she is!