May 26, 2014

This One Child

“Hey, guys, it’s time to get in the car.  We need to run some errands, and I really need to stop by the market to pick up some ingredients for dinner tonight.  Sweetie, can you grab the diaper bag while I get my purse, my list, and this little guy?”

“Has anyone seen my keys?  I thought they were on the kitchen counter.”

“No, Honey, I don’t know where your shoes are.  Where did you last see them?”

“Hurry up and use the bathroom before we leave; we don’t want any accidents on the way.  I know you don’t need to go, but please try anyway.”

“No, we don’t have time to ‘just stop by’ the mall to go shopping.  Let’s just get our errands done, so that we can get back home in time for the little ones’ naps.  Please, just get in the car!”

The chaos that accompanies leaving the house always makes me wonder if it’s worth it.  How badly do we really need milk?  Or diapers?  I mentally review the check-list.  We need gas for the car.  And then I need to return the books to the library and cash a check at the bank.  The last stop will be the market, where hopefully I can find some inspiration for meals for the next few days.  I’m so thankful to be out of the house, albeit ever so briefly, on this beautiful summer day.  My reverie is interrupted, when less than two miles from home, on a beautiful winding tree-lined road, I hear it.  That unmistakable choking sound coming from the car seat behind me.  And then I smell it.  That unmistakable stench of formula gone sour from sitting in a little tummy too long. 

And all the other kids in the car smell it too.  “Ew!  Gross!  Quick, roll down the windows!  Mo-o-om, he’s car sick again!”  Gee, thank you so much for that helpful information.  As if I didn’t already know.

“Can you reach the wipes?  In the diaper bag?  Right there, on the floor?  What do you mean we don’t have the diaper bag?  Really?  I thought I asked you to grab the diaper bag!”   Obviously our errands will need to wait for another time.

When we get back home, I’m not even sure where to start.  I need to give him a bath and take out all the cornrows that I had just spent two hours putting in his hair that very morning.  I need to rinse out his clothes and put them on the “sanitary” cycle in the washing machine.  I need to disassemble the car seat and hose it down.  But first I need to get the preschooler occupied with something else so that he doesn’t “help.”

And then the phone rings and I hear my husband’s voice, his innocent voice on the other end of the line:  “Hi, Honey, I’m on my way home.  What are we having for dinner tonight?” Ha!  Does he seriously want me to answer that question?

May 5, 2014

I Could Never Do That!

“Wow, you’re a foster parent?!  I could never do that!”  How many times have I heard that comment?  As if what I do is something extraordinary.  As if I’m something other than who I am:  an average person, just trying to be faithful to what God has called me to do.  

If time would allow, here is how I would love to respond to that comment . . .

While it’s true that you may not be able open your home to a child in need, it is true those of us who are foster parents certainly can’t do it by ourselves.  You can support foster children and those who care for them by opening your heart, using your skills, and sharing your life.  Here are 25 ideas of things that you can do . . .