The two-year old came to us completely non-verbal. He was described to us as “the most unruly child they (the caseworkers related to the case) had seen in their careers.” Of course, they didn’t say that when they brought him to us, but four days later upon their check-up visit. That night we were told the above and that now “he is a totally different child.”
We (my family) never experienced any of the behaviors that they described. Other than him not speaking, he was a normal two-year old. He followed directions well… he played… he was fine… because he was safe and loved.
We taught him a few words in sign language to take the pressure off of him to speak and so we could communicate, even if it was very minimal. We’ve had them for three and a half months now. He has started speaking, little by little. About a week ago, he said “thank you” for the first time. It was imperfect, but it sounded like angels singing to me. Please, thank you, and more were the first words we worked on… they were also the ones he would never say. Since he spoke “thank you,” it’s as if the barrier has been broken. Just in the past week his vocabulary has blossomed.
This morning, on the way to daycare, I heard ” I won doe peas” while he pointed at the McDonald’s. Translated, that is “I want go please.” Y’all, that is four words put together in a sentence! I got all emotional… still am.
We are not perfect parents and we do not have perfect kids. We don’t have college degrees or exciting careers. What we do have is the love of Christ in us that works through us. God has taken an imperfect family of four to love on some kids, even if just for a short time. And, God has shown me his work…He has shown His grace… He has shown His love.
Some people tell us how proud they are of what we are doing, only to follow it with “I could never do that.” Sometimes, I want to shake them and say “WHY NOT?!” There are countless numbers of children in the state systems that just need a safe place to be. Some may get reunited with their families and some may not. There’s not a perfect answer most times, but the issue is if not you, then who? If we as Christians can’t take in the children, who will? What example are we setting by denying care to the least of these?
Now, I know that some just aren’t physically able. But most of the time, I hear “I can’t love them in my home just for them to leave.” Y’all, people come in and out of our lives all the time. All the time! Sometimes good-byes hurt more than others, but you move on. God opens a space for someone else to come in your life. It doesn’t stop you from loving people.
So, I come to you with this… you don’t have to be perfect… you don’t have to have the biggest house with 47 rooms… you don’t have to have lots of money… what you do need is love… and a willingness to take a step. God will work through you… and in the process He will show you miracles.
If you know me, I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about fostering. If you don’t know me, find a foster parent and ask them questions. If you don’t know any, call your local DCF office. Don’t block God with excuses… let Him use you.
I will follow with… I you are not able to foster for whatever reason, you can still help. Find a foster parent and help them. You can always buy things for the children, or offer to babysit, or simply pray for the family and the children… while praying in simple, it is HUGE!
“The King will replay, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40