Why We Fight

Why do we fight? Why turn our lives upside down for a child we barely know? Why do my wife and I spend days apart? What is the point, if the court’s point is reunification? Why put our other children through this? Why bother especially since the child is so young they won’t remember.

 

These questions and more have been bouncing around in my mind the past few days as our lives took a curveball last week. Our youngest foster child was admitted to the ICU at one of the big hospitals in the area. My wife has been camping out bedside since the middle of last week.

 

Then, our second youngest developed the stomach flu and decided to make that known during our VBS family meal (sorry folks!) exiling our family for a few days to not risk contamination. Thankfully, it was a quick bug and we’re about ready to reemerge into the world.

 

I imagine the people around us asking these questions. And maybe more pointed ones. Sometimes, I hesitate to say anything, because I dread a question I’m expected to answer. I know I won’t be eloquent and I may not be the most polished. There’s even a high probability of snark.

 

We fight because it’s what we signed up to do. You don’t only play a game while you’re ahead. You don’t encourage your kids when everything is sunny and bright. You fight for them because they need someone to fight for them. If we don’t, who will? The social worker can’t be there 24/7. We don’t have a Guardian at Litem yet. The biological parents only view him as a prize.

 

No, it’s not easy. It’s been very challenging for my wife and I to be separated, as if some freak southern ice storm prevented us from reaching each other. It’s been challenging on our kids to only see mom on face time or to have to endure dad’s cooking and meal planning.

 

It doesn’t matter if the child comes home this week, or next or the week after. We’ll be there for them. It doesn’t matter if the day the child returns to us one day and into the arms of the bio parents the next. (That is a very real possibility in this case). We have committed to loving this child as long as he is with us. And right now, he’s with us in the hospital.

 

I also fear the questions because I fear asking for help. Honest moment: we came from a culture that taught that asking for help was a sign of weakness, a sign of a lack of faith or of self-seeking attention. We’re now in a place where there’s a spirit of sacrificial giving- and it’s been wonderful, but yet very hard to accept. And some really gracious saints have walked with us through this difficult week.

 

But make no mistake, we aren’t saints to be placed on a pedestal. We’re called to do the things in life that so many others are called to do. Some have a passionate desire for the homeless, the defenseless, the elderly, the whales, the imprisoned We simply serve the orphans.

 

We’re grateful for those that have stepped in our messy trench this week and come alongside. We hope to do the same for you one day. But even if not, no matter the cost, we’ll continue to fight for the ones that need it. It’s simply what we do.

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Lessons from the Gallery

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Everyone should spend a day in family court. Not participating, but observing. I did today. Unintentionally. The case for one of our kiddos was up for review in a distant county. And, in this court, you are luck of the draw. Arrive at 8, stay till your case is called. Even if that’s the end of the day. And today, it was. Continue reading

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Painful Conversations

I don’t often dip my toes in political waters. First, I never want anyone to correlate my personal thoughts for any organization that I represent and to be clear, that’s what these are… personal. Second, there are too many voices in the political landscape of our nation. I don’t often have anything constructive to add.

But when it comes to the separation of families, I do. Continue reading

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A Phrase. A Scream. A Wink. — A Glimpse of Redemption.

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Getting to our Good Friday service was a journey, but also a picture of His redemptive work.

“We all tend to filter our lives,” said my pastor during Good Friday service. We share the great moments, but don’t divulge the imperfect parts. And, while it’s true for everyone, we foster parents are the worst.

Some of it comes from experience. Maybe we’ve shared vulnerably about a tough moment, and the person couldn’t handle it. Or worse, they throw it back. Who among us hasn’t heard, “You did choose this after all.”  Continue reading

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Gut Checking Guilt

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Guilt is like a black cloud obscuring the sunny day.

Sticks and stones may break bones, says the familiar playground rhyme. While words may never hurt, (that’s a lie) guilt can gut punch event the strongest individual.

I’ve had several conversations about guilt this weekend. All related in some way to the foster/adoption journey, but each involving other parts of our daily lives. The common thread is the intense negativity of guilt. Continue reading

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