We entered into foster care hoping to provide some breathing room for a family in crisis--feeling called to make space for troubled adults to work out their issues and be reunified with their children. In the last 10 months glimpses of a complicated back story have come bit by bit through our girls, their siblings and some good old fashioned google/facebook searching.
After all this time, I am still trying to put together the story that led to this place... amazed at how the choices of people I had never met could so powerfully impact the life of my family. We are forever changed as a result of the struggles of these strangers.
We've done our best to keep going with "normal life." This week it was Spring Break, Easter & a birthday. Tomorrow I will be back at the courthouse--for the 5th time in 10 months--to hear what other virtual strangers (attorneys, judge, experts) think about the next steps in these girls' lives. Honestly, one of the most surreal aspects of this process/system is that despite our intimate involvement as interim parents, I will be present as a mere spectator. I am not required to attend, nor will I be called upon to speak or offer an opinion.
The fate of these girls, their siblings and my little family will be directly effected by decisions and timelines--and we don't have the slightest idea about the outcome. THIS is the most challenging (and sanctifying!) part of being a foster parent--the complete lack of control. Frankly, the longer we are in this role the more I have learned to accept it. The outcome I envision has changed drastically and repeatedly in the last few months. My role is to serve, not to decide.
Although I am an advocate at heart, I no longer feel confident about what direction I am even hoping this all goes. The Lord as been teaching me there is a fine line between advocacy and arrogance. I think of Peter trying to stop the high priest's servant who came to collect Jesus that fateful night in the Garden--as if he knew better than our Lord what should happen next.
The timing of this season seems to be no small coincidence. I feel God showing me how this is an Easter story.
I carry an agony of the difficult goodbyes/transitions in our future, the Friday hopelessness of all the pain these little hearts carry, the silence of Saturday waiting and wondering if God has forgotten about us and the Sunday joy of resurrection and redemption...I am hopeful, exhausted, and slightly afraid. Mostly, I just want to know the plan and to be able to tell the hearts in my home what to expect.
I want to protect and prepare them. But in the end, I don't know what God is up to. I don't know which direction this story is heading--or the timeline within which it will occur. I cannot trace His Hand, so I must choose to trust His heart.
So I breathe deep. I pray. And I show up to find out a future God already knows.
An Easter hymn seems most appropriate: "Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He Lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future..."
If you have a moment to remember our crew tomorrow, it would be appreciated. Lots of anticipation among everyone involved. Pray for truth to be made plain, for wisdom to prevail and for peace and calm assurance to envelope all the hearts involved.