A few weeks ago we received a foster placement--one precious child, younger than the age we typically receive. In God's divine timing, all my big kids were out of town allowing for a few days of individual attention. She arrived with an ear infection, so the first few days allowed me to connect with her as a caretaker in a sweet, uninterrupted way.
Kate returned from camp on the child's third day with us, then the boys 12 days after that. The slow and steady introductions have made for the sweetest transition of a foster child we have ever experienced.
I was tempted by impatience in new nays as we awaited her arrival. Not knowing age, number of children, gender or arrival date triggered my every control freak tendency. I wanted to know God's plan for my Summer. I wanted to get on with it. And each time my chest would tighten, God tenderly whispered to me to slow down, trust and pray.
I have prayed for this child--without knowing her name or face for months. I have asked others to do so too. I have also been burdened for her birth family all along--praying for them and the challenges that have led them to this place in their story. I looked back at my calendar this morning and realized we actually had a group of friends from the Middle East here praying in her bedroom the week this child was first removed from her parents. God has been at work even in the darkest valley, whether they knew it or not.
Tomorrow we go to court for the first time and I will actually meet the parents face to face for the first time. More than ever, I want to be the face of Jesus to them--not from any literature I hand them or sermon I preach, but by the way I treat them. Lord, fill me with grace instead of judgment, genuine warmth and kindness. Remove my people pleaser tendencies and help me to show them authentic love--not so they will like me, but so they will see more of You.
Lord, make it abundantly clear to the family we are not in this ministry to acquire a child--but to care for their baby with all we have so they have space to heal and grow and become a reunified family, healthy and whole.
I don't know God's plan for this child or her family--but I do know praying that they can all see and know Him more clearly through this process is the burning desire of my heart.
This is just the first lap of a marathon, Lord. When I grow weary and tempted to question the timelines, the process, the logistics, I pray you remind me to slow down, trust, pray and keep leaning hard into You.