Monday, December 29, 2014

but who will make them breakfast?

As we were getting ready for bed Christmas night, we reviewed the great day we'd had with our boys. We talked about the presents the boys got and the baby Jesus and how thankful we should all be for what we have been given.

Then Brad brought up the fact that some kids don't get presents on Christmas. Some kids don't even have parents or families to give them anything.

This was baffling to Brody. "Why do they not get presents? Can they not buy presents with money?"

We explained that some parents couldn't afford to buy presents and that some kids didn't even have Mommies and Daddies to buy them anything.

"But who will make them breakfast?"

It was a good question. We tried to help him understand that caretakers or foster parents make some children breakfast, but some kids may not even get breakfast (an all-too real situation).

(Our poor kids. When we waste food in our house and tell the boys that there are starving kids in Africa who would have eaten that food, it will not be a flippant remark of frustration about their eating habits. We have seen too much about sick kids in Africa, and we haven't even been there.)

Earlier tonight we found out that a couple from our church has accepted an emergency placement for three new foster children. (This foster family already has four children, three of whom they recently officially adopted.)

Can you imagine what Christmas was like for those three kids? I don't want to. Losing custody of your biological kids (temporarily or permanently) requires some pretty outrageous familial misbehavior.

And can you imagine what it's like to bring those kids into your home? Those kids who are hurting and aching and confused. They may be ready to start over in a new family, emotionally shut off because of their past one, or full of anger and emotions they can't even identify.

But here's what I bet will happen in their new foster home: Those foster parents will welcome them into their home, they will find them beds and warm clothes, and they will love them in the way that Christ loves His church.

They will be broken and poured out for those kids, who may hurt them and whose situations may rip their hearts into a million pieces.

It would be hard to know where to start when welcoming three new kids into your home for the first time. Too hard to help them heal. Many people turn their heads, making the excuse that's it's too hard, that they would love the kids too much and get too attached. Too hard to pour into kids who may hurt you, run away, or be taken back to their biological families. Too hard to love kids who may never be your own.

I have no doubt that it's hard. It's hard enough for us to watch our girl grow up in pictures. We are getting attached to her and we haven't even hugged her yet.

It's only natural that foster parents become attached to children they hold and feed and comfort. And I have no doubt it's incredibly hard to think about the fact that those kids may only be in their  life for a short time.

But that doesn't mean it's not worth it.

I don't know exactly what will happen when these three kids join their new foster parents. But I bet the foster parents will make them breakfast. Because that' seems like a good place to start.