It was raining yesterday when the white DCFS van pulled into the driveway. It all felt so strangely familiar as I took hold of two toddlers … only this time, instead of being met with scared, blank eyes, that sweet toddler boy saw me and a big smile lit up his face.
“GiGi!” He stretched out his arms to me, and as I pulled him close, he melted into my arms.
It was also raining on September 12th. I remember because that was the day I first met the tiny duo that rocked my world.
I will never forget how the rain fell as if it would never stop as the white DCFS van pulled up in our my driveway. My sister-in-law held an umbrella over my head, as I reached in and pulled out a plump baby girl with big blue eyes. A social worker followed behind us, clutching her older brother tight to protect him against the rain.
For five months, those two kiddos were a part of our family. And then just as quickly as they arrived, our precious babies left.
That was three months ago.
All spring my phone has remained strangely quiet. I had only two calls from the DCFS, and neither placement worked out in our favor. Honestly, I was glad for the reprieve. My attention was needed elsewhere … A rental property that I own (located several hours from my actual home) needed some extensive work, my grandfather passed away, and my son had major surgery.
Yet, it was also a season in which Jon and I often discussed our decision to be foster parents. Is this still what we felt called to do? Was it worth the cost to our family? We agreed that we felt called by God to do this work and that we should keep our home open to children who needed a loving home. And so we waited …
Yesterday about lunchtime the call came through. Two children in need of a home … two year old boy and his one year old sister. The same sibling set we took in last fall and loved on for five months.
Would we take them back?
Of course. How could we possibly say no?
Only this time Jon and I said yes to the call knowing the cost involved. We know the commitment will require more of us than we thing we possibly have to give, and yet somehow we always find we have enough.
We already know the bittersweetness of being foster parents. The is an immense blessing that comes from loving these tiny sweethearts, and yet the fact remains that these are someone else’s babies. The only reason we get to love them is because something horrid happened in their lives in the first place. It’s a reality we can’t escape.
Jon and I know that chances are great these babies won’t be with us forever. It could be weeks or months, but probably we will have to give them back. And yet, until we do, we love them just as if they are our own children. To do anything less would be wrong, even though in our humanness we have a desire to cushion our own hearts from the possibility of pain associated with losing someone we love.
This time it would be different. This time we aren’t naive. This time we know exactly what saying yes means … and still it is the only answer we have.
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world. ~James 1:27