Why I am Still a Foster Parent
The final chapter. The end of the book... so far. Of course we are still in the middle of our journey and there are more stories to tell. But this is the moment I decided to stop writing the book and share it with you. So, I felt it was important to share with you why I haven't stopped. So many people do. They decide that managing the emotions and behaviors that come from trauma are just too much for them. There are adoptive families that have decided to return the children they have brought into their home because it was so hard. And it is. So hard.
I'm not the same girl I was 20yrs ago in Bible college. I'm not the same woman I was in 2010 when I first met Roy. I'm more liberal, I'm more loving, I'm more flexible, I'm more tired, and I'm more determined than ever that I want my life to matter.
We have this one and only life. When it all slows down at the end of the day, I want it to be about LOVE. That is the basis under all of my evidence based psychological strategies. That is the foundation on which I have built my faith. That is what I want people to talk about at my funeral. It's simple really, let's just see one another through a lens of love. Let's look behind our child's behavior and really see their story. Let's love one another enough to put aside our own wants to help meet their needs. Let's take a deep breath each morning and do our best to love.
There is a song that has become a bit of a theme song for me this past year. I want to share it with you here in the hopes that it will move you as well. I hope it will remind you of what life is really all about and keep you going one more day.
Dear Me This is a letter to the girl I used to be Dear Me There are some things that you should know It's not my intention to embarrass or to shame you What's inside the rear view mirror is closer than it appears We do the best that we know how, with what we have been given And the difference between you and I, is I've been given time In time, you'll see
Dear Me This is a letter to the girl I used to be Some things are not as simple as we said Remember when we thought there were a handful of some magic words to pray A guarantee and a down payment on a mansion Remember all the rules we made about the Body and the Blood The hoops we made them jump through though He offers it to everyone I'm so sorry
Do you remember now the things I said I thought that I deserved My flag, and safety, a place to learn The things I know I didn't earn And bless their hearts, I'm sure it's hard, but handouts don't help anyone And all the talk about the system I sure hope someone can fix them I said those things
Dear Me This is a letter to the girl I used to be You'll see, you're gonna take the long way And there is nothing you could do or say to separate you From the love of God who made you just exactly as He meant to And you cannot imagine all the places you'll see Jesus But you'll find Him everywhere you thought He wasn't supposed to go So, go Go
And hold all the mothers, whose babies bleed from bullet holes And feel all the hunger, the bellies and the bones Shout for the prisoner, cry for justice, loud and long And march with the victims, as Jesus marches on And sit at all the tables, ‘cause Jesus eats with everyone And dance to the music, if you can't sing its' native tongue And cry for the wombs, the mothers and the empty arms And hold high the warriors, fighting now for freedoms' song
And love, love, love, love like it's your own blood Love, love, love, love as you have been loved
Dear Me You did not learn this in a day or two or three So ask a lot of questions But Jesus loves us, this I know And there are no exceptions
I have been changed these past few years. My experiences, my friends, my travels, and my big modern family have wrecked my heart and forced me to look at life through a new lens. I am still on my journey. But one thing I know for sure is that this world is in need of more love. Where are you at today? How are you growing and changing? If you die today, what will people talk about at your funeral? I leave you this week with a quote from the final chapter of The Call to Love.
You will get the phone calls too. Someday the moment will come and you will be asked to step up and live out love in the real world. You can choose to say no. You can keep your life comfortable. You can convince yourself it is for the best. You can convince yourself that being practical is more important in this moment. And I don’t know you well enough to say if it is the right decision or not. But I hope that one day, your answer will be yes. That you will one day you will make your life a bit uncomfortable for awhile. One day you will demonstrate love in this world and break a cycle of pain. You will walk away from what is practical, and fiercely love someone else in a way that will change your lives forever. With my one and only life, I am not looking to keep this world in the same place it was when I arrived.