On Littles Coming…and Leaving

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“But Mama, you didn’t even get a chance to teach her anything!” -B

My oldest is probably the one that consistently surprises me. He gets it in ways that I don’t. He loves a love so fierce it sends shivers down my spine.

We had an emergency placement for a few days and she ended up leaving before he got home from school. I didn’t know she was leaving when he went to school and he didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I knew it was going to be hard and I had planned to let him know as gently as possible.

I did not. I had gotten caught up with something else and forgot. He asked where she was and it hit me. Crap.  So we talked about it. Where she went. Why she was with us. I was honest. Brutally honest. I told him what I knew because he deserved it.

He took it all in stride. We hugged and had dinner and my husband took the kids to their traditional “foster kid leaving movie theatre night.”

(Currently taking suggestions for a catchier name)

I just happened to start reading “Interrupted” by Jen Hatmaker this weekend before everything was turned upside down. It was on a shelf at the library and I grabbed it. Little did I know just how much I needed to read it… this very weekend.

“The starving, the unwanted old and unborn, the criminal, those of wrong color, ideology, sex, nation, class—whatever category renders a person least in our minds—bear the face of Jesus.”  -Jen Hatmaker

I think we forget so often who actually bears the face of Jesus. I think our kids get it a lot quicker than we do on a consistent basis. I want to be more like them.

I always feel different ways when littles leave. Some are crazy hard. Some, like today, are a sense of relief. It’s a relief for the kids that are reunited with their primary attachments. Relief that they end up with what I’m sure is a simpler life. Selfishly, relief also for myself.

Balance is hard.

It doesn’t feel all that worth it most days.

“Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills—against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. . . . Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. . . . It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. —Robert F. Kennedy

I mostly just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for helping with the big kids. For checking my kid into school so I didn’t have to carry a screaming toddler.  For taking him home no questions asked. For your offers of food and help. For the clothes in piles that were ready to go. For the furniture that was passed over with open hearts. We are so loved and so grateful. We simply cannot do what we do without this amazingly beautiful community.  Thank you for stepping in to calm our crazy. Thank you for helping us help those that bear the face of Jesus.

“There is a horrid beauty in following God slightly blind. The victory later is sweeter, the prize more valuable than breath. Obviously, we are Americans; we like a plan, we like assurances. But the ways of faith exist so far outside of our tidy boundaries, it is a wonder we can ever receive its mysteries at all.” -Jen Hatmaker

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