Today I walked for foster care awareness... With a new sense of clarity on what I will do for the foster care crisis in our state.
I will be a bridge for biological families! I will take lots of pictures so they don't miss a precious moment that they are apart. I will give them the macaroni art projects and the cutesy finger paintings that I wish were decorating my own refrigerator. I will hunt to find them the perfect mother's day or father's day card and gift so they special on that day and never underestimate or question their role as parents. I will invite them into our home on holidays, birthdays, and whenever safely possible because I want to share life with them. I will NOT talk negatively about them EVER. I will NOT see them as the "enemy" but partners and sojourners in this journey to raise these precious children.
I will NOT pretend I don't know what I do know about the nearly 10000 Oklahoma children living in DHS custody. I will NOT act like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand.
I will memorize their faces. I will hear their stories. And I will share those stories until my voice can no longer shout their names.
As a pastor, I will preach the spiritual significance of orphan and foster care until I'm blue in the face. I will not sugar coat the biblical mandate of caring for the fatherless and will not rest until the church grabs hold of our calling to do something.
I will ever be asking myself "what more can I do?" I will make room in my house and my heart for "just one more" if it means there will be one less child sleeping at the shelter tonight.
I will be deemed foolish by friends and family for opening my home to just one more. They will think its not fair to MY own children but I will believe that I am showing them a true picture of the gospel lived out in our living room.
I will hold their chubby little hands. I will cheer ridiculously loud at their soccer games. I will play make believe, pretty pretty princess, and dress up. I will make sure that a night does not go by while they are living under my roof that they are not tucked into bed and told repeatedly how loved they are.
I will make my life uncomfortable so that they will not be. I will sacrifice time, money, resources, vacations, sleep, and go without so they don't have to.
But most of all and because I love them with my entire heart and soul not withholding anything back.... I WILL BE WILLING to know the heartbreak of goodbyes because every child deserves to have someone who is willing to get their heart broken for them.
What WILL you do?