I was switching laundry and getting ready for a birthday date with my dad. I noticed yet another email requesting a foster parent take a two year old girl. As a licensed foster parent I get numerous emails about children in our county every day. I often pray for the children as I scan through (and often pray for God to raise up more brave souls willing to do foster care). We aren't doing long-term placements right now but I joked when I saw the first email, "Want two year old twins?" knowing the little girl was close in age to Haley.
The second email came and I hit "delete".
As I was switching laundry a new request, "We found a possible placement but they can't take her until next week. Please someone- for the weekend? She's new to foster care."
For the weekend? Maybe after my birthday date with my dad? I mulled it over. Certainly we could do a weekend. If no one answers within the hour that little one with her meager belongings will be sitting in an office in the DSHS building waiting for someone to offer a bed... waiting for someone to be willing while I have everything a two year old needs right here.
I said yes, for the weekend. I dug in my heels a little when I discovered I'd have to miss my movie with dad until my straightforward daughter asked, "Mom? What's more important- a little girl who needs a home or your movie?"
"Thanks for the 'suck it up princess' talk, Darla. I'll go pick her up."
Her name isn't Deeny, but that's what Haley insisted on calling her and for whatever reason it stuck. I thought the last thing this little one needed with everything 'new' in her life was a new name to answer to but she insisted she liked it, so Deeny it was.
When I went to pick Deeny up I met Foster Mom #1. Foster Mom #1 is a gracious woman with grown children who keeps four beds available for foster children, two specifically for emergencies. Deeny had been an emergency call out of a messy situation. She couldn't keep Deeny but was the willing mom who cleaned her up, washed her belongings, took her to buy panties, shorts, and shoes that fit.
As Deeny walked in all it took was dropping to her level and a, "Hi sweetheart" to have her run up and wrap herself around me. Those of you thinking, "Wow! She must have been drawn to you!"- No. I'm not that likable. An almost three year old willing to jump into any arms and go with any stranger has more likely missed an opportunity to attach healthily to the right people.
Just like that I was Foster Mom #2. One bag of belongings, a folder of paperwork, an affectionate toddler, and we were on our way.
This past year has been tumultuous for many of us in my family. Instead of crawling under a rock, which is typically my urge, my parents decided to celebrate things worth celebrating and throw an epic Family Camp out for the 4th of July weekend. They went all out to spoil their kids and grandkids.
God continues to be faithful to us. He's provided fifteen children in nine years between me and my three siblings. He's carried us through valleys and provided some soft landings when we fall. He's given us an ability to laugh a lot together, given His grace to keep applying to each other as soothing salve, and given us a perspective that extends beyond today.
It's a painful reality to look at the family you thought was pretty darn near perfect, in seasons of undoing, and experience the crash of illusions and ideals. The first inclination is to do some patch work to get everything looking tidy again. But alas, God's work is deeper than whitewashing surfaces... so we make room for messy work to be done, trusting He is faithful to complete what He has started- even in the face of our sinful imperfections.
Just throwing myself out there a bit...