Reality hits me how uncommon this is for so many young children. We're not talking Africa, here.
America the Beautiful.
God shed His grace on me.
The privileged country.
How blind I can be to the need all around me.
I am reminded of this when my sister comes to visit. She has taken on the intense responsibility and difficulty of foster care. The kids she has taken in have seen and experienced pain and suffering unimaginable and at such young ages. Over the years she has watched children come and go, each with their own stories of hurts and neglect.
This past weekend they came to visit. They burst through my door, like two tiny tornadoes. They shout about what they have seen and done, barely pausing enough to take a breath, much less receive a response. One of the children has a pint-sized stuffed puppy named Tuffy and I got to hear all about Tuffy's news while fixing BLT's for a late dinner. They have been with my sister almost three years now.
They were four and a half when they came to her and they acted a bit like wild animals. I've watched them transform after getting to taste of that blessing I spoke of my own children having~ being able to enjoy today because their tomorrow was certain. But not anymore. The state is working to reunite them with their mother and they do not want to go. Do they get a say? No. Voiceless. The older of the twins complains that no one will listen to him. He wants to tell the judge that he never wants to see his mother again and wishes to live with my sister for the rest of his life.
The boy is seven. He has written letters begging to not have to see her. He will soon be living with her again.
We went out for pizza. I sat across from the younger twin. Our eyes kept meeting and I would make silly faces, trying to get him to smile. He was in another world. He was distant. Quiet. Not typical at all for him. Eventually he asked my sister, "What are we doing next weekend?" "When are we going home?" These questions seemed so random. Finally he said, "I'm going to ask the judge when I am going back to live with her. I just want to know when." "Do you want to go back?" I asked. "No, I just want to know when", he replied.
OUCH! The weight is too much for me to bare and yet these little seven year olds walk around under it daily. Never knowing when everything they've grown to know and love will be snatched up from underneath them, returning to daily uncertainty. They are little fish being thrown back into the shark tank and they are begging to not have to go. They will soon go.
I do not know what is next for these little guys. I know right now they are struggling to grasp what is happening to them. I know my sister is doing everything she can to give them a voice. I know she is making a difference in their lives and the others she has welcomed in. I know she will continue to do the little things that make a big difference because she knows there is no act of love that is too small. Everything that grows starts out small.
I am on a journey, as we all are. I told the Lord recently, either take away my compassion or show me what you want me to do. I know He will show me. I know my hands will be a little more dirty. My house a little more messy. My time a little less my own. I know there will be many more opportunities to look outside my own certainty and into the very eyes of those who do not know what tomorrow will bring. I have a great deal of blessing to pour out. Do I have need? Sure. Do I have enough extra to give? Always. And if I dry up, I know Who to ask for more.
I will hug my kids extra tight today. I will pour out more thanks for everything I am blessed with. And I will also keep my eyes opened to others who are questioning their tomorrows.