foster parenting (verb):
loving whomever is entrusted to you for however long they are entrusted: standing in the gap.
risking the protection of one’s heart for the protection of a child.
I’m feeling this deeply tonight.
I can’t sleep and often on nights like this I roam through FB or Twitter to find people or situations to pray for. (I figure sending prayers is better than counting sheep- and I’m a prayer geek like that!)
I started with R, though, as most of my nights do, and for the billionth time tears stung my eyes for her. I fear my tear-ducts will never be the same after all this! I’m at a point where half the time I can’t even identify the emotion associated with the wetness- good and happy or bad and sad- more often than not it’s just… emotion.
I cannot say I’ve felt this much with any of my own kids. At least not in the sheer quantity. But though not biologically my own she has already been my daughter in my heart for awhile and this whole idea of adoption has been often in my mind of late.
Because for as much as I long to be with her, to comfort her and heal her somehow from afar- this child not of my body, who was born on literally the opposite side of the world- how much more so does our Heavenly Father feel for us. We who are hopelessly broken, apart from Him, not of His chosen family, not of His flesh and blood. Children without a home, orphans if not physically then certainly spiritually- lost and alone and utterly unable to meaningfully care for ourselves.
How great must His heart ache for wholeness and healing for us. How much He must miss those still apart from Him. The tears must be endless and the emotion so great so as to overwhelm the senses.
So our Father bridged the gap. For the orphans, the lost, broken, and down-trodden- He sacrificed His Son… His very Self… to risk it all to save us. To bring us back from the brink, the Abyss, the loneliness and hopelessness of a life forever destined to be alone and desolate.
In my own ravaged ICU He stepped in to adopt me. Like R- Bent, sick, broken, scarred, disfigured… He still chose me to be His own forever. He nursed me back to health and set my feet on solid ground. He gave my a home, family, and calls me His daughter. An orphan no longer… a child not only sealed in His Book of Life on paper but who’s sealed by blood as well. My adoption is utterly complete.
The least we can do is walk in His way for these children on earth. We may not adopt every single one- but we can stand in that gap. We can sacrifice our own comfort, convenience, and a little bit of our life to share with those who do desperately need it. There is emotion involved- a LOT of it. Blood, sweat, and tears- a LOT of them. But isn’t that exactly what Christ did for us?
Isn’t that the very definition of our adoption into God’s family?
There is nothing comfortable or convenient about the foster life. Nothing. But I can tell you it’s WORTH it. All the tears, the unknowns, the trials… the late nights (or days…) of just- emotion. It’s worth it. Because God is worth it. Because Christ did nothing less for us. Because if I can stand in the gap for a couple of these kids and show them Jesus then I will. I choose to risk the protection of my heart to protect theirs a bit more because after all, that’s EXACTLY what Jesus did for me. He risked the literally beating of His heart in order to save mine.