The System. The foster care system with layers of case managers, supervisors, attorneys, judges, visit supervisors, therapists, child advocates, and the list goes on. In our 10 weeks with little K, he had two different agency case workers, two different DCS case workers, and also lost his CASA (court appointed child advocate) part way through.
Broken people run broken systems.
But as believers, we don’t run from brokenness. In the same way that mission organizations around the world bravely push into hard-to-reach, creative access countries, foster parents knowingly step into a state-run, bureaucratic, orphan-care attempt called foster care. Children who need Jesus and safety and family and grace are in there.
True, the system is broken, but it’s not hopeless. God is sovereign even in the broken places. Woven throughout the best and worst days in our own foster journey are memories of the Light piercing through the brokenness.
And sometimes, the worst days and best days happen simultaneously.
Adoption Day in 2018 / Truly one of our family’s very best days after three and a half years of waiting to be an official forever family. But for another mama and two dads, it was the very worst of days.
Birth grandma visiting from Europe, sitting in our home with her grandchildren / A surreal kind of best day, so thrilled they met her. But also the worst of days, bordering on panic attack for me, worrying that she might try to take them to the other side of the world.
Court days / The worst of days with cancellations and endless waiting and incompetent attorneys and always a stress headache by the end of it. But the best days sitting by birth mom for a few hours while we waited, sharing brief words and seeing her face light up with pictures and simple gifts, feeling a small connection.
Sending our little K home to his dad / Oh, it’s just the worst sending home a little babe you’ve cared for 24/7 for ten weeks. We did our very best to attach, and it worked, and it was horrible to say goodbye. But seeing how excited his dad was to bring him home, chatting about K’s care over pizza, witnessing his love for his son . . . it really was the very best day.
We mourn the broken system, but we do not mourn as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). The System certainly needs infiltrating foster families who carry true Hope through the best and worst days.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13
Post photo by Kristin Kirk Photography