Thursday, October 24, 2013

You Can't Save Them All

There are several things you hear on a regular basis when you're a foster parent. 

  • "I could never be a foster parent..I'd get too attached."
  • "How do you not get attached to the children?"
  • "You guys are awesome for doing what you do!"
  • "You can't save them all, you know."

And there's many more. Each of these quotes deserve a post of their own really. Truthfully, some things that people say slightly annoy me. For example,

 "How do you not get attached to the children?" 

The sarcastic side of me wants to say, "How do I not get attached? Because I'm a heartless, cruel, evil woman who can let children come and go and never think twice about em!" I mean really...anyone who knows me knows that I'm attached as soon as I lay eyes on these kids or as soon as they are placed in my arms. They become mine in every way but one. We have been chosen to care for this child for as long as He deems necessary. Any child that He sends our way is ours..I don't care how long they live with us. I'm attached instantly....and forever.

Another good one is:

"You guys are AWESOME for doing what you do!" 

Now this one doesn't really annoy me per say. I know that people are being nice when they say this and I REALLY appreciate the compliments. I just personally think the word awesome is grossly overused these days. We are not awesome.

The definition of awesome is: 
inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear; causing or inducing awe

Now I don't know about you but I don't think I have EVER left anyone in awe with anything I have said or done.

We are not awesome. Our God is awesome. The free flowing grace and mercy that He gives to us is awesome. God sending His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you and me and every other sinner in the world is awesome. God showing up on time every time in our hour of need is seriously amazingly awesome. 

There is no POSSIBLE way we could do what we do without God. He is my strength, my comforter, my refuge when things get rough. When behaviors get so bad and I just want to quit...give up..throw in the towel..throw up the white flag...He reassures me.."Keep going..finish the task I have set before you." When even the mere thought of one of my kids going back to a not so ideal situation completely blasts me to my core..He is there..comforting me..reminding me again that His will will be EVERY situation. Oh, how I love Him.

And then there's the "You can't save them all, you know."

This one doesn't annoy me at all. When someone says this to me, it opens a door...A window of opportunity to tell people that maybe I can't save them all but....

About a month ago, my family and I were at Wal-Mart. Just a regular trip to good ole Wally World to pick up some needed items. It was Mark and I and the kids. As we were standing in line at the checkout, I noticed two small children sitting on the floor in front of the customer service desk. They appeared to be between the ages of 4 and 6. They were wearing dirty, disheveled clothing and looked as though they hadn't had a bath in several days. They looked a bit frightened and seemed to be holding on to each other. There were a few Wal-mart employees standing over them..looking around. I remembered hearing about 10 minutes before an announcement going out over the intercom. "Two lost children are at the customer service desk. If you have lost your children, they are up front at the service desk." I brought them to Mark's attention and gave him the sad face. "I know it's sad, honey", he said. "But they are being cared for. There are employees with them." God bless him. I really don't know how he puts up with me sometimes. "What if they've been abandoned?", I asked him. "You know that does happen. We should do something." I have no idea what I thought we could do.  He replied, "Well, they are going to be fine. If that is what's happened, they will call the authorities and they'll be taken care of. I mean, they're not just going to give them to us to take home. You can't save them all, sweetheart."

So see, we even say it to each other. It's true. It's absolutely 100% true. I can't save them all. I so desperately wish I could. There is nothing I'd like more than to take every child in need of a loving, stable, secure home in and love on them 24 hours a day. It is my wish that no child ever have to feel alone or be abused or feel unwanted..EVER. But the sad truth is that I can't. It's just not possible.

There are so many children in need of a good home. The numbers are staggering. Every single day there are thousands of children being abused and neglected in their own homes by the very people that are supposed to love and care for them and protect them from such things. There are so so many.

Just for an example, I found statistics showing that there are 4485 children in our state that have been removed from their home for whatever reason and are in foster care or with an alternative care giver (this was as of 1/26/12). Living with someone other than their parents. 1500 in the upstate alone at any given time. I also found statistics showing that there are currently over 5000 active "Christian" churches in our state. See where I'm going with this? If only ONE family in each church committed to walking out God's commandment to care for the orphans there would not be ONE child in need of a home. You're absolutely person cannot save them all. But the body of Christ..those of us who are called to be His hands and feet..absolutely can.

I read a short story one time that really laid it all out there for me. 

It made a difference for that one. It mattered to that one.

 It mattered to E. He knows he is loved by SOMEONE. He now knows that not every home has a Mommy that chooses drugs over him. He now knows that not in every home do you have to stay half awake at night just to make sure no one comes through the window. He now knows that there are homes where there is plenty to eat and you don't have to fix it yourself while Mommy is passed out in the living room floor.

 It matters to G. He knows that he is WANTED and CHERISHED by someone in this world. That not in every home are hugs given infrequently or never at all. That there is safety and security in a Mommy and Daddy's arms. That saying "I love you" a hundred times a day is very much okay. 

 It matters to a 20 month old little girl who is finding out very quickly that she is LOVED and ADORED by so very many people. That when she cries there is SOMEONE who comes to tend to her needs and tell her that everything is going to be okay. A Mommy and Daddy and a family that is there to kiss her boo boos away. It very much matters to her.

No, I can't save them all. But WE can. The body of Christ can RISE UP to meet the needs of these kids who want nothing more than to know that they are loved and cherished and WORTH the time and effort it takes to pour in to them.

Not every one is called to foster. Not every one is called to adopt. But we are all called to do SOMETHING. You may not be able to save them all...but isn't saving just one better than doing nothing at all? 


  1. Sweet heart that story is absolutely true! Because he said so we will!!!!! We can try very best to save them all and with GODs help we will ! As many as he'll have us help!

  2. Amazing post! We get many of the same comments! We just happen to love kids and whether they are with us a day or forever, we know we are making a difference. Fostering has been an amazing journey with so many twists and turns as God has orchestrated how we should be used to serve children who need us.

  3. I just love y'all, not only for opening your hearts and homes but absolutely being the most sincere and genuine people!! Your love shines way beyond the boundaries of your home!!!

  4. This is wonderful!! So well written and apparently from your heart. Thank you so much for sharing! As we venture into this journey ourselves, it was so encouraging! God's abundantly blessings on you and those precious souls in your care.

  5. You are in my brain....only this was written way before I thought it. I seriously just posted a few of these same thoughs. God is so good!