He came to us last Thursday afternoon scared, in shock, and almost visibly trembling. His social worker had picked him up from school and brought him to our home. He had no idea when he went to school that morning that he wouldn't be going back home.
We agreed to keep our new friend, Batman, through Tuesday until a long-term foster home could be found. We've been doing respite care for the past year and a half, and it's been the perfect set-up. A weekend here, a weekend there, loving kiddos, being the "fun" house. Some have been a little stressful, but there was always the comfort of knowing that there was a definite end date. Sure, with each child, there was always a soft, subtle tug on our hearts to jump back into long-term care. But it was a tug that was easy to stuff back down after each friend went back home.
But then along came Batman.
The longer he was here with us, and the more we learned of his story and that of his precious momma, the more Jared and I just knew that we couldn't let him experience any more transition. Jared called his worker Monday morning and asked if Batman could stay with us throughout his journey.
I had forgotten, or perhaps buried would be the better word, all the visceral emotions that accompany children coming into care. There simply aren't words to accurately depict the suffering and brokenness of these children, the confusion, the shock, the paralyzing fear. Watching a child struggle to process the unthinkable and knowing that there isn't a whole lot you can do to help him is just tough. Remembering that our calling is to love this child fiercely just as we do our own children all the while knowing that at the end of it all we have to hand him (and a huge piece of our hearts) over to his family....It's a hard, hard road to walk.
Our heavenly Father is so very faithful. In these last 36-48 hours since stepping back into long-term care, we've encountered lice for the first time ever. Confession: I just might have thrown an adult tantrum over that one. We've had a first visit with mom that thankfully went very well. We're struggling with allergies. We're battling traumatic fears of all flying insects which makes playing outside without multiple meltdowns nearly impossible. And yes, we've even cleaned up spilled grits in the laundry room and a delightful concoction of various toiletry items off the bathroom floor. Bio kids don't stop their crazy just because a new friend joins the family. And yet, there has been grace for each and every moment.
The Lord continues to grant us & Batman His love and peace. He continues to love us through His word and through His people. We don't know how long Batman's journey will be, nor do we know all the twists and turns that we will surely walk with him. But we do know Jesus. And we do know that He's walked this road before us. And we do know that He will never leave us nor Batman, not even for one moment.