Are they Orphans?

It was a date.

Big Sis and I talked as the lady filed her nails and covered them with a glossy pink. 

So, you're not her real mama?

I swallowed because I was not in a mood to defend.

But Sis was quick to answer, I have two mamas. Both love me.

The lady turned to me, Are you going to adopt her?

Again, quicker than a whip, Sis jumped in, I don't need to be adopted. I have a mama who loves me and is working really hard to get me back.

The nail gal didn't ask another question.

I was recently asked why my nostrils flare when foster care is lumped into the cause of orphan care without distinction.

It is because these children are not orphans.

This ministry cannot be summed up at an orphan care conference with a one foster care catch- all break out session. 

Foster care is an all-consuming beast.

It's a lifestyle.

It's a mindset.

It is not adoption.

We foster care.

Yes, sometimes it does end in adoption.

But you cannot begin this road with that end in mind, or your heart will be gutted more deeply than normal in this path.

Yes, these children are vulnerable, and they are in critical situations, but the vast majority of them have parents who are incredibly overwhelmed, suffocating from the oppression of their choices and the decisions of the generations who preceded them.

They cope because they see no way out.

Despair is their captor.

Yes, they've made some really, really bad decisions.

But almost all of them love their children, just as you and I do.

And the moment they ask you why you do what you do...

And you respond with the Christian answer, We want to help care for orphans...

The door to their soul, to their understanding, is barred and shut.

Sonoma Barracks
Because their children are not orphans.

And the reality is, every parent with whom we have ever worked, was once a vulnerable child, too.

You say they are the orphans of society...

And I'll tell you many of their mamas are the widows of society...

We advocate for the child, and we cheer for the birth family, partnering towards reunification so that these children do not become orphans, not so that they will become adoptable for our gain.

We are called to stand in the gap. We have the honor of being a bridge of redemption to prevent children from become another "number."

We have the treasure of telling these parents they have what it takes, and the Church has the ability, because of Christ, to walk with these parents who are in crisis.

Because of Jesus, our people can "rebuild the ancient ruins, restore the age-old foundations, repair the streets with dwellings," as it says in Isaiah 58.

Does this happen every time, No. {Come back later this week as I begin to look at when birth family partnership doesn't work.}

But folks, if we enter this ministry with any underlying ambition, we've missed the purpose of foster care.

And we're gonna burn out really fast.

Alone, we cannot further the vision of holistic foster care.

As a Body of Christ, the unimaginable is possible.

Because He is Worthy ~

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