Because It's her birthday, and I want to be like her Savior...

It's my precious friend Melanie's birthday...She makes me want more of Jesus...

Revisiting her post from last May, during Foster Care Awareness Month ~

Plastic pink crown
Perched atop french braids.
She wears a yellow tulle gown.
Fuchsia-painted toes
Tightly pressed into Belle high-heels,
Click-clacking the hallways.
She’s begging attention
--to be called lovely, adored, beloved.
She calls out “Daddy look”
To my man.
My breath catches in my throat
And something explodes
Deep inside my chest.
For this girl is not our own.
My man gets down
And tells her she is indeed
A princess of the Most High King.

Dark-haired boy
plays hard in the dirt
And rakes leaves with my boys.
He awakens every night fearful,
Turns on the light,
And suits-up in my boys’ Batman costume.
He falls back asleep
Transformed into a super hero.
I catch him making secret
Glances at my man--
Moving nearby--
Almost unperceivable
His fingertips brush my man’s sleeve.
Oh my heart.
Shards of glass
Bury deep within.
And I lift prayers to the only Father
That will never leave him.
Angelic face
Framed in honey curls.
This dear one toddles
Diapered legs
Up and down the halls
Pushing strollers,
Cradling baby dolls.
She is frightened
Of my man
Because of her past.
She wants me to hold her.
Her eyes meet mine.
Pink lips part,
As the words escape--
Chubby arms outstretched
For me.
My heart unprepared
For one to call me Mama
So soon.
And I lift prayers
For her little lips
to one day
Cry out Abba
To the only One
who will never hurt her.

Blond boy
Calls “choo choo,”
Playing with “twain twacks.”
Our den bursts with
Resurrected wooden pieces
Pulled from the closet--
An accumulation
From Christmases gone by.
He sleeps with the trains
At the foot of the bed.
This dear one lives, eats,
And sleeps locomotives.
He reminds me of my baby brother
when he was this age--
Faded memories of my brother,
My oldest boy, and this new one--
The three merging together.
Chest tight.
And I call out prayers that
This sweet one will know
His Father’s immeasurable love.

A 7-year old
Hides sticky notes
For me and my man to find.
A boy who has suffered losses
Too many to count.
He pushes against despair
And awakens each day to hope again—
Wishing only to go home to his Mom.
Courage unfolds as he
Writes what he cannot say--
“I love you with all my heart”
Scrawled in red crayon,
Affixed to the back of our bathroom door.
I press it into my bible
As a reminder for the days
When I lose hope.
And I pray he would always know Jesus
And love Him with all his heart.

Swaddled brown baby
Lying on my chest
Wisps of ebony hair
Brushing my cheek.
Milk breath and baby toes,
Fresh faced from her Mama’s womb.
My children were too little
To remember
Each other this way--
Helpless and teeny.
They beg for their turn
To feed her and hold her.
She is adored.
Her future is unknown
And seems scary to us.
Prayers whispered
In the middle of the day
In the dark hours of night
For this precious bundled one
To have a future
Full of His grace.
I don’t know where
This journey will take us,
But I am trusting the One
Who led us down this path.
Carrying us to places
We would never
Choose on our own.
We are being carried
By a strength not our own.
I turn to see my big kids
Holding hands of small ones
That have no father.
Again my heart pounds
With longing and hope.
And I send up prayers
To the One Father
Who holds and never lets go.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isa 40:11

Melanie shares her stories of being a foster parent at her blog, Running to the Father. I read something today that said, "There is no Varsity in this calling of Christ." Friends like Melanie love my children when sometimes I can't look at them another moment. These roles we each fill in this world of foster care, orphan care, our homes, this journey, this Body of Christ; we are each designed for the spaces we fill with a purpose. We are not jealous for one another's stories, but for the ways His story brings His mercy to little hands like these for His glory through us.

Because of the One who never lets go,

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