I pack away the things that are important to me, setting aside the rest to sell, throw, or give away before our upcoming move. So far this means storing ten boxes of books and movies. Stories.
The best stories are the ones full of adventure. But as Bilbo Baggins says, "...I have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, and uncomfortable things.” Adventures are experiences that make great stories later, but only after you know how everything turns out. Standing here at the beginning, there is no way to know what will happen to Bunbun and the family that takes her in.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law decided not to pursue her placement with them. I can understand this, having wondered about the risks myself. Especially, how to keep her safe if her mom wants to take her back into a lifestyle of harm?
Safe. We humans like to be safe. Or to at least have the illusion of safety. But what if, as Jen Hatmaker says, we raised our children to be brave instead? For that is what Bunbun needs, a family to prepare her to be a fighter. After just two years of being "safe," she might return to a world of life-and-death risks: life on the street, drugs, abuse. How would you prepare a five year old girl for that?
There are so many thoughts going around in my head. Only God knows the ending to our story, and hers. I have boxes of stories because I like everything with a happy ending, or at least a tidy conclusion. Foster care is not tidy and sometimes, as with N and J, there is no conclusion. They are out there somewhere and I may not know any more about them until heaven. It is kind of like having missing children, although I have reason to hope that mine are alive and probably well.
Foster care, adoption, these are definitely the road less travelled. There will always be a reason to say no or wait, but while we wait, someone else is losing ground, losing hope, out of time. There is a price when you go on an adventure; it is hard and messy and you can never go back to the way you were before. But I love what one missionary wrote about stepping out in faith:
During worship, we were singing the words, “Where you’ll go, I’ll go. Who you love, I’ll love…” I couldn’t sing those words because I knew God was calling us to move to a place we had never seen. Then, He spoke so sweetly to my soul: “Stephanie, you don’t have to go. I will still love you. I will still bless you. BUT, if you go, I will bless you beyond what you could ever imagine.” In that moment, I knew I had to go, and I could sing those words through the tears.
I have no conclusion. This story is not yet written.