Foster Care Update: Loving B to the End!


There have been so many times that I have wanted to publicly share the awfulness we have endured the last few months within the SC DSS system, particularly in Richland County, but today we celebrate, because God moved and because God is doing great things in the midst of a broken system, particularly through their new county director, Reese Palmer, who we met with this morning.

As you know we have been fostering B for over a year now, and when it came to light the depth of what we were dealing with with Judah and his bone marrow failure disorder, we began to realize that our role in the foster care system needed to end. But it was far from easy.

You see, Hart and I could NOT give up on the little girl God placed in our family. Most foster parents would have not hesitated to pick up the phone in the midst of such a crazy trial and have a child moved with the snap of their fingers, but we couldn't do this to this little one. I guess you could say we weren't most people. We couldn't stand the thought of her being traumatized again by moving to an unfamiliar home, with people she didn't know, and never seeing us again.

While the storm at DSS was brewing and transition after transition was happening, our own family was enduring our own storm with caring for our medically fragile baby. Family members of ours stepped in to help and began caring for B during our many hospitalizations and numerous doctor's appointments. A bond formed deeply there and while at first they began seeking how to just become respite caregivers, at the same time, we were realizing more and more that what we would be dealing with was a life-long situation with Judah. We knew we couldn't continue fostering. These family members wanted to step up to become B's foster parents. They could also adopt her if that need ever arises.

It's just that during this time B's caseworker changed 4 times in 1 month and we all were having trouble navigating the system. We had a lot of problems with stability during this time and with changing hands during a particularly stressful time, it felt as if we were now the enemies and not treated as a key component with a voice that could help work towards the right end to help the whole child. And it made us sick. It felt as if the entire system was against us and B's needs were being disregarded.

Until today. A round table was held with many key people within the county, and it was realized that just as I felt like all along, it was in B's best interest for us to pass the baton to our family members. I am so glad that I did not give up. That we can all have a happy "ending", even if it's just fostering. B and her baby sister were both allowed to be placed together under the same roof, within our extended family. A family she loved, was used to, and already saw as HER family. The most amazing thing is that we can truly be a village raising a child. That we can still see her and love her with all of our hearts, just a little further removed than the day to day in our own immediate family. We can focus on stabilizing our baby's health. Finally.

As I returned home, and scooped that baby girl up in my lap to read her before nap story, she took the story I had chosen "Goodnight Thumper" from my hands and placed it back in the book basket. She instead picked up her Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones and placed it in my hands.

It fell open to pg. 74. And I read:

"No one loves me," Leah said. "I'm too ugly." 

But God didn't think she was ugly. And when he saw that Leah was not loved and that no one wanted her, God chose her-- to love her specially, to give her a very important job. One day, God was going to rescue the whole world -- through Leah's family.  

Now when Leah knew that God loved her, in her heart, suddenly it didn't matter anymore whether her husband loved her the best, or if she was the prettiest. Someone had chosen her, someone did love her -- with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. 

So when Leah had a baby boy she called him Judah, which means, "This time I will praise the Lord!" And that's just what she did. 

And you'll never guess what job God gave Leah. You see, when God looked at Leah, he saw a princess. And sure enough, that's exactly what she became. One of Leah's children's children's children would be a prince --the Prince of Heaven --God's Son. 

This prince would love God's people. They wouldn't need to be beautiful for him to love them. He would love them with all of his heart. And they would be beautiful because he loved them. 

Like Leah." 

Like B. Like you. Like me. 

It gave me chills reading that to B. (even the part about having a baby boy named Judah!) Seeing her heart and how she longs to be loved and how she has a love for God at even a young age. The fact that we got to keep loving her with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. And we get to pass that on. 

It's an honor. A true blessing from God. 

And I am thankful I can say that THIS. THIS is what fostering is all about. It's about making a difference. And maybe we could only do it in one life. But we did it. And by God's grace alone. He kept us going when we wanted to give up.

And now I get to collapse into a heap of joy under the weight of God's mercy and grace. He is truly the defender of the weak and helpless. The fact that he would use us as part of it, is beyond belief. 

Thank you, Jesus! I know he will continue writing B's story and I know she will always be loved, because God chose HER!

He writes the best stories.

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