This morning, my anger melted to tears of thanksgiving.
A friend and fellow foster-mom gave us the advice to just keep swimming. My heart needed to hear this, and I know it came from a genuine place of love meaning: don’t give up. I truly appreciate the encouragement. But as we often do when our hearts are in a fragile place, I twisted it to fit the depth of my pain. A vision of Ariel from The Little Mermaid flashed through my mind.
Yes, I know this quote belongs to another Disney movie, but right now I am Ariel. Keep swimming. That’s all I can do, because right now it feels like I have no legs to stand on and no voice.
Isn’t that so often how we feel as a foster parents? Like our voices don’t matter. If they’re ever heard in the first place. We’d lay down our very lives for our kids, yet legally, we’re nothing more than a number. A name on a list. A bed that is filled. Another friend told me that social workers have up to 90 kids on their case loads. What!?
No wonder kids fall through the cracks. No wonder our voicemails and emails aren’t returned.
But our kids don’t know they’re one on a list of 90. They only know us. The ones who love them day after day.
The mom who knows the right amount of milk to pour in her cereal bowl. The dad who knows which song to sing when he’s fighting sleep at bedtime.
So foster mom, foster dad, foster grandparents, friends of foster parents:
I know it feels like you can’t stand right now, but you can.
I know it feels like your voice doesn’t matter right now, but it does.
Because you may be the only parent who shows up week after week at doctor appointments.
You may be the only one who can recite your child’s birthdate, the correct spelling of her name and complete medical history from memory.
You may be the only one on your knees praying for him at 3 in the morning instead of using his overnight visitation to get a full night’s sleep.
You do these things because you care. Because you love deeply. But at times you need to be reminded of how deeply you are loved as well.
Because you are.
And you can’t do this alone.
Another friend asked me if there is something I go to when I’m in this deeply lonely place. Yes. This.
On the days you can’t read this to yourself, have a friend read it to you, replacing the “I’s” with your name.
1 I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:13)
2 God is able to make all grace abound to me. (2 Cor. 9:8)
3 I am accepted by Christ. (Rom. 15:7)
4 I hunger and thirst after righteousness; I will be filled. (Matt 5:6)
5 The anointing from God remains in me. (1 John 2:27)
6 I am a child of the Heavenly Father. (Gal 4:5-7)
7 I am an heir of God and a co-heir with Christ.(Gal 3:29,Rom 8:17)
8 I am attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
9 I belong to God. (1 Peter 2:9)
10 I am called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. (1 Pet. 2:9)
11. I am blessed with every spiritual blessing. (Eph 1:3)
12. Christ is my life. (Col 3:4)
13. I am free. (Rom 8:2)
14. I am a friend of God. ( John 15:14-15)
15. I am precious in God’s sight. (Isa. 43:4)
16. I lack no wisdom. (James 1:5)
17. I have power, love and a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)
18. I am not condemned. (Rom 8:1)
19. I have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:16)
20. I am favored. (Ps 5:2)
21. I am God’s handiwork. (Eph. 2:10)
22. God will never forsake me. (Heb. 13:5)
23. I have victory through Jesus. ( 1 Cor. 15:57)
Take a deep breath and keep going.
You are LOVED
And don’t forget the end of the movie. Ariel eventually gets her voice back and her father gives her new legs to stand on.
How much more does our Father love us?
He sees you.
He knows you.
He loves you.
And He’s with you. 💕