I was heading back into the office after lunch and ran into a foster mom dropping a little girl off for a visit with her biological father. The girl, with big eyes, curly hair, and absolutely adorable, caught my attention.
“Is my Daddy here, yet?”
This little girl, not more than five-years-old, asked repeatedly if her daddy had arrived. She then said,
“Is my Daddy here, yet? I need to find him.”
After hearing that, my heart and thoughts immediately began to ring out: “This is not the way it is supposed to be.”
I have thought about this precious little baby all day. Still thinking about her. I’m not even sure if her daddy showed up for his visit, and honestly, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to find out if he, for whatever reason, could not come. I’d rather think that he did show, and that he played and loved on her with the time he was allowed to.
I’ve heard that child welfare workers like myself build a “wall” to what we witness. I don’t know if it is a wall, or not. I do know that whatever it is that we build…resilience, wall…whatever you want to call it…does not keep us from feeling the heart-break of the work at hand.
This isn’t how it is supposed to be. Babies should not be asking where their fathers are. It is upsetting to be a first-hand witness to it. It is far easier to think in terms of case numbers, but when I am face-to-face with the actual face of a child going through it, I feel anger. It makes me sad. Quite frankly, it pisses me off.
No wall, or defense, or resilience, could ever prepare or secure our hearts from being a little punctured when we witness what we witness, and when we are faced with what our eyes and ears experience.
After thinking about this little girl looking for her daddy, I started to think about my relationship with my Earthly Dad, and my Heavenly Father. My Earthly Dad has supported me, and as I have grown through the years, I have become mightily aware of just how important this is.
When it comes to my Heavenly Father, I have often wondered, “Where are You? I need to find You.” And now that I’m fully immersed in child welfare, I still find myself thinking this when I consider all of the horribly wrong situations that so many children and families find themselves in.
The truth that I feel in my heart is that the Lord is present in each of these moments, but I still wonder why He doesn’t intervene when we wish He would. I question why He would allow for children to go through what they go through, why there are orphans in this world, and why adults find their only refuge in drugs and despair.
As a Christian, as a mother, and as a child welfare professional, I am always in a place of growing, stretching, and yearning for what the Lord is trying to teach me through the burdens of the day. I seem to be always “waiting on Him”, but then I am brought back to the Cross. I am fully reminded that He is already all I need.
The fact that my job demand is based on the abuse and neglect of children weighs heavy on my heart. I suspect other child welfare workers feel this way, as well.
“Is my Daddy here yet? I need to find him.”
These innocent, yet heartbreaking words from a precious little one caught up in the turmoil of this spinning world, stuck to me. How could they not?
“Where are You, Daddy? We need to find You.”
Perhaps, this is what we should all be speaking.