Is my Daddy here, yet? {innocent words caught up in corrupt world}

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.  

How Adoption Fulfilled the Restless Spirit in Me

Hello, friends!  I was recently asked to write an article for Adoption.Com regarding what adoption has fulfilled in me.  I thought long and hard about it, and came up with several things that has fulfilled my heart, and has satisfied my soul since becoming a parent.

Considering it all, I decided to write about how adoption settled and fulfilled the sense of restlessness in my spirit.  The article is linked below.

“With the final pounding of the Judge’s gavel, my restless spirit seemed to take its final breath. It poured out in the tears that streamed down my face while the Judge announced that this child was mine.”

http://adoption.com/how-adoption-fulfilled-the-restless-spirit-in-me

What has adoption fulfilled in you?

Dear Infertility (Part 6)

Dear Infertility,

Remember me?  Maybe, maybe not.  I remember you, though.  I still think of you, often.  You forced me to walk in a wasteland.  My footsteps were not padded with softness.  I was not welcomed.  There was zero comfort in my journey.  My experience through your vast wilderness left me bewildered, frustrated, and deeply heart-broken.

I do not know why I keep thinking of you.  Honestly, you are not worthy of my thoughts.  You are not a friend I want to keep, but gosh, in random moments, I still think of you.

Perhaps, it is not just you I think about.  Perhaps, it is the whole life experience I have walked that involves you, my medical struggles, and my children.  Perhaps, just perhaps, without you, I would not be able to understand what it is to be at a low place, at a place of complete joy, or somewhere in between.

I do not like you at all, you know.  I wish you had no substance at all.  I wish more than anything that others had no idea of who you are, what you mean, and what you might possibly be able to take away.

Do you know what you do to people?  Do you even care?  You cause the faithful to question their faith, the hopeful to lose hope, and the joyful to watch their joy dissipate.

Dear Infertility,

Despite all of these things, I wonder if I would be who I am without you.  Would I wonder about others who are exploring your place in their lives?  Would I carry an ounce of empathy towards the plight of others who are experiencing medical problems?  Would I have a heart for foster children and orphans in the world? Could I call myself “Mamma” to three amazing children that were adopted into my life?

It is ironic, you know.  With you, I carry a bit of sadness, but without you, I cannot imagine the incredible gift of parenting.

You invaded me from the inside out.  Sure, I was physically impacted by my illness, but I was also spiritually and emotionally impacted as well.  It is crazy that you came into my life many years ago, and here I am still thinking about you.

Here’s the difference, though.  I no longer allow you to consume me like you used to.  I no longer feel you are a heartbreak.  I do not carry the same burden about you like I used to.  Instead, I think of you and my Heavenly Father, and I know that through His mighty grace, I have conquered you.  You are overcome.  You stand no chance when being met head-on by the faithfulness of our Father.

Dear Infertility,

It is true.  I do still think of you.  How can I not?  You have tried desperately to declare yourself as the author of my life.  Well, you are most definitely not.  You may be a character in my story line, but the author of my life is the Author of life itself.

You might be a part of who I was created to be, but you are not the whole of who I am.

More importantly, you will never define who I am in Him.  

Give That a Thought

While at the store the other day with my daughter, a lady stopped me and said, “Your daughter looks just like you. You sure could never deny her!” I thanked her for noticing us, wished her a good day, and even thought, “There are some days I’d like to deny…..” I’ll just stop there!

It is funny, you know. I get told often how all of my kids resemble me in someway. Sometimes, I see it. Sometimes, I don’t.

I definitely “see myself” in them, though. I see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Do you know those moments when your child says something in just a way that you are quickly reminded of how you must sound when saying the same thing? Yep, these are the times when I realize how much of an influence I make on my kids. It is also a reminder that if our kids can repeat some of the things we say in our not-so-fine moments, then they can surely remember the things we say when we are at our best.

There are also moments when your child does something out of love, or speaks incredible wisdom that stops you right in your place. These are the times when I catch a glimpse of myself in the kids, or am taught a lesson by them.

To the sweet lady at the grocery store who stopped to tell me how much my daughter looks like me, Thank You. As a parent through adoption, I get tickled by it, and find such a great sense of how truly awesome and purposeful adoption really is.

I love that in many ways my kids look like me, and my husband. More important, though, is the thought that every action or word we say as parents strikes even deeper in the hearts and minds of our children.

In so many ways, they are a reflection of who we are.

Give that a thought.