On Rescue


(Photo by Photography for a Greater Good)

After months of crickets chirping, there’s been some movement in Little One’s case these past few weeks.

A change of social workers (have I mentioned that foster care is a high burn-out field?).

Meetings and miscommunication.

The frantic anticipation of court.

The seeming nonchalance of a room full of professionals about the future of another human being.  Maybe I look nonchalant too in my high heels and privilege.  Who knows?

A ruling and the slow exhale of breath that I didn’t know I was holding.

And then more requests, more things deemed my “responsibility.”

I put up a fight, enough to be told that I have a real skill in advocating for myself and my family.

But we all know the truth.

If I’m pushed hard enough, I will give in.  Because my love for this tiny human is bigger than my dislike of this ridiculous process, bigger than my desire to be right, bigger than my own self-protective instincts.

I hate this.

But it is true.

There is a perception, I think, that foster parents and adoptive parents are rescuers.

Taking children from bad situations and whisking them away into happily-ever-after.

But there is one thing I know, friends.

Can’t nobody rescue but Jesus.

Eye to eye with Little One’s mom outside the courtroom, her heart spilling onto the cold tile floor, I am so far out of my element.  It is one of life’s hardest moments.  And it is sacred.

Toe to toe with a young professional eager to prove herself, I back down.  I bite my tongue.  It feels like giving up my shirt to someone who has already taken my coat (Luke 6).  And I don’t like it a bit.

Loving in uncertainty for myself is one thing, but it is heavy knowing that this leaves my family no choice but to do the same.  Especially my strong, big-hearted girl who can’t help but feel echoes of her own story here.

Perhaps this crazy journey is a good match for someone’s skill set.

It’s not mine.

I am not here to rescue.

I can’t.

I know, this week again, I am only here because I have been rescued.

There is no other way that I could live this and not despair.

There is no other way I could feel the darkness, the humanity, the hopelessness poured out on cold, tile floors and not give in to it all.

I am here because once upon a time Jesus snatched up my eager childlike heart.

And once upon a time he snatched up my angsty adolescent heart.

And this Monday, he snatched up my needy, cynical grown-up heart.

And he’ll do it one hundred, one thousand, one million times more.

I am mixed up in the broken mess of foster care though I have pleaded more than once to just be done for this reason.

I am here because I know the Rescuer.

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