As a rule, Saturday mornings are fantastic. They’ve been a favorite of mine as long as I can remember. As a kid, this was due to Saturday morning cartoons. (Yes children, there once was a time before entire networks were dedicated to cartoons, and the only chance to watch your favorites was on Saturday morning…and before DVR’s, if you missed it, you missed it…but I digress)
This past Saturday morning was especially great, but it had nothing to do with cartoons. No, this particular weekend started with a confirmation that even though there are tough times associated with foster parenting, the benefits far outweigh the struggles.
While I would love to say that this little anecdote began around 9:30 a.m. due to the luxury of sleeping in, I cannot. Our 2 year-old foster son, B, has an internal clock that apparently does not have a “weekend alarm” setting. Bless his heart, his little eyes pop open every morning at 6:00AM, and like a rooster, he belts out the wake-up call to the rest of the house. Believe it or not, this Saturday’s “alarm” is what made me smile.
At first, there was the usual, indistinguishable jabbering, but after a minute I heard my 6 year-old son, Carter, join in the fun. As my wife & I listened in, we heard the two of them begin to sing one of their favorite songs: Chris Tomlin’s “Sing, Sing, Sing”. As Carter sang the verses, B would mumble along, but once they got to the chorus we would hear the two of them clearly singing “Sing, Sing, Sing…and make music with the heavens…we will Sing, Sing, Sing….grateful that you hear us…when we SHOUT YOUR PRAISE (and yes, this line was literally shouted at the top of their lungs), lift high the name of Jesus!”
While it would have been very easy to gripe about the fact that I was now wide awake at 6:00 on a morning that didn’t require me to be up that early, I found myself smiling and enjoying the fact that my children were in the next room singing praises to God—not out of obligation, but because they wanted to. That’s when it hit me: THIS is why we are called to be foster parents.
I have no idea if this little guy will be will us for 2 more weeks, 2 more months, 2 more years, or the rest of his life, and most of the time that fact gnaws at me. I’m a person who likes to know what is going to happen next so that I can plan accordingly. As a foster parent, I can’t do that. I can’t impose my will on the situation. All I can do is rest in the fact that God has entrusted these children to our family for a specific period of time, and only He knows that time frame. All we are called to do is love and care for these little ones and do our best to live out the gospel message in front of them every day they’re with us. If adoption is never part of their plan, and they wind up leaving–yes, it will hurt. But if they leave with lasting memories of the love of family and the love of Jesus, then I think we’ve been faithful to our calling to plant the seeds of God’s adoption plan.
If being obedient to this calling results in 6:00 a.m. wake-up calls every Saturday for the rest of my life, I will count myself blessed beyond belief.