When I was in fifth grade, I had an incredible teacher who treated me as if I were brilliant. She tutored me one on one in all of my strong areas to make sure that I was learning at a faster pace than the rest of the class, and she truly believed that I had boundless potential. That year, I excelled.
Soon, Brad and I will be entering the life of a sweet fifth or sixth grade boy. I wonder… can we be the ones who see his potential and help him fulfill it? After his years of bouncing through the foster care system, I pray that he can learn to feel worthy of love. And I pray that we can help in that process, rather than add to his pain.
Sometimes I wonder if what we are doing is wise. How will he feel to be “befriended” by a family who is in the process of adopting another child? Will he wonder why he isn’t the one we are currently adopting? Will we only add to his string of disappointments in life?
We’ve done a little homework regarding the lives of children in group foster care facilities. Many children get weekend passes to visit their living relatives or prior foster parents. It is at least a glimpse at stability and family for these orphans. But other children have absolutely no one to visit. The group home all but empties, except for those children with nowhere to go. No one is willing to come pick them up and spend time with them.
And so we’ve decided that the risk is worth it. It pains me that we are not immediately offering the unconditional, open-armed love of parents. Who knows what God’s will is for us or for him? We cannot offer him all that he should have, but we would rather show this sweet child the flawed and incomplete love of a friend than not be in his life at all. I pray that God let us help him instead of hurt him.