Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
I practically ran through the front doors of the child shelter. I let the lady at the front desk know that I was there to pick up a little child, we will call him 'Isaiah' for the sake of his story. I was handed Isaiah's file and began to quickly read through it. This little boy I will probably never forget for the rest of my life. Because his story represents so many other stories. A child born into this life and all he experienced so far is hardship, broken ness at no fault or cause of his own. I learned of his story, that he was 2 haha, there is that lucky number if there is such thing as luck. No such thing perhaps. Isaiah was homeless, living in a car with his biological mother. It was his mother who had finally surrendered him to the shelter. Isaiah had hand, foot and mouth disease...is it a 2 year old thing? I dunno, but the first thing that I should have learned was immune defense 101. Anyway, Isaiah was 2, he had never been vaccinated (his mother had religious exemptions), he had diet restrictions as well, interesting. I explained that we too, were religious and that it wouldn't be a problem for us to care for him...it seemed to be a perfect fit so far, except that I did take notice that Isaiah had an older half brother, who had a biological father that cared for him. I brought this up to the attendant's attention and she told me not to worry that it probably wasn't accurate at all. Alrighty then! Isaiah was gorgeous. He was chubby, dirty blonde hair, tanned skinned and big, deep brown eyes. He could have been one of our biological kiddos. He was also terrified of me, strangers but seemed to take a liking to Freddy Jr., again, Freddy must have a little kid anointing on him-his dad does not, yet. I was enthusiastic about Isaiah as was my husband who requested a pic of the little cutie but I was not so attached, he wasn't Tommy. Maybe since my husband was so enthusiastic, he could foster this one. My energy and optimism had been drained.
We decided to take Isaiah out to eat, as he was stinky and dirty and seemed like he needed to warm up to us before we'd ever be able to attempt to bathe him. As the kids joked and cooed at him, he seemed to smile but would look around for me and reach out. I wasn't too thrilled about extending my arms back, at this point, as far as I was concerned, kids who call out mommy made me insecure! They'd just be taken away again anyway and I'd only break their heart in the end- just like their bio-parents! Approximately, about an hour had passed by and we received a call from the shelter. Had there been news about Tommy? Was this some kind of miracle God? Did I do something wrong? Chuck?
It turns out that in Isaiah's file, where it said he had a half-brother who had a biological father, who the attendant said not to worry about? Well turns out this heroic father, would pick up Isaiah and bring him in as his own. Yeahhh for Isaiah! What does that means for us now? No job? No work to do today, sulk some more over Tommy or over the Isaiah that could have been? Ok. Well, I told the case worker that God is awesome because we were just down the street grabbing a bite to eat and chilling. She was very apologetic and asked if we did not mind returning him haha. Sure, no bother at all...I am not sure if Isaiah even liked me. So we all wrap up and return into our big bus and drive Isaiah back to the gloomy shelter. As we walk through the doors (less enthusiastically this time). Isaiah begins to cry, and he clenches on to me and I don't understand what all the fuss is about yet. I try to sit him down on my lap, I have left my own kids in the bus thinking this wasn't going to be a big very long process. I look into Isaiah's mothers' bag, and search for something to calm him down, I didn't realize how bad he smelled until I held him close. I pulled out a dirty bottle, that was just awful and moldy...it didn't hit me until then, he and his mother had been living in a car, homeless. I hadn't even really got a good look at him until then and there with his tears rolling down his face. His screams, and calling out for mommy. "mommy, mommy, no, no". Don't surrender me again. Don't reject and leave me alone again, by myself with a bunch of strangers who stare at me and muse. It reminded me of our Lord, Jesus Christ: "Father, Father why have you forsaken me".
What did Isaiah do to deserve this? Why was his mother so absent? What happened to her that she gave up fighting? How broken does a mother have to be to surrender her child? Was it finances Lord? What was it? No help or support, no love? Did her mother do this to her? I held on to Isaiah and I felt his heart, I bonded to his cry I knew his pain. It resonated with me and I continued to reach into his bag and take out things that might comfort him, a teddy, a blankie, a book! The book was an unforgettable one, one I've never read before but was just as curious as Isaiah. The title read, 'Is your Mama a Llama' it had a llama on the cover and I didn't know much about llamas so I began reading it in the best character voice I could find in that moment. Isaiah stopped crying by then and I could tell he'd heard the story before, she had read it to him. The story is about a baby llama who does not realize yet that he is a llama and his mother is no where to be found. So he keeps asking the question, where is mama, and he then goes out on a quest to find his mama. On this journey he seeks out different animals; asking if they are his mama, and one by one they say no, for he is a llama. I could not help but mid way through the book want to break down and cry too. I had had it, I was ready for my temper tantrum, just where is Isaiah's mother, does she think she is a llama? Is her identity crisis as complexed as this story? I deeply became upset that I had read this book to Isaiah, I thought about myself, and my own stupidities as a mother, when I was searching for a career or furthering my education while my kids were in daycare, or when I had left them with aunts and uncles as sitters only learning later that my kids were upset by those outings. Oh God, how sad we are as human beings, we are in a very sad, sad, state. Why must be go through these trials, why must we let our children down countless times, when our selfishness and desires arise. Why, why, why, do the little ones suffer? Oh how I thank you Father that you comforted me as a child and I can only pray that you be with Isaiah and comfort him, and please, I pray for his mother whoever she is, may she be reached by you quickly.
They came to take Isaiah away, he needed to be preyed from my arms, this time I didn't like letting him go either. I wanted to keep him too. Again, this wasn't right. I let him down and I let him go because I knew Isaiah had a Father waiting for him, he wasn't going to be moved from home to home, he was going to be adopted and God had reassured me that his new life would be better than his old life. So I let go. But I saw and witnessed, what many do not...the breaking of a child's heart. The tearing of a child's trust and the let down when parents give up or give in to whatever becomes more important than your child, than God. We let God down more often than not...we just don't realize how badly it is going to hurt us and those we love in the end. I could take in these lessons, I knew God I knew you are true in what you do and say and how it is for our good. We all like toxicity more than good, were all drawn to what is evil more than were drawn to you. Help your enemies God, pray for us your persecutors, who persecute your children, your seed, help our unbelief in the life of Jesus, the only true selfless one.
I sat and stared blankly and wondered how my kids were doing, seeing they were in our bus alone with my 14 year old son. I was now overhearing a conversation from a very young woman on her cell phone. Talking so loudly she must have wanted the whole world to hear her conversations or life circumstances. She then got a up and I saw how pretty she was, but so young to be speaking that way. She went to the front desk and banged her hand against the window, it startled me. What was wrong was she in trouble? It was as though she was in prison and being held against her will. The lady ignored her and made no motion to her gestures. I started to listen to all of her details, she was a foster child, maybe 16 or 17. She too lived at the shelter, she had a curfew that she hated. She hated the shelter. She hated everybody, social workers, case workers, Guardian ad Litems. She had children already of her own, she loved them, she wanted them back, they were in a foster home, their foster parents did like her apparently. SHe wanted her kids back! She had been in foster homes before but had run away repeatedly, she hated those homes but not as much as she hated the shelter home. Wow, this was it, the real deal, real life-the hard life of a child/mother born into the system. She complained, complained, about the money, and how it wasn't enough, the food stamps and privileges that were all lies. She was hungry, she was tired, she wanted out of this hell. She was a victim, in prison and living a life of hell. I began to pray for her, under my breath I prayed, that God would set the captive free, I prayed about her children if they are where they need to be that they'd remain there, if there was true injustice that He's bring justice to her and her case. I prayed for the workers and those who were enduring her abuse, to protect them and give them wisdom and to have compassion for a child to who didn't get to be one very long and didn't know how to be an adult either because she too had probably had never had a mommy or daddy to teach her, nor love her sacrificially. But Jesus did, and He does, He died for her and now lives for her to know Him. I pray for this one too God, deal justly for her cause, hear her out in a world and generation that no longer does. Give sight to the blind. Heal her, she needs rest, peace and healing, she has been so wounded. It was like Leprosy, no body wanted to touch her...As I pondered everything in my heart about these moments that I knew I had to write about someday, another child walked out from that big door that hid all the children. The same lady, big and compassionate but oh so busy and tense and somewhat skeptical and unhopeful. She came out with this young one, about 2 years old, snotty, drooly, energetic and full of smiles. He was the first happy kids I had met in a while. He had a funny name, we will call him C. He had bad balance too, his legs seemed twisted like he could not walk properly, his hair tightly braided back, yet long. His clothing and shoes ill fitted for his size. Still he carried a ball oh so tightly and through at my face, it landed and I was shocked at what I saw, he tripped multiple, times falling down and almost running into a wall...was this child our next foster? I almost felt hesitant like perhaps he was better left here, he preceded to say good-bye to every worker there....he had been there for one week. No phone calls, no pick ups, no one. He was saying good bye to the only family he knew so far, the only home, a shelter.