Friday, December 18, 2009

Foster Care Christmas

Last night my family went to see Santa Claus. The six of us piled into the mini-van and headed out for the offices of Missouri Baptist Children's Home, where the jolly old elf waited. MBCH is the agency through which we are licensed as a foster family, and coincidentally is also the agency that is handling our foster boys' case.

It was quite a party! Santa and Mrs. Claus were indeed there, and each kid got a gift. (Our own kids, too! Plus, there was a gift for foster parents - a Casting Crowns CD!) There were pictures with the boys, and snacks, punch, and music. Our kids had a great time.

The entire staff of MBCH was there, dressed in festive costumes, happy, laughing, playing with all the kids. And there were a BUNCH of kids there, with their foster families. It was wild and chaotic, just like a Christmas party should be.

In the midst of the wildness, there was a moment that I found myself standing off to the side with a cup of punch and a cookie, watching the people. Watching the children. Every one of them has a story, you know, and most of the stories are not happy. Every one of those kids was away from home, taken into foster care because of some catastophic reason.

How many had been abused? Which ones had been neglected? Were there kids who had come from drug houses? Which little one had been born addicted to meth? Whose parents may have been just unable to function at a high enough level to care for children?

There was no way to know the answers to the questions that arose unbidden in my mind. And then I realized that, for tonight at least, there was no need to answer them.

Last night, with smiles and music and laughter and Santa and all those people loving all those children, it was enough to just let it be Christmas.

btw - If you are interested in becoming a foster family, or know of someone who is, please contact me and I will make sure you get connected to the right people.


bridger said...

I have never been personally involved in foster care, but have many friends who are foster parents and I was grateful to be asked to lead some music and singing for our county foster care Christmas party. It was just a time for people to show that they have love for other people. Santa and Mrs. Clause were there and there were gifts, games, food, music, singing, etc. Some families cared for special needs children and many of the helpers had grown up in a foster home. There were a few families who were there as they considered becoming foster parents and one long-time circuit judge who I am sure was very involved in placing children and parents together in our county. It was a great time of seeing "Love one another" lived out in a beautiful way. Thank you for being foster parents! Merry Christmas.

Kansas Bob said...

A great and moving post Andy. I so admire your passion for compassion. Thanks for showing me Christmas today!

Anonymous said...

another image of heaven

Essay said...

Thank you for sharing, I like it worth reading.