A Broken Picket Fence

Miracle on 34th street is one of my favorite movies! The best part is when they drive up to the house and there it is…as perfect as little Susan imagined! I would grab a Kleenex and think to myself…..one day. And mine will even have a picket fence in front. 🙂

A few years ago, “one day” happened in our world but it wasn’t at all like I had anticipated.

We had always wanted to foster and adopt. We talked about it way before we ever knew there would be no miniature “us” running around the house. It was a sad day to hear the news but we were truly ok with it. My heart goes out to the many hurting today for the same reason. We were ok, but it still hurt to the core.

For the next several years, as life took over and dreams were filed away like yesterday’s mail, we still knew our “one day” would come.
September of 2008 was when it all got serious. 🙂 I left my profession of 22 years. We took an anniversary trip to the beach. Ahhhhh. My happy place.

We began taking a foster/adoptive classes at DHS each Thursday night for 10 weeks. During those classes, we experienced laughter, fear, empathy, smiles, tears, reassurance and heartbreak.

One of most odd questions on a form asked us to describe how we pictured our family. We assumed it would be one of different ages, likes and dislikes, an array of skin tones and maybe even accents and dialect that was not like our own. The most important thing to us was knowing this was actually going to happen! Our house which had been relatively quiet for 18 years was about to change!

When I expressed concern over how I would be emotionally if and when any of the children left our home, I had a dear friend and mentor tell me this. “Yes, your heart will be shattered into a thousand pieces but just remember its either your heart that gets broken or theirs.” That messed me up. Truly.

It all became a little clearer that day. The day I realized our family unit may never look ideal. We may not have years to pour into someone’s life. Then again, we might. Whether its a lifetime, years, months, days or even just a night, we get to be a safe haven for someone who needs it. I was thankful, humbled and a little nervous for the home the Great Architect was designing for us.

As the months passed by, our picket fence became a little scratched up , there were holes in it, some pieces of wood became wobbly and unsteady. The same latch on the gate we grabbed with enthusiasm to welcome someone with smiles and excitement, was the latch we gripped to hold ourselves up as we watched them leave. We had tears. Our hearts would ache desperately for things to just be different.
We decided early on to love on the kiddos that were placed with us….and not hold them at arms length.

As God would have it, 3 of the little ones placed in our arms needed a forever home. Yes we knew it wouldn’t be easy, but is Love supposed to be easy?

Love says yes when self screams no. Love gives when self needs.
Love stays when self wants to adventure out.
Love is content when self whispers for more

Find the good in a chaotic day. Laugh when you want to explode. Speak peace when surrounded by life’s noise. Cry when you need to….it’s really ok. Our Creator has a bottle full of your tears with your name on it. And He treasures it.

Be free to embrace your reality and see it for the gift it is. All of it. The beauty, the mess, the joys, the mistakes, and even a worn down picket fence that has seen better days…..

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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