The boys were ten-year-old twins, orphans being raised by their older sister. We were just engaged, starry-eyed, excited, and busy planning our wedding, when we found out they were moving.
“I’m going to miss them so much,” Ryan told me as we drove home from the park where we’d shot hoops with the boys for a couple of hours. “I’m really going to miss them. If there was ever a chance they would need a place to go, someone to take them, I’d want to do it.”
I remember telling Ryan how I liked his giving heart and I loved the idea of foster care or adoption – yes, even way back then. But, ten-year-olds? I had a hard time thinking through that one. I wanted babies and cute little children, not big kids with big problems.
It was the day, years later, that the wind shivered through the trees, shaking leaves to the ground. The last week-and-a-half I’d furiously written about motherhood and children and the fatherless. I’d spent hours processing through my heart and the Word and bucket loads of information I’d read in the last few years about fostering and adoption and all the needy children.
The wind blew, my house shuddered, and I watched the leaves blow down.
I thought it and goosebumps formed on my heart, as if the wind had shaken it too. Everyone wants the babies… including you.
Nameless faces flashed through my mind, faces from the pages of unwanted children I’d looked through. Most of the faces I saw were older than five, a lot of them older than ten. When I first saw them flash up on my screen, I’d quickly bypassed them because they weren’t what I was looking for.
As if loving the fatherless was shopping for the “right” child.
I was armed with a million excuses why it wouldn’t be right, Biblical or fair for Ryan and I to take older children.
As if loving the fatherless was a matter of personal preference or opinion.
The leaves blew right off the branches of the backyard tree, along with my reasons and excuses and opinions.
Because loving the fatherless is having the heart of the Father who calls all of the children to come.
I’ve paced from my dining room to my kitchen a thousand times thinking this one thought: What does it mean to love the fatherless?
If we know Him, than we know James 1:27, that pure religion undefiled is loving the fatherless. So whether we’ve woken up to the call or not, we really are all faced with the throbbing question: What does it mean to love the fatherless? It won’t be the same for everyone and I know that God won’t call everyone to open up their homes.
But I have a hunch, about this one thing I don’t think I’m wrong, that He might call everyone to open up their heart. To ask, “What can I do to be Love unspeakable, to wrap love around Your children?
I know that not everyone will be able to open their homes to the older children and not just the cute babies.
But I’ve stood at the throne with my list of reasons and He’s crossed them all off. The question is not so much, can I? but will I? Will I answer the call to be love and to wrap around and not treat His children as a shopping list? If I am willing, I have answered the call. And the rest?
The rest is up to Him.
I close my eyes and the faces linger behind shut eyelids, and I bow my heart low, and I say yes.
That yes is what loving the fatherless is all about.
Yes, I will open my heart.
Yes, I will trust You to show me how to love Your children.
Yes, I will believe that should You bring me to a child, or a child to me – five months old or fifteen – You will empower and equip me with grace and strength and wisdom to raise that child for You.
This puts it all in perspective. Davion could be my son. Go here for this amazing story.