In my own version of a perfect world, all children would live with their biological parents, who would love them, provide for them, nurture them in Christ’s love, and prepare them in all areas for their future success as an adult. In other words, everything would be on earth as it is in heaven.
But this ain’t heaven. Sadly. And kids don’t always live with their bio parents- nor should they. And, even when they do, it doesn’t mean that all’s well. Their home life can be teetering on such a fine gray line between thrive and survive that I cannot always interpret the difference. What I’m saying is that sometimes kids live in environments that I wouldn’t characterize as ideal, nor would I want my own child to live in, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the kid should be removed from their family. Let’s face it- every parent has done something at one point or another that the Department of Child and Family Services would shake their fists at. (I feel overwhelmingly heartbroken when a child is removed from a good home because the parents made one egregious error, or worse when their actions are misinterpreted and misconstrued to make them out to be villains when they are actually loving parents who behaved out of their best will for their child.)
But, I didn’t really want to go there- examining cases where it turns out the parents are good isn’t my intent. No, I want to talk about the foster cases where kids are sent back home to live with their biological parents- and it just makes me cringe worrying about them night after night. Is she being fed? Does anyone bathe her or brush her teeth? Do they have electricity, water, or even a roof? Do they have a regular schedule? Does she get enough sleep? Are her sicknesses being attended to properly? Is she being supervised closely enough that she won’t be in danger? Of course, I hope so. I really do. But, how can I be sure she’s going to be alright?
I can’t. I can’t make her parents take care of her. I can’t make sure that she’s not left alone for hours at a time with a hungry tummy wearing nothing but a dirty diaper. I can’t ensure that she’s not being drugged with narcotics every night so she’ll “just go to sleep”. I can’t even make sure that what she sees and hears are wholesome and appropriate for a child her age. It’s out of my control.
But it’s in God’s control. And, as long as I’m alive, I’ll go before Him on her behalf. I’ll pray she’s being loved and taken care of. I’ll pray she’s being pointed towards God and that’s He’s fixing her hurts as she’s fixing her heart on Him. I’ll pray that, one day, she’ll experience Heaven and the way creation was meant to be.