Yesterday I ran into our coffee shop to grab a quick lunch. Two of my favorite students – sisters – were sitting at a table with their case manager and someone I didn’t recognize. The girls seemed giddy and both shouted hello as a I came in the door.

While I was waiting on my food, they finished their meeting, and one of the girls came and told me what they were doing…meeting with a social worker as they were being brought back into DSS custody. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say, they came to us in DSS custody, were then given to a family member but left with us as private placements, and now were being returned to DSS custody. Usually family custody is the best thing for a kid, but in this case, state custody was better.

And they were happy about it. 

I didn’t know whether to be glad for them (which I am, because now there is no family to block the services they need) or sad for them (which I am, because no kid should have to grow up in foster care).

We do amazing work in the organization where I work. We’ve recently expanded so that we can serve more children. We provide a safe place where kids can be kids, get the services they need, and find hope and healing. We graduate nearly 100% of our seniors each year, all with college acceptances, and the opportunity to break generational cycles.

But they are still growing up in foster care. And many of them are happy about it, because like my two sweet friends, foster care is better than the alternative.

The Psalmist said,

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5

That is a promise I hold onto every day on our campus. That children who have suffered abuse and neglect can still count on God. And they can count on God’s people to do the right thing by giving time, and money, and careers, to care for them.

The testimony is that God will always be a father to the fatherless, and He’s calling us to join that work. Maybe you can become a foster or adoptive family. Maybe you can donate money or volunteer your time. Whether it’s at my agency, or one in your own community, there’s plenty of work to be done. We have great donors and volunteers, both individuals and groups. But there is still more to be done.

Because no kid should have to grow up without knowing the love of the Father.

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Holly Barrett

Big Red Sofa: Trust in you
Open my eyes