Family Support, Foster Parenting, Vulnerable ParentsAug. 17, 2015

Make a Difference Monday: Oh Church, Rise Up!

“MOM!!!”  “MOM!!!”  “MOM??”  This is what I’ve heard, followed by the pitter patter of little feet, for the last eleven days.  She was supposed to stay “just through the weekend”.  Every time I turned around to reassure her, there were tears in her eyes.  She knows the pain of separation already, and it’s way too soon.  Today, she knew the pain again.  There are not enough foster homes.  The system is broken, but this is not the system’s problem.  The government stepped up to fix the broken family, but the government will never “fix” the issues unless the body of Christ comes alongside.  Only Christ can bring restoration.  He’s using His people in this generation, but there is so much more work to be done.

Several times, recently, people have asked me what the church can do to help foster and adoptive families.  I never thought I could blog on this issue, because I never wanted to sound like I was making suggestions as to what “my” family needed.  I can tell you, however, what I experience through my support system and friends.  I can also share about how welcoming our church, that we recently joined, has been.

Last Sunday we pulled up to church.  We were unloading our crew when we noticed that Houston was laying down in the back.  With tears rolling down his face, he said he was sick.  Here we are, standing in the parking lot, loaded down with diaper bags, babies, and kids, when all of a sudden a precious lady in our church comes along side me and helps me get everyone to class so that Clint could go home with Houston.  There was no shame and no guilt.  She was happy to do it.  She didn’t make me feel unequipped or incapable.  She didn’t say, “I don’t know how you do it” or “You’ve got too much on your plate”.  She just engaged with our family.  The best part about it……..when I got out of church, she had already delivered the babies out to Clint.  Seriously?  She will never know what that meant to us.  One simple act of kindness.  Oh church, rise up.

I had court on Thursday.  I was devastated again.  The baby I brought home from the hospital, and have been mom to for 28 months, will have to wait longer.  No decisions have been made, and I am weary.  We don’t go back to court until the end of June.  I have friends that remember my court dates.  I get texts that say, “Call me after court”, “I’m praying for you today”, and when I don’t call sometimes I get texts like, “I’m here when you’re ready to talk”.  I have a Bible study group that prays for my children.  I have a friend who often volunteers her time to watch kids for court and another who has picked up kids from school.    Clearly, there are different roles for everyone.

Trial for our girls has been postponed again.  This time it falls on the week that we had planned to take a vacation.  That can wait.  Sometimes, I’m tired of putting my life on hold.  Sometimes, I hate the choices that others have made.  And then I remember, one different path, one different experience could have landed me there.  I am never beyond brokenness.  I could be her.  I could be the mom who abandoned, abused, neglected.  It’s so important for me to remember this.  And she is never beyond redemption.  Never.

We are anxious to start our new community group.  We are anxious to show others, in our situation, the love of Christ.  And we are desperate to receive as well.  We are longing to be refreshed as we meet with, not only the ones called to foster or adopt, but those who will be cheerleaders, encouragers, providers, and prayer warriors.

Please pray for all the children in strange places tonight.  Pray that Jesus will quickly make the unfamiliar and scary, familiar and welcoming.  Praying for God to bring peace and comfort to the frightened little one that left our home today.

Amanda LileAmanda Lile Kids

Amanda is a Christ-follower, wife to Clint, and currently a mother to 7 children. Over the past 7 years, she has parented 27 children. She knows what it means to experience heartache through the loss of children she had hoped would stay forever, but also knows what it means to find her identity in Christ. Although her and her husband know that not everyone is called to foster or adopt, they strongly believe that everyone should play a role in this crisis. She feels like she is continuously reaping the blessings of committing to this lifestyle and wishes that everyone could experience it! Check out more from Amanda on her blog!

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