Why Not?

I see parents running kids to and from school, sports practice, church events, doctor’s appointments, school activities, and in the daily grind of the dreaded “pick-up line” at the school parking lot. In fact, I am definitely one of those crazy parents whisking my mini-van (or sometimes our big 12-passenger van) in and out of the parking lots, whipping open the sliding door, and letting kids jump out just in time — or more often a few minutes late — to the designated activity. We are all busy. Every family and every parent is busy whatever your life involves. We will always find a way to fill our time with something. So when people tell me, “I don’t know how you do it, being a foster parent when you have so many kids and things to do, and you are so busy all the time!” I guess my thought is, “Why not?” There is never going to be a perfect time of peace and calm and zero activity. There is never going to be a perfect time to become a foster parent, or to add children to your home. So why not just go ahead and add that element of “busy” into your life that actually helps people? We have to choose what our time will be devoted to. Why not choose a way to devote your time to meeting the needs of someone else?

When we are out in public and people see our blended family, we almost always get questions about foster care. It’s amazing to me how many people will say, “I’ve always thought about doing that.” I think that is so great! So to all of you I say, “Why Not?” Why not just go ahead and take the training classes to find out more about foster care, more about the kids that need you, and more about ways that you can support foster families. Why not just go ahead and take that next step? We can choose to be intentional about our time, our commitments, and our response to those thoughts that come up in our hearts and minds. We can choose to take a step towards helping children and families affected by foster care.

A favorite family verse for many reasons is Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” What if we applied that verse to our schedules? What are we doing that is simply “conforming to the pattern of this world”, instead of stopping and asking God what He would like to do with our busy schedules? What exciting things might God want to add to our schedules and commitments if we let Him? I hope that for many it might be taking that next step in the foster care journey — whatever that might be for you.

-Sarah Oberndorfer

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Here am I...

My husband and I have been married for twenty years. Before we even got engaged we both agreed that a future plan in our life would be to adopt kids. Thankfully, we both felt that someday we would create a house for any child in need, whether they were ours biologically or not. Fast forward about eight years later and we were pretty surprised that we somehow had managed to have three biological kids within three years of age! And a few years later we would have a total of four kids! And yet, that call, that stirring that we were supposed to adopt was there. Even in the craziness of having a 4, 3, and 2 year old we managed to take our foster care licensing classes. I remember reading Isaiah 6:8-10 a lot, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I, Send me!’” I kept praying God would send us to the right child who needed us. I told God that I would go in a heartbeat to help a child. Send me! But as a tired, working mom of three little ones I also began to doubt. I wondered why God would give me such a burden for adoption, while he also had given us three biological children? It was as though I thought it had to be one or the other! I could either adopt children, OR I could have all of these biological children. People would even tell my husband and I that it wasn’t right that we were thinking of doing foster care when we had children “of our own.” They told us our children could get hurt, or neglected, or wouldn’t have enough love to go around.

One night after a news story I remember feeling so sad that there were so many children without a home and I was stuck and unable to help them. I was reading Isaiah 6 again. But How could we possibly help as two busy working parents, also in ministry, and with little children? I told God that I remembered He had called us to foster and adopt, but then He gave me these beautiful biological children and so I guess that call was over for now. And then, my Bible fell open to a few chapters later. “Here am I Lord, and the children the Lord has given me.” (Isaiah 8:18). It was an answer just for me. The call to foster and adopt was from God, just as much as my beautiful children were from God. Both were mine to bring to Him and let God do what He would. I just needed to give it all to Him in the first place.

So now, almost 10 years later as we foster many children and prayerfully move toward adoption, I often have to look back at that verse. “Here am I Lord, and the children the Lord has given me.” (Isaiah 8:18). Being a foster parent is hard. Foster children are from hard places and they often didn’t ask to be rescued. In fact many times I think they feel more like they are kidnapped and my home is their prison! But as hard as it is on my husband and I, I know it is also hard on my biological children. There are many days that I worry that my choices to give all of our lives to God in this way is hurting them. When an over-medicated foster child is aggressive, will they be hurt? When another foster child is moved and they are grieving, will it be too much for them? When a youth foster child is suicidal and requires our attention 24/7, will they feel neglected? When a toddler foster child is screaming because the toddler doesn’t have the words or ability to describe their heartache, will they feel silenced? When a drug-exposed foster baby can’t sleep from withdrawals and I am up all night and too tired to make it to school events, will they feel unloved? But it is no accident that God called me to foster care, and also gave me this family. He called us all. It is our family offering to give, and it is God’s to share. I have to trust that all of my children are from God and there are no accidents. He has a plan, and I can see this constant giving, loving, sharing of our lives is expanding my children’s hearts. They have an understanding of brokenness, and pain, and sin, and the need for a Savior that they would not if it were not for this world of foster care that we bring into our home. So I bring my heart and my children to the Lord and ask Him to send us. Send us to the child that needs a home.

Sarah Oberndorfer

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When we do nothing, a child pays the price.

It was difficult to read the article in the Kansas City Star last week about a thirteen year old girl in foster care who was sexually assaulted by an older male in foster care while waiting in an agency office to find a foster home placement for the night. It is a heartbreaking reality for this child who was removed from trauma at home to then experienced trauma while in the “safe” custody of adults and the agencies who were charged to care for her. As a mom it was difficult to process, and I was just as an outsider reading an article. I’m sure that all of those involved in the situation in that office were also heartbroken. The reason they are involved in the child welfare business is because they want to help children. Clearly they would never want to be part of a situation that caused harm to a child. Throughout the week I read various responses and criticisms on social media regarding fault, liability, and punishment and I won’t go into that or add my opinion here. But I do want to share that the story left me with a nagging feeling that we all have a shared burden to respond.

When we do nothing, it is impossible to meet the needs of our children because lack of response to a need makes the burden fall on one person, or one agency, or one critical moment. How many times have we heard over the last few years that there is a mounting foster care crisis in our State? Why is that and what have we done to respond?

Prevention. We continue to hear of the needs for stronger preventative services and an improved foster care system, and yet we think of it as a giant problem we can’t respond to as individuals — and so we do nothing. Kansas spends 3% of its state and local child welfare dollars on prevention compared to the national average of 17%.1. Over the last 5 years, Kansas increased foster care spending 100x more than prevention spending, and we still can’t keep up. In addition, we have seen an increase in physical neglect, which is parents’ inability to meet children’s basic needs. We need to help families manage risk factors for child maltreatment by increasing families’ access to food and cash assistance, home visiting for new parents, child care, job training, healthcare, and more. We have also have a need for mental health services funding and substance abuse treatment so we can help these parents and keep children out of foster care as a preventative measure. If you have a burden to help families and volunteer on the preventative side to foster care, then find a way to get involved. Helping just one family matters.

Overburdened Foster System. We know our foster care system itself is overburdened and we need to respond. In Kansas, we have an increase of children in foster care with high needs and an inability to care for them. A 2016 juvenile justice reform bill intended to shift juveniles from detention to treatment. Due to lack of community resources, many of these youth entered foster care. The number of licensed beds at youth psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs) decreased 65% during 2011–2017 from an original 780 to just 272. Many are serving youth with more serious mental health issues during much shorter lengths of stay than historically seen. In addition, due to the high volume of children in care, about 7,700, and less than 2,700 foster families in our State, there simply are not enough homes to place these children quickly, safely, and with single-family homes who are matched for the best interest of the child and the foster family. With a shortage of foster homes, child placing agencies are forced to place children in short-term homes, far away from their counties or origin, and they do not have the luxury of waiting to match families and children based on their needs and experience. Due to our overburdened system, foster families quit in Kansas in less than 10 months, much of this is from lack of support. If you have a burden to help foster children and foster families to improve our foster care system, then find a way to get involved. Helping just one foster family matters. Helping just one foster child matters.

When we wait until there is a tragedy like what happened to the innocent 13 year old girl, then we are too late. We needed to intervene and help her family before she was placed in foster care. We needed to get involved with family prevention services to ensure families have what they need to care for their children. We needed to answer the call to become a licensed foster home so that child placing agencies had an abundance of homes waiting to take in a child. We needed to sign up to support a foster family by bringing them meals, giving respite care, helping with expenses, driving children to appointments, giving a listening ear… so that the foster family can keep doing the work they are called to so we don’t lose 500 foster homes a year in Kansas. We needed to increase support of our social workers so they aren’t over-burdened with long hours, overtime, impossible case loads, all while taking on secondary trauma so that they have lapses in judgment to leave children unattended in an agency office. When we each look away and do nothing, or when we are content that simply complaining and criticizing our child welfare system, child placing agencies, case workers, or legislators constitutes “doing something,” then we have failed. We will go from crisis to crisis and inevitably it will be an innocent child that pays the price.

OR….we can all do something! We can each decide what part we will play and share this heavy burden of brokenness. We can offer support and healing by each doing our calling. At Joy Meadows we have a calling to come alongside this overburdened foster care system in Kanas. We want to support foster children, foster families, case workers, social workers, DCF, and child placing agencies by doing our part. By building a community of foster homes we want to: (1) Increase capacity — at a basic level, we will be able to provide more beds for more children in foster care; (2) Create stability for the child – Children can be placed near their county of origin with their siblings, stay in one placement where they can receive support services immediately, reducing trauma; (3) Sustain qualified foster parents – Keep experienced foster parents by removing financial and emotional obstacles to taking on multiple foster children in one home and give them on-site support and training to handle challenging behaviors of children and the associated secondary trauma to caregivers so they do not burn out. We will network with existing organizations, care providers, and agencies so that we can maximize resources available to children in care. We will also strive to reach permanency for the child more quickly through our model by: (1) Working with the biological parent for reintegration as all siblings will be placed with 1 family, thus providing more opportunity to connection and mentoring; and (2) If children are not reintegrated, since they have been placed together the entire time in care they are much more likely to have an adoptive resource through their existing foster home or by those who have interacted with them at Joy Meadows. There is SO much we can do! We are eager, excited, humbled, and ready to do our part. Thank you for your ongoing support of Joy Meadows. And we thank you for listening to what God is calling you to do, and for your response.

-Sarah Oberndorfer,

Foster mom, Co-founder and Chair of Board of Directors of Joy Meadows

A smile can hide a lot...

Here’s something you might not know, there is sort of this unofficial rating system for foster children. Often you get a call about a child and one of the few ways you can figure out a little more about their background is to say, “What is their rate?” Or, you might hear foster parents trying to help find a placement for a child, or help with respite will say, “What is their rate?” Now that isn’t because people are heartless and are in this for the money (because let’s be honest, there is NO WAY you can do this and make money!). The lowest daily stipend for a child is called the “satellite rate” and means that they have not had any major issues, behaviors, or events while in foster care. The highest daily stipend means that there are ALOT of challenges that may involve mental health concerns, running away, setting things on fire, sexually acting out, medical challenges, destroy property, or who knows what else. You might be reading this and be horrified right now. I feel that way as well. When you think of what all of those challenging behaviors represent in a child’s life it is crushing. And then to think that one of the few ways we can find homes for these more challenging kids is to pay more, it is even more heartbreaking.

But here is the other side….what about the smiling foster child? You know, the one who looks so sweet, has no challenges, has the lowest daily rate, is compliant, does fairly well in school, and quietly exists under the radar as the poster-child for foster care. We all assume that the smile means that all is well and there are no “issues.” A smile doesn’t represent the lack of trauma and hidden pain. It just demonstrates a beautiful resiliency despite the pain. We have to stop assuming that all children in foster care do not need immediate, in-depth intervention for the trauma that occurred before foster care, and for that further trauma occurring while they are in foster care as well. As care givers, foster parents, and social workers we are so worn out and desperate to care for the “highest rate” kids, we are quick to believe that the smiling “satellite rate” child is doing just fine.

We’ve been involved with children who have been in foster care for 3, 4, or 5 years, and they were the smiling satellite-rate foster child. We’ve found that when they are finally asked at year 5 about what abuse occurred, they will disclose things that people never knew. When they are offered help for trauma, deep wounds are revealed. When they are given the opportunity for anger, they are thankful to get to express it rather than repress those emotions out of survival to ensure they aren’t moved to yet another home. What if we started out immediately giving the smiling foster child the help they need? What if we used the 1,2, 3, 4, and 5 years in foster care to give them hope for healing in their life? What if we gave them the tools so that a smile doesn’t represent a beautiful resiliency in spite of dealing with trauma on their own, but it represents joy at overcoming trauma with the support of a caring family and community? What if their time in foster care wasn’t about being compliant so they can survive, but experiencing the joys of a childhood in a safe and loving environment? This is what we will do at Joy Meadows.

My heart aches for all of these children who bury their pain and smile, and for those who lash out at the world because they don’t know what else to do. As adults, we have to be the ones to help them carry these raw emotions and give them the ability to have a voice. We have to show them they matter as individuals, and they are cherished, and loved no matter what — not because they are perfect, but because God loves them desperately and so do we.

Isaiah 46:4 (NLT), “I will be your God throughout your lifetime — until your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.”

-Sarah Oberndorfer

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The Power of Community....

I've mentioned several times before that we are the parents of 7 children.  Four are biological children, three are long-term placement foster children, with the occasional "one-night" foster child added in.  My husband and I both work full-time jobs during the week, and he pastors a church as his part-time job, and we have the usual weekly commitments like sports, school programs, practices, church, youth group, piano lessons times seven kids.  Add in the extra foster care "normal" things like case worker home visits, weekly therapies, family services case worker visit, sibling visits, medicine evaluations, as well as the emotional high's and lows with attachment issues, triggers, behaviors, and you pretty much get the picture...We can't do this on our own!  As much as we tried to be the perfect foster parents that have the line of smiling children sitting nicely at church and keep everything straight with who needs what and when, and show all of these kids the love they need every day, it was just absolutely impossible.  I completely understand why the burnout rate for foster parents in the State of Kansas (and really nationally), is only about 10 months and then foster parents quit.  It's hard.  But let me tell you about the power of community.

My husband and I can tell our foster children they are loved.  We can try to show them that every day by taking care of their needs.  We can try to teach them they are valuable and respect their history by coming along side of them in their trauma rather than always pushing a make-over.  We can tell them about the love of a Jesus who treasures them, created them, and has the power of healing.  We can enroll them in every class, activity, therapy, camp, Bible study, and amazing experience possible.  But that is still just two parents telling them these things.  And given the activities I outlined above, that is clearly two worn-out, overwhelmed parents on a lot of days!  But we have a community around us.  We cannot help these sweet, broken children at the level of need they have if we are doing this alone.  We needed a community around us, and thank God that is what He gave us.    

We have some "grandparents" who stepped in to help with our teenagers.  They built a relationship with them.  They take them to lunch at least once a month and find out how they are doing.  They tell our teens they are loved, special, have a Jesus who loves them, created them, and has the power of healing.  They tell our teens they are valuable in their struggle of painful experiences, but they also can do anything in life in their future.  They come to birthday parties, special events, and give them "family" they can proudly point to as grandparents who love them.  We have an "aunt and uncle" who help take kids to therapy appointments, make sure they get to go to camp, help with school clothes shopping, and do all the fun, crazy, energetic things the cool aunt and uncle have time and money to do.  And while they are doing that they show, and tell, our sweet foster kids they are loved, special, have a Jesus who loves them, created them, and has the power of healing.  They tell our kids they are valuable just as they are, but their future is limitless.  Community are those at church who make us meals during really tough times, or on a night where family visits stir up trauma and we get home right at dinner time.  Community are those who helped make our house into a home where foster children could live by helping with handiwork, painting, baby gates, flooring, and more.  Community are those who join foster parents in prayer for the tragedies that occur in these precious children's lives over and over again.  Community shows God's love in every moment, gesture, gift, word, deed, and by just showing up.  Community is a family that has nothing to do with biology.  Community multiplies the love and commitment of just two foster parents to more and more people wrapping around these children who have been so undeservingly damaged, as well as the foster parents who are choosing to immerse themselves in the midst of the brokenness.  Community shows these children they are loved, valuable, and about a Jesus who is relentless for them.

Our God is a God who multiplies.  He multiplies His love and presence in us through His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.  He multiplies our resources when we give Him all that we have.  In John 6:1-14, five barley loaves and two small fish became enough to feed five thousand, until "they all had enough to eat" (John 6:12).  One person gave what they had, and five thousand had enough.  What could that do in the world of foster care?  What if each person gave what they have, whether that be a meal, becoming a "grandparent" or "aunt" to a foster child, giving clothes, being a prayer warrior, helping make a baby-gate, or becoming a foster parent.  We would see each foster child who is waiting for a family, and those tired, worn out foster parents "all have enough."   And don't forget the impact on the lives of those who are obedient, as they get to see the miracle where their small gift to God brings such hope and healing to those who need it most.  That is the power of community.  It multiplies the love and and presence of a powerful God who has glorious, unlimited resources (Ephesians 3:16) which we cannot even comprehend.  

We are compelled to bring this experience of community here to Kansas through the physical location of Joy Meadows.  In addition, we are grateful to get to work with churches so they can implement the community ministry of foster care in their church and we see multiplication at work in each faith community.   We are looking forward to being further witnesses to the miracle of this movement of God and hope here in Kansas so that "they all have enough." 

May God bless you and call you to the joy of obedience for His children.

Sarah Oberndorfer

 

When there is nothing left to give...

We have been parents to 4 biological children, two of whom had life-threatening vascular anomalies causing strokes, brain disease, brain surgery, hearing-bone implants, facial reconstructive surgeries -- just to name a few.  We have been foster parents for years.  This has included being parents to a homeless teen who wasn't "in the system"; medically fragile preemie twins one of whom had brain damage; a set of siblings in and out of foster care 3 times; teenage siblings who have seen every aspect of foster care over a 5 year period; a "one-night" emergency removed from an abusive foster home who turned into a placement for several months; numerous "one-nights" so they wouldn't sleep in agency office; and a medically fragile newborn we've watched grow up.  We've seen kids go home to biological parents, get adopted by kinship, go through the roller coaster of having parental rights terminated only to be overturned by the court of appeals, moved for reasons that are hard to understand, and more.  After all of these experiences and years of dealing with trauma, I started to think that I can pretty much handle anything.  As though it was my ability and determination that brought me through all of these difficult situations.  I think I really fooled myself into thinking that I am just better suited to handle stress, multi-tasking, heartache, and pain than others.  

And then I suddenly get to a point where there is nothing left.  The trauma, the behaviors, the roller coaster of emotions, the questions of parenting and the effect on biological children, the exhaustion, the worry, the uncertainty of the future for these kids you can't protect, the great need of love and grace by everyone around you while they reject you at the same time, the inability to "fix" brokenness.  It is just too much and there is nothing left in me to give.  That is where I end up when I begin to think for even a second that I am somehow capable or qualified for this life as a foster parent.  There is nothing left.  I'm empty. I'm done.  

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31.   

When there is nothing left in me, I am so encouraged by these verses in Isaiah for so many reasons.  First of all, I love the sarcasm of the question, "Do you not know?"  Of course I know that it is God who is the Creator of all things and sustainer of all things!  I just need to trust in that, regardless of the seemingly hopeless situations in my home sometimes.  Second, these verses remind me that it is God alone who gives strength.  "He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom."  He is the source of all strength and power - not me! So when there is nothing left to give, it's because I never had it in the first place!  Only when I am trusting in God as the source of strength and understanding can I love and serve these beautiful, hurting children as He needs me to.  Third, "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength."  Do you know the beauty of that promise?  The word "renew" literally means "exchange," as in getting a new garment.  So God isn't promising just to fill up my tired, overwhelmed spirit with a little bit more strength like he's patching an old worn-out shirt.  He promises to actually exchange my worn out, overwhelmed tattered strength with His perfect, brand new, endless strength! How comforting to know that we all "grow tired and weary," but it is what we do with that feeling that matters. I'm not a failure as a foster mom, wife, employee, pastor's wife, etc. if I get tired and weary! We all get that way.  But what will I do when I'm at that point and there is nothing left to give? That is what matters. If we "hope in the Lord" God promises that our strength will be renewed, and we will not grow weary or faint.  He promises that we can keep doing the work that He has called us to.  I just have to look to Him and trust in His understanding.  I need to put on the new garment of strength He's offering me every day.  

It's a joy to serve in this challenging, amazing, beautiful life of foster care with so many of you.  I pray you will find the strength and hope offered in these verses as well.  I pray your strength will daily be renewed.  

Sarah Oberndorfer

Siblings matter

I was reminded again tonight that siblings matter.  Hearing the squeals, giggles, and belly laughs from siblings in foster care echo through the restaurant as they have a "sibling visit" gave me a feeling of great joy and sadness simultaneously.  The extreme high's and low's of behavior and emotions were erased for two hours as these siblings were together once again and all is right in their world.  Most siblings in foster care are not placed together.  There simply is not space available in most foster homes to have more than one or two siblings together.  And despite our best efforts as foster parents or agencies to recognize the importance of the sibling bond and create these moments of "visitation," it cannot duplicate the stability of living with the one continual, trusted, meaningful relationship that these children have had in their lives -- the siblings were the family unit.  They are the ones that often clung together and cared for one another when their biological parents could not.  When children come into care, there is a reason to separate them for a time from biological parents who cannot care for them, but the separation of siblings is often nothing more than a logistical necessity with harmful results. 

So many times as a foster parent I have seen the worry, pain, and anxiety of a child when they are separated from their siblings.  It is difficult for them to feel safe and at peace when they cannot see how their siblings are doing on a daily basis.  It often causes defiant behaviors, creates distrust of care givers, and prevents the beginning of healing when they feel their siblings are being withheld from them. We have seen siblings travel for 5 hours round trip for a 1 hour family visit in an agency office, causing children to miss school and all sense of "normalcy" in their life. We have seen children moved from home to home whenever a place becomes available for one or two siblings to be placed together, causing further instability in their foster care placements and preventing the implementation of needed behavioral, emotional and academic supports.   We've heard the prayers at night of children hoping their brothers and sisters are safe, or that they could be together soon. 

It is our goal at Joy Meadows to create homes where siblings can be placed together in one single-family.  And if not within the same home, at a minimum they can be neighbors at Joy Meadows.  Siblings matter.  We need to show these children that we really do believe that and create a way for them to be together.  The laughter, hugs, and hope of being with a brother or sister should happen for more than 2 hours in a fast food restaurant or agency office at a "sibling visit."   

-Sarah Oberndorfer

A "One night" should break our hearts...

We had many opportunities in April to present the vision of Joy Meadows to leaders, agencies, and potential donors.  I am grateful for that.  Leadership of the Department of Children and Families were so encouraging and supportive of getting Joy Meadows started.  It was exciting to be able to verbalize this dream foster care community to the powerful and influential people in Kansas.  In the midst of that, our life as foster parents continued.  We had weekly therapies, sibling visits, trips to agency offices, case worker visits, calls to guardian ad litem, court reports, emails to teachers, doctor's appointments, and the list goes on and on.  And just when you get a little wrapped up in yourself and pat yourself on the back for the good work you are doing....you get smacked in the face with the reality of the "one night" kids and realize there is so much work to be done.  How little we are giving!  How wrapped up we are in our comfort!

My mother's heart was so sad last night. We had one free night from our crazy schedule of 9 people in the house, so we agreed to take a "one night." That is a foster child who doesn't have a permanent home to go to so they bounce from home to home for one night or sleep in an agency office. They arrive at bed time and are picked up early in the morning. A lot of these teens are from hard places, and yes, a little rough sometimes...but they are CHILDREN. I can't even fathom how this child who arrived at our doorstep with nothing but a backpack and bag full of meds doesn't expect anyone to say goodnight, doesn't expect anyone to wash her clothes, give her dinner, and certainly not a hug. It breaks my heart. Every child needs a family. They need someone to notice if they brushed their teeth. They need more than a random bed at night. So for one night we offer a bed, a smile, a shower, and this morning we say good-bye and send this child on to the next 24 hour stranger - praying she is safe and somehow finds a home. We need Joy Meadows now! Praying for our miracle and for all of these sweet kids who are treasures to God, and need to be treated that way in our care of them.

-- Sarah Oberndorfer