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