The orphan in your family. For many of us it’s unthinkable and we’d like to think that it would only happen when/if a tragedy has occurred. In reality though, neglect, drug abuse, and alcoholism are all very real first-world problems! Anyone, anytime can succumb to the desires and temptations brought on by the stresses and trials of our world today.
And when those moments of weakness affect our nieces, nephews, cousins, and/or grandchildren, it’s our privilege as well as our duty to step up and take them in. They need our love, they need the hope of some type of stability in their lives and knowing they have family who’ll love them even through their parent’s failures and mistakes will do more for their ability to thrive than any foster parent or unrelated adoption could ever hope to accomplish!
Which is the biggest thing that breaks my heart for so many of the children we have seen in our home. They come here, live with people they’ve never heard of, and not once are even looked at by their own family again! How? Why?
Even the most difficult of my nieces and nephews wouldn’t be turned away from my home in an hour of need. They don’t need some stranger taking care of them, they need family!
Oh yes, it’s easy to say, “I couldn’t look at them without being angry at their mom or dad.” GOOD! That means you give a damn! That means you not only love these kids, but you love their parents too!
It’s when we get past the anger and forgive that we become most effective. Those children need to see you angry because they need to see you forgive more! They need to know that no matter the issue, no matter the mistake, family loves always! That doesn’t mean we forget, but we do open our hearts, forgive the mistakes and work to make things better. Sometimes that means letting them go down the rabbit hole, sometimes that means lifting them up in love and helping them get through the pain, struggle, and darkness.
Too many in foster care don’t see this. Too many never know they are loved. Imagine one of them was your niece, nephew, cousin, or grandchild, would you want them to ever feel this way? Would you be able to handle it if you know they were crying themselves to sleep from loneliness? I can’t!