Some of you locals knew Kyle and I's foster sibling set of 3 sisters. They arrived on our doorstep just before Easter Sunday last year. That Sunday Kyle heard Matt Redman's song, 10,000 Reasons for the first time sung in Easter service. It's a beautiful song and he went around singing/humming it for the next several weeks. Because of his constant singing of the song (and it's recent release and frequent play on KLove) the girls immediately took to the song as well. They christened it, "Daddy's Song" or sometimes, "Oh My Soul." From then on they went around singing it the best they could. Their lyrics were comical at best, but the intent was pure. They had finally replaced the trash they had walked into my home singing (songs with lyrics that actually made ME blush-think the Discovery Channel song and worse) with something much more appropriate and for that I was thankful. Every time it came on the radio all 5 children in my van belted it out. It was like a chorus of angels (or at least that was what I had to imagine to keep from going crazy from the earsplitting, off key voices!) For 5 months that song was a constant presence in my house. It was a frequently requested bedtime song and I soon wondered if they would ever move on to something else. I was getting a bit of tired of it despite the beautiful song it was.
Fast forward to a few weeks before the girls left us. I had to take them to emergency respite with a fellow foster mother in Fremont whom I had never met. I was not happy about it, but I had no choice. This amazing woman was not only a veteran foster and adoptive mom, but she was also at that very moment hosting 2 Italian high school foreign exchange students when she agreed to watch my girls. While there, the girls of course went around singing their song. KLove was also playing pretty much constantly at her house so eventually 10,000 Reasons came on and the girls shouted, "That's Daddy's Song! Turn it up!" Granted they could have asked a bit more politely, but hey, it was a big improvement from the grunts we got when they came. Anyway, as the day went on the girls asked to watch TV or a movie and instead this fellow foster mom got on You Tube and looked up the video to 10,000 Reasons. The girls were thrilled and watched it on constant replay for almost a half hour. All this time the foreign students were just watching, listening, and taking it all in (they had just arrived in the US the day before!) and probably wondering what on earth they had gotten themselves into. I picked the girls up at the end of the day and took them home and that was the end of the story. Or so I thought.
Fast forward again 3 more months. The girls have moved on to another foster home. We have another foster placement. Today I took Hannah and Tater Tot to Fremont for the National Adoption Day celebration. The foster mom who had helped me out happened to be there with her family (biological, adopted, foster, and foreign exchange). We chatted briefly and she asked where my girls were. I explained they had moved to another foster home closer to their birthmom. Beginning to choke up, my new friend said, "I think about them every day." She then went on to tell me that because of the insane number of times the girls watched that Matt Redman video, one of her exchange student daughters grew to like the song and bought the CD on itunes. She listened to the whole thing and eventually began asking questions about the messages in the songs. She then borrowed a bible from her host mother and started to read it. Because of my girls and that one song, this young woman was now very close to accepting Christ as her personal savior! My friend said that every time she hears that song she tears up and thinks of my girls and the eternal impact they've had on her exchange student.
Who would have ever thought that 3 little girls being neglected and abused coupled with an inept and unethical DHHS caseworker could ever have been used for good, not just good, but GLORY!?! But it happened my friends, it did. If my girls hadn't gone through what they did they wouldn't have come to my home. They wouldn't have heard that song and grown to love it. If their caseworker had done her job I wouldn't have needed respite that day. If I hadn't needed respite, if I had refused to leave them with someone I didn't know, I would have never met my friend and her new exchange students. If my girls hadn't played the heck out of that song who knows if that young woman would have bought that CD and grown to question the message on it. I often wonder if what I do makes any difference. Many of our kids will be destined to head right back into the same awful circumstances they came from. Our care won't have really changed anything. BUT God has a plan. Just because I don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist and just because I don't see the fruits of my labor doesn't mean they aren't there. I feel so fortunate to have seen my friend today and heard her story. It was the wake up I needed to snap me out of my pity party. To stop me from wondering, "Why on earth do we do this? Why do I subject my family to this chaos and upheaval that is foster care? Why do I allow myself to get attached to these children only to have my heart broken when they leave me for less than desirable situations? Can we really make a difference? Does their time with us even matter at all? Why do I set myself up for the lifetime of pain from not knowing what their future holds when they leave me?" This is why I do this. God can use me even if I don't know what He's using me for. I just have to be willing.