We held Parker and McKenna’s birthday party over the weekend. They spent hours running with friends and opening gifts and pushing the limits of sugar way too close to bedtime. I alternated between not being able to stop smiling and taking pictures and talking.
Driving home with a van piled full of gifts and kids recounting every moment of the Bestest Birthday Ever, I felt spoiled by it all. Love, thoughtful gifts, leftover dinner and four extra cupcakes balanced between car seats and chatter, had left me full.
Last week I read an amazing article by Kristen Howerton at The Huffington Post, “The Only Mommy War Worth Waging” (if you have not read it, go now and then come back, I’ll wait right here). When I read her thoughtful post about motherless children, my heart broke for the kids she spoke of and I had the urge to ask my husband, once again, if we can adopt one or ten more kids.
And then someone pulled on my arm or someone spilled juice or I smelled dinner burning and I continued on with life.
This weekend, two days after reading that article, I crossed paths with parent-less kids. Two faces to put to the stories Kristen discussed in her article. They have a home and clothes and three meals a day but my mind is consumed with wondering how often they get a hug or if anyone has ever asked them if they wanted the crust cut off their sandwich. Their basic needs are being met but the thought that they aren’t being mothered and may have never been, leaves me acutely aware of how much I have (love not things), how much my children have (hugs not toys) and how we can give them some.
I may start dropping off our clothes to their center rather than trying to sell them and find out what they want for Christmas and their birthdays and see if we can make those things happen.
But I want their hearts to be more full than their shelves. I’m going to keep them on my mind when we head to the mall or the movies or high school events and make sure there is a seat for them in our van. I’m going to check on their holiday plans and be someone who asks about their days and really wants to hear the answer.
I can’t take them into our home but I can take them into our hearts.
I ended the weekend overwhelmed by friends and family and all that we have
and a tap on the shoulder from the universe, telling me it’s just too much to keep to myself.
I urge you to find a home near you that houses children who have spent their lives in the foster care system. Do something personal, give someone a hug, let them know you care. It doesn’t cost a thing.
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