Tony places the nativity figures on our mantle.
Our foster children will be with their parents over Christmas weekend; the regular visits rearranged to make a holiday weekend together possible. For Tony this will be the very first sleep-over with his parent in a new 'safe' living space. He is counting the days in anticipation of his overnight visit, and tells us every day about the rocket ship blankets on his new bed. Today he exclaimed that his parent got a TV, "And it won't even hurt my head, not even a little bit!" Guess he took me seriously when I told him the reason our kids don't watch TV is because it will rot their brains...
Letting these kids go comes with the territory of fostering. Their schedule and ultimate destination is not of our doing or choosing, doesn't need our approval or permission, and changes and fluctuates rapidly and without notice. Of course it would be lovely to have them here with us to share the joy and wonder of Christmas morning, and they will be dearly missed in the sacred moments as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. But they will be in the arms of a parent whose love is immeasurable and whose desire to hold them and treasure them is real, though they may be in difficult circumstances and facing great challenges.
Of course we will make time to celebrate the holiday with each of them and let them know by our shower of love and a little gift giving, too, that they are treasures to us as well.