Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fostering Peace {Eternal Joys of Foster Parenting}

Acolyte Joseph with Father Joseph; Benediction at Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Our recent experience as a foster family reads like a fairy tale in some chapters, and a little like a horror story in others.  The challenges we faced with the maze of daily logistics as a family of nine were sometimes crazy-making.  Parenting seven kids (aged one through nineteen), with several needing delicate handling due to traumatic pasts, required plenty of prayers and lots of help from friends here and above.

Our relationship with the twins (nicknamed Luke and Leia here to protect their privacy) continues to blossom and grow; their mom considers us family, and regularly brings the kids to our house for visits.  They are chattery two-year-olds now, their spunky personalities emerging with every new word and expression.

Recently, Luke found me working in the kitchen and began asking, " you!"
I asked him, "Why do you want me to open the gate?" 
"Church... Go Church!" Luke emphatically replied.
I promised Luke that we would be going to Church soon, but "not right now, in a little while."

About one minute later, his little while had passed and he began begging, "Church... Church... Go Church!"

Not every two year old begs to be taken to Mass, but for Luke and Leia, going to Mass with us has become a favorite activity, something they eagerly anticipate.  Seeing Jesus, dipping their little hands in holy water, smiling at familiar friendly faces, holding (wearing) rosaries, and singing are highlights of their visits to Sacred Heart.  Some of Luke's first words were "Holy!" and "Alleluia!" (Sounded more like howey and layooya.)
Luke helps Peter with Thanksgiving meal preparations.

Peter teaches Luke and Leia the fine art of mixing pumpkin pie filling.

Joseph colors with Leia

Upon arriving at Church with the twins, the sacristan approached (my only helper) Joseph, and asked if he would please serve Mass as the normal servers that day were not available.  He agreed, after I assured him that I could handle the twins by myself during Mass.  Little did I know what sort of aerobic activity awaited me.  The little ones were in fine form: chanting (a little behind the congregation); calling out, "JOE!" whenever his motions in the sanctuary caught their attention; pew stomping and circling; and even a run for the altar ~ at which point a friend darted out from her pew to scoop up Leia in the nick of time.  I caught up with Luke from behind, a few steps behind his bolting sister, and every bit as determined to join his big (foster) brother, Joseph and Father Joseph in the sanctuary.

Although I didn't leave daily Mass with the peaceful sensation of having been rejuvenated and refreshed by the Lord (and certainly without my usual opportunity for silent prayer time) I left completely satisfied and extremely grateful for the love of God in allowing me to serve His little ones and bring them closer to Him.

1 comment:

Z Adams said...

I thought anything he wanted was a Howie though...