The social worker came for him yesterday.
She stepped inside our door, and our child ran crying into the kitchen.
He cried and clung to Will, his two-year-old tears saying, “Don’t let them take me away!”
Will picked him up, held him close, then buckled him in the car seat, and they took him away.
I was helpless to do anything but remember the heaviness of my baby’s head on my shoulder at night, the clutch of his chubby fists on my arm, the sound of little feet running to meet me.
The feet will always haunt me. Will brought my child to see me one day at work. I spied him from far down the hall and called his name. At the sound of my voice, my round-faced boy gave a little jump of joy and ran down that long hall to meet me, arms outstretched. He ran right into my heart.
People say I’m too busy and overworked to do foster care. My own children have needs, and our house is too small. Some of my gifts are lying dormant, growing rusty with disuse. All these things are true. People are so wise and knowing (though perhaps not all-knowing). But their wisdom does not acknowledge how I feel.
I have gone through this heartbreak too many times. Only twice in three months, but losing children is always an immeasurable loss.
And so I bend my head and wipe my tears, remembering my chubby baby boy, knowing that my pain is nothing compared to his as he is shuffled from home to home. I remember him, and the thousands of other homeless children who are victims of broken families and broken foster systems. I cry even more as I think of all the happy Christian families in their warm, excluding circles.
I’m supposed to be celebrating the New Year with glory and dreams and heartwarming sentiments. I know the joy and dreams will come, but right now I am heartbroken, asking myself: where is God?
And where is the church?