They came for him yesterday

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?



22 thoughts on “They came for him yesterday

  1. Maria

    I hear you, Rosina, and He does too.

    One day when I was grieving the loss of yet another child, the Father told me, “I lost My Son too.”

    He’s grieving with you.


  2. Lois overholt

    One thing I consoled myself with is, that if this child had never come into our home there may not have been anyone else to pray for them. So sorry as I know the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M’Lou

    My heart aches for you and Will!💔 What can the church do? How have we failed you? We didn’t know…….
    Too often we are caught up in our own trials. May 2019 find us all being more thoughtful, kinder and sensitive to the needs of others! I love you!❤️ May God bless you in the New Year!


  4. M’Lou

    My heart aches for you and Will!💔 What can the church do? How have we failed you? We didn’t know…….
    Too often we are caught up in our own trials. May 2019 find us all being more thoughtful, kinder and sensitive to the needs of others! I love you!❤️ May God bless you in the New Year!


    1. I was not referring to a specific congregation. You all have been very kind! I was speaking of a longing for the worldwide church to be more involved in orphan care.

      We love you, too! ❤


  5. Jean Zook

    I’m so sorry. I know your pain. During the process of one such loss, I wept & wailed…then told God that I wanted to care for the little ones, if He wanted me to. But I told Him (between my sobs) that He has to protect my heart, cuz I can’t handle the pain of it all. And He did. The hurt was there, but it was amazingly manageable. And the sting was minimal. PTL!!
    I am so tired of the comments people “shame” us with. (innocent comments). And sometimes I’m scared. We only get one shot at life. Will we regret our choices? It’s brutally hard at times. What if the people are right? What if we don’t reach around to our grand-babies? What if our dreams never happen? What if…what if?? The questions flit through my mind accusingly.
    But there are those who so beautifully minister life to my fainting heart. There are those who bless us & affirm us in the path we believe God chose for us. And I look at my messy corners, and my buried hopes & dreams…& I measure it against the incredible joy that awaits us in glory…bringing our treasures along with us. And I wipe my tears & put one foot in front of the other, & focus on “the joy that is set before us.” “If God be for us, who can stand against us?!”
    The little people need us, & we need them. We weren’t called to be perfect. But we were “chosen” by the One who is Perfection Incarnate.
    As an encouragement….we are seeing an increasing number of Christians doing foster care/adoptions in our area. It’s exciting! Be faithful….& pray that God would raise up more people to join you in your area. And keep carrying His light & truth to those little ones. I pray God would come & carry your pain, & heal your hearts. (you & yours…& the little guy too) ((Hugs))


    1. Thank you so much! I believe God is working to open people’s hearts and minds to the possibility of foster care and adoption. Taking care of these needy little ones is very hard sometimes, but as you said, joy awaits.


  6. Jewell Schaefer

    I have seen someone who was in your position. She was our son’s foster mother. We wanted a child so badly, but were unable to birth a live child. We met the foster parents and got to know the 16 month old. We ate supper together and then I helped bathe him and put him to bed. The next morning we returned to pick him up and keep him for the weekend. Oh, what joy I felt when I picked him up and held him. We had a wonderful day and night together. Then, Sunday morning, we had to go back to the foster family’s farm and sign the adoption papers. Everyone was crying, The foster mother first, then my son and myself and I’m sure our husbands wanted to. We left crying, we rode in silence and I thought about the foster mother and how our son was so blessed to be in an Old Order Mennonite home where he got love and Christian training from a mother and father who loved him very much. I thank the wonderful foster parents who want to love and take care of children who need a home. I thank my son’s foster parents for the love and care they gave our son. I thank you for the love and care you gave your foster son. People like you are needed very much.


  7. Hi Rosina, my heart is breaking for you! It makes me think of Alfred Tennyson “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” And I don’t know if it is better or not! I cannot fathom how it would feel to have a child taken and I’m very sorry for your pain. I don’t even know if there is anything that could be said. I can say that this life is full of pain and heartache, but you have blessed your child with a loving mom and care for a time. That will not be forgotten by him or by God. God is very clear that we are to bless the widows and orphans and you are doing exactly what he asks. Thank you for all you are doing for the children!


  8. Glenda

    Thank you so much for daring to love this little one. I didn’t get to meet my little girl’s foster family but we see evidence daily of the love she was given before she was ours. “Making a difference in the life of one child” has new and real meaning for us! Hugs!!


    1. I determined from the start that I would let myself love these children, even if it broke my heart. I’m so glad to hear of times when love made an obvious difference.


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