But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people… May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
My name is not Ruth. But I wish to be like her.
Parenthood has brought me to foreign lands I never knew possible. Biological, internationally adopted, and foster children live under my care. My world has changed and stretched through and because of them. I strive to protect them but to share what I have seen with you. Most of the people I know don’t see or know what we experience from day to day, our lives are a little different. We are just a special kind of crazy – sometimes it is cool, sometimes it is incredibly alienating. But I am no expert at any of it, I am just on a journey.
Just as Ruth committed herself to her mother in law, Naomi, I have committed myself to the well being of each child who comes (and sometimes goes) to (and from) my home. My house is filled with children of different races, disability needs, and levels of permanence. It can be a blessing and a struggle to help them navigate life. Sometimes these things work together to lift me up as I laugh out loud at (yes, often AT the expense of) these little people or to tear the safe world I once knew, completely apart. To make room for more:
More love. More laughter. More understanding. More grace. More healing. More forgiveness. More truth. More faith. More hope. More peace. More beauty.
I do not share our given names (the older kids chose their “pen names”) because we need to protect our foster family status and the children in it who are wards of the state. But our experiences are real and they bind us to each other. Maybe you will see the world a little differently because of them, too.