To the birth dads.
I haven't known you very well.
You were involved but my time with the case was short.
You were named but not working a plan.
You were working a plan but only for a short time.
You were in prison.
Being a father means action and acts of love.
But fathers are human. And they love and think about their children even if they weren't there for them.
I don't feel close to you. I haven't really worked alongside you as a foster parent so far. But I'm not going to rant smugly about you. I'm not going to roll my eyes. I know I don't really know your hearts. And I know you have given my foster children part of who they are. A smile. A strong throwing arm. Curly hair. And they are such precious little people.
To the foster dads.
You give children memories of men who love and men who can be depended on.
Some of you are just kid people and soft-hearted. Your eyes light up and you pour your hearts into parenting. You know how to brighten a child's day, and you know when to shed tears with them.
Some of you are not always like the above, but you are steady and sure. You are there for them, when they arrive cowering and scared, when they just won't fall asleep, when they destroy something in the house again. You are patient. You are human and want to yell sometimes, but you are in control, because you know you need to be. You feel the difficulties of foster care, but you keep doing it, because you know it is right.
You are obedient.
You stay sane when the waiting is long and unbearable.
If you are the steady and sure kind (B), you are what keeps the soft-hearted wife (me) going when her heart threatens to collapse from the weight of foster care. I couldn't do it without you. We are a good, essential balance.
To my dad.
You taught me what it's like to follow God's call. Both you and I thought we might be missionaries. We thought we might use our gifts in another country, serving God there. God told you and God told me to stay here and serve in a different way. For you, it was to be a light in your town as a family doctor. To have integrity, honesty, and care about people. For me, among other things, it was to be a foster parent. I heard your story of making that decision to stay and serve near home, and it rooted in my heart.
Happy Father's Day, dads.