The Heartbreak of Saying "No"

As I settle in for dinner and cozy family time on this chilly December evening, my heart and thoughts go to three little boys on the other side of town, boys with no home tonight, no one to love them, or hug them, or hold them, boys who I denied a place in my home earlier this afternoon. We finally got our foster care license in the mail two weeks ago.  Our first call for a possible placement came today.  Three little boys.  Brothers whose home life was so bad that they were being fast tracked for adoption, boys who had witnessed too much pain and violence in their short lives and knew little else.  They could be ours, ours to help, ours to love, part of our family.  We could help them and hold them, teach them that Daddies can be gentle and Mommies can be kind. But, we have our five children to consider, gifts from God placed under our protection, children we need to safeguard.  With two little girls, only one and four years old, how could we bring these children into our home?  Children who knew violence and are likely to act out what they’ve been taught?  I didn’t consider it long before saying no.  The oldest two boys were big enough to be threats to my daughters.  It wasn’t that difficult a decision; I felt that I really had no choice.  I know that someday, when my own children are grown, I’ll be able to say yes, but that does little to ease the sorrow I feel for these three who I’m unable to help. As my oldest son places a delicious meal on the table before us, my thoughts and prayers turn to these children.  Do they have a nice meal tonight, too?  Did they find a home, even temporarily, where they will be sheltered and cared for, or are they spending this night in a shelter?   Who will welcome them? Who will love them?   Will they grow?  Will they thrive?  Will they ever play in a tree house, hold a newborn kitten, or build a blanket fort?  Is there any hope for them, or will they be lost in the system, doomed to repeat the cycle of violence they’ve known? But, I know that our God is mighty.  He is a miracle worker and He has a plan for these children.  So, I ask you: Join with me tonight as I lift these children to Him, innocents who have seen too much at too young an age.  He is their hope and their help.

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