We met a woman at our church small group. A friend had invited her. She was just visiting.
I truly treasured times like these once-a-month meetings to connect with friends, to talk about faith and to unload on my girlfriends who could relate to my season of life.
My husband and I politely chatted with the lady who sat near us. I must have asked her to repeat her job title three times. "Guardian Ad ...what???... Litem?" It made me sad to hear that foster children were so at risk that the state assigned them their own legal advocates.
"How many foster children are in our county?"
"You're kidding me!"
She went on to answer my curious questions, but unbeknownst to me, my husband was sitting next to me with his heart quietly breaking.
There was a rise in babies being sent to group homes because our county could not come up with enough good homes to place them in.
"You are truly a hero", I said, as I made my way to the snack table. I was not being callous. I just didn't know what to say or how to relate to someone doing such a lofty service. Perhaps someone else did.
My husband drove us home that evening in a very pensive mood. He finally said, "We could do that."
"Foster a baby."
"Are you crazy?"
If anyone knew the challenges of caring for a newborn in an already busy household, it was me. I've done it several times! But now I was older with five of our seven adult/teen-children still living at home and a full-time job. Our life was busy. So busy.
Stunned by the silence, I said, "Are you serious?"
"I know our life is busy." He said. "There are so many ways we can't serve in the church or the community because of it." (I knew he was referring to his passion to evangelize more).
"But we can take someone with us."
The rest is history.... I fought with God, my husband, and myself for the next few months until I finally surrendered to this ridiculous idea of "taking someone (little) with us".
The next year would mark an incredible change. We took these little infant "someones" with us everywhere: to the store, to the high school game, to football practice, to college orientation, to the doctor's, to daycare and to church. We laughed more. We prayed more. We talked about what's really important a whole lot more. My children were serving and growing in ways I could not have hoped for, and we became closer. But not just that, we were naturally sharing Christ as we interacted with more and more people in our community who were naturally curious about the 50-year olds with the big family and a baby in tow!
"Evangelism" is a big word. One that conjures up images of Christian superheroes with "Spidey senses" like powerful Bible recall and apologetics that pack a punch. But "Taking someone with you" is for the rest of us sidekicks.
"Do you need a ride?" "Want to sit with us at church?" "Want to join me for lunch?" "Want to come with me to the game?" There's always a little room at the table or in the car or on the third row at church to squeeze in a "little someone."
As you get to know that "someone," you'll enjoy spending time with them, then you'll talk about what's on your heart and their heart. And before you know it, you're naturally sharing Christ.
I often wonder about that lady. I don't even remember her name. I hope I'll get to tell her, one day, that she really is my hero.
And so is the person who took her with them.
Susan Kauffman, MBA, PMP, Project Coordinator, Mom and "Nonna." Representing a more contemporary version of Orlando's "Snow White," Susan has raised a family of seven children that is always growing with new spouses and grandchildren. Just when she was about to fall asleep for 100 years, her Prince Charming felt the call to foster, and so the adventure continues.
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