Once upon a time, in the land of domestic engineers, we had fitted sheets with corners that had elastic. In just the corners.
It was hard enough folding those nasty things so you ended with a nice neat rectangle sitting on your linen closet shelf. And admittedly, I never did master that skill.
Fast forward to the last twenty years. Sheet manufacturers decided that if a little bit of elastic was good, then a lot would be better. Now those bottom sheets have elastic all the way around the whole rectangle.
I gave up.
I don’t even try to fold those. I just wad them up messily around my arms and stick them inside the pillow case.
What does this have to do with foster care? Or parenting at all?
Do you ever wonder how you ended up with this child? He doesn’t “fit” your family at all.
Your family is calm, this child is bouncy*.
Your family likes big gatherings of people. This child wants to either curl up in a ball or scream and scream if he has to be there.
We could go on and on. It’s all messy.
But don’t give up! Does the Bible command us to make sure someone fits neatly into our lives before we open our arms and homes to them?
James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
We have a place on our shelves to put these “sheets” that don’t fit. A place in our homes for those mismatched children. (The wadding up and stuffing it in a pillowcase part of my analogy—well, sorry, I just can’t figure out how to cleverly continue with that comparison. Let me know if you can!)
We might not all be able to foster or adopt, but we all can do something to help. Contact your local church to see how you can serve your foster/adoptive families. Have that open shelf in some way ready to serve as a home for a mess.
*bouncy = an understatement