It was Friday, just after 5pm, the day had felt like an eternity, (as we knew the social work team were meeting to discuss who Star’s forever family would be,) and the phone rang.
It was Star’s family finding social worker ringing from the train station, because she wanted us to know, they had chosen us.
I silently jumped up and down in our study, barely able to take it in.
And then a new waiting game started. Now, we were linked. We were the only link they were progressing but they needed to find out more about us and we needed to find out more about Star.
Which really makes you think. How much do we really know each other and ourselves? How should one judge themselves? Should we present our best, cleanest, neatest, politest version of us? The person we hope to be and wish other people to see. Or do we dwell on our worst bits, our worst moments, the lack of patience, the times when we are selfish, afraid, tired and grumpy.
If you were to sum up yourself or your children what would you write?
And so there were meetings, with her foster carer, the social worker who had removed her from her birth home, and her current social worker. Medical reports, educational psychology reports, nursery reports. Words, grades, tests. But are we not more than the sum of our biology, of our grades, of our abilities?
Some of these reports made me mad, I mean really mad. The medical was strewn with errors – it turns out the doctor had not even met her. The educational psychologist wrote that she was a child who “paid no regard for the routine of the session at nursery” and “prefers to run around doing whatever she chooses.” I have read about the “Tiger mother”, the “Dragon mother”, I don’t know what animal defines the would-be adopted mother of the child with special needs who they have never met…I was that mother, and I was mad. I thought “good on her, she knows her own mind, and actually maybe the previously neglected child who is in foster care, with very limited speech should not be having to conform to your routine…..maybe you should be conforming to hers.”
However the question remained, who is this child and one day will she be ours?
Whose word can we trust, because everyone had an agenda? And she has no voice to speak for herself.
Then there comes the uncertainty, the known problems and the suspected problems. The troubling behaviour and the cute, heartwarming attributes. And that smile.
Which makes you think
If someone has written a report about me: my strengths, my weaknesses, my skills, my bad habits, what would it say, and would anyone have wanted me?
Consider this, what if that report contained more than a CV containing grades and honest personal references from people who have seen us at our worst. What if the report contained everything we have ever thought, said and done?
What if that report, or DVD was viewed not by a social worker, but by a holy and all knowing God. What then?
The Bible tells us that God knit us together in the womb, he has numbered our days and the hairs on our head, he knows us completely – even before a word is on our tongue he knows what it will be..
How correct the Psalmist is in Psalm 139: this knowledge is too overwhelming for me… (Too wonderful, to lofty to attain.)
Until I remember Jesus
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5v8b
God knows my entire report, including the bits I don’t know yet. If another human being knew that report, I would not want to be in the same room as them. Ever.
God, who is holy and just, knows me completely, he has read my “report” and instead of banishing me, he sent his son to die in my place, to take the punishment that was rightfully mine and in exchange I am ransomed, healed, forgiven and adopted into his family.
That, my friend, is Amazing Grace. That is my security and hope. That defines my present identity and my eternal future.
Thank you, Jesus.