Keith Howard, our State Director in the Panhandle, doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to foster care and adoption– he walks the walk. Keith recently finalized the adoption of four siblings. The same kids who are now part of his family came to our Amarillo shelter just months prior to their placement in Keith’s home. In this blog post, Keith recalls how the kids came to the shelter, and how sometimes it takes a little compassion and sacrifice to ensure the best for our kids!
It had been a busy week and I was very ready for the weekend. In fact, it was 4:30 on a Friday afternoon and things were beginning to wrap up nicely so I could go home. That is when the phone call came in. The call from the state asking if the emergency shelter our organization ran had room for 4 children. I looked at the schedule for the weekend and quickly realized we would be out of compliance on 3 shifts and we had no one to fill those gaps. Well almost no one, there was me. Knowing I was the only option, I put the worker on hold and this is what came next. (brutal honesty)
Me: Jesus, what should I do? I’ve worked all week and I’m ready for the weekend!!!!
Jesus: (not audibly, but very profoundly) Are we really having this conversation about your weekend being disrupted? These children have had their whole lives disrupted. You know what to do.
I picked up the phone and told the worker we would accept the children into our shelter. I then called my wife and asked her to go pick up pizza’s for the children in the shelter, because I had just taken these new children and I was headed to the shelter to keep it in compliance until 11:00 PM. My wife’s mom happened to be in town, so Staci ran and picked up pizza’s and even brought ingredients for making cookies. She served beside me that night and was there when the children arrived at our shelter.
Fast forward two months. We now had our foster care license and we were preparing to take children into our own home. Our plan of keeping sibling groups of 2-3 together had now become a plan to keep a sibling group of 4 together. Can you guess which 4??
Yep, the 4 I almost didn’t take, because we didn’t have the staff and I didn’t want my weekend to be inconvenienced by working. But, instead I said ‘yes’ and now 21 months later those 4 incredibly awesome and precious children still live in our home and are a big part of our family. We have no idea what the future holds, but we are thankful we said ‘yes’, even though my selfishness clearly wanted to say ‘no!!!’.
What will your ‘yes’ be? Your ‘yes’ might just be what the world is needing today.