I never had a lightbulb moment.

There were no dreams. No billboards. No painted skies.

In fact, I never knew we were supposed to do foster care until the child was in my arms.

We had been surrounded by foster care for years. Our best friends had been on the journey after struggling through infertility. We had been there on the nights a kid showed up, on the days when the house became empty. I knew the emotion and the toil and the unknown, so I was secure in my place on the sideline. Diapers, meals, tearful conversations – for years that’s where I was needed.

Slowly, God began chipping away the guard around my heart. Foster care would come to my mind and I would quickly tuck it away. Were we really cut out for this? I mean, I hated babysitting other kids. How on earth would I do it 24/7 in my home?

It took me 6 months to finally sign up for the classes. And another 5 months to get the paperwork done.

I told our licensing specialist we would only take one child. She suggested I be licensed for two just in case. I told her she was crazy. THAT would never happen.

I kept thinking there would be a road block. Maybe our radon test would fail. Maybe I would get pregnant. Maybe the second coming would save me.

It never did.

And then on a warm December night we got the call. A congratulations on our approved license, followed by, “We have these twin girls.”

I looked at my husband panicked, “What do we say?”

Two hours later, a van pulled into our driveway. It was 1am and a night I will never forget. A red-headed girl was placed in my arms, her sister rested in my husbands. I heard nothing coming out of the investigator’s mouth. As tears streamed down my face, my eyes caught a glimpse of the night sky through her red ringlets. It was a clear night and a million stars were shining bright. It was then God whispered, “See, this is where I was leading you.”

I didn’t know until I knew. It took the weight of her body, the unknown smell of her hair, the trauma filled papers in her blue folder to know. But now that I had seen, I would never be able to unsee.

And five years later, we keep walking this beautiful and completely broken road of foster care because the reality of vulnerable kids from broken places is so very real and so very right now. Sleeping in oblivion is hard when you know that two minutes away a child has just been removed from trauma, but also removed from everything they know. They are sitting in an office with a social worker, a stranger, with a bag of chips, a tired body, and a terrified mind.

It’s not across the world. It’s in your backyard. And so we will come to the end of ourselves over and over so one more child can feel safe, and loved, and seen.

They will hear my yes.

– Lacy Basford