The past few days have been filled with highs and lows. Highs because we’ve had friends in town visiting, and our first holiday party of the year (which of course involved a taco truck!); lows because we had 3 kids scheduled to go home who just kept waiting and waiting for their dad to show up.
He said he would be there Friday. All day they waited. Would he come before school? After school? No doubt he would be there by 7 p.m. And then Saturday came. Would he come in the morning? Or wait until “visiting hours” from 3-5. The fish must really be biting if he still wasn’t there by 8.
And then the call came. Late Sunday morning. He said he would come at 5 p.m. Every 15 minutes the kids asked me how much longer. Even throughout the folks visiting, gift giving, taco eating, they waited in anticipation for the real gift – going home for Christmas.
But then another call came in. From the authorities. Who said the girls couldn’t go. The home wasn’t safe for them. Maybe in a few more weeks. The girls hugged and hugged their dad and little brother as the guys left and the girls remained.
Before bed the kids gathered round to pray together, to pray for one another. The other kids prayed for the boy who left, that he would be safe and cared for, and they prayed for the girls, that they too would get to go home soon. And the girls who had been dreaming of their own beds prayed for the other 14 kids who are here – that one day their parents would show up and take them home. The kids all nodded in agreement and hope.
It doesn’t matter how long it has been – three months, a year, two years, five or eight years – each of these kids holds out in hope that one day their moms, their dads, will show up and they will finally have the family they have long been dreaming of.