Christmas is for foster parents.
It’s for the ones who’ve dreamed of a Christmas morning with children for years, but are now thinking how much more enjoyable it would be without them.
It’s for the foster mom whose husband won’t have very much under the tree, because she just can’t handle another shopping trip with potential melt-downs and misbehavior, and her brain is too dead-tired in the evening to scheme up some great idea.
It’s for the foster dad whose children still cry when he tries to help them brush their teeth or get in their pjs.
It’s for the parents whose foster children scream and hit walls and make them feel like they’re doing everything wrong.
Christmas is for the foster parents whose own parents go on and on about wanting grand-children, and the care you’re giving to your children feels second-class.
It’s for the foster mom whose kids tell her they want to go live with their mommy, even in the midst of you meeting their needs better than they’ve been met before.
It’s for the parents whose kids are hearing the story of Christmas for the first time, and you wonder if they’ll remember hearing it wherever they are next Christmas.
It’s for the foster mom who didn’t get to watch “White Christmas” this year.
It’s for the foster parents who have to repent daily for losing their patience, speaking out of anger, and wishing things were different.
Because Jesus came at Christmas. And Jesus came for the messy. He came for the children who can’t regulate their emotions. He came for the tired moms pretty sure they’re doing everything wrong. Jesus loves these children from hard places, even when there are days you simply cannot. Jesus came to bind up the wounds of the broken hearts from broken families. He came to love the unlovable. He came to give strength to the weary. And as foster parents, we need all that.
We need to remember that Jesus came for kids like these, and parents like us. He didn’t come for the picture-perfect Christmases. He came in a messy barn where things were most like not all calm and bright. My Christmas won’t be calm or bright either. But I can still sing “Silent Night” and the rest of the Christmas Carols because I know. I know that this baby came to defeat the author of confusion and the prince of despair. He came for the broken families and the traumatized children and the tired, lonely foster parents. This Christmas, foster parents, is for you. Jesus came so that your weary soul may rejoice knowing that this is not the end. There is hope.