Fostering and adopting abused, neglected and vulnerable children is a big deal, but it expresses itself primarily through very small, very menial, very hidden tasks that go largely unnoticed. The rude realities of foster care find themselves up for 3am feedings, changing a diaper of a baby that's not even yours for what seems to be the 100th time that day, on the phone with case-workers, lawyers, doctors and government departmental offices, filling out stacks of paperwork, sitting through court hearings, driving across the city for parent visits and trying desperately to manage behavior born out of trauma. This is a far cry from putting our super hero capes on while parading our family down the hall at church or through the aisles of the grocery store hoping people will notice how awesome we are.



Yes, foster care is a big deal, but its grandness is not measured by the public fame it produces but by the private faithfulness it requires…when no one is around to see, no one cares and there's no chance that you'll ever earn a prize for it or be given a cape to wear because of it.


Now days you will find our littlest of littles running around the house in his Batman mask and I’m reminded of the story of the caped crusader.  How he too was an orphan after witnessing the murder of his parents as a young boy.  As a child, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce Wayne trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime.


As I watch our little jump from my couches running in circles screaming…….mommy I will save you my heart melts.  I watch a boy that came to us with trauma.  The trauma pierced him so that when he hurt, he hurt himself.   I now see the boy behind the mask and the love and life that pours out from him.


Caring for vulnerable children does not begin with what we might get but what we are called to give, no matter what, at all cost.


Just like Batman our little does not possess any superpowers.  Batman; rather, relies on his genius intellect, physical prowess, martial arts abilities, detective skills, science and technology, vast wealth, intimidation, and indomitable will.  Batman operates with assistance from various supporting characters, including his butler Alfred, police commissioner Gordon, and vigilante allies such as Robin.


Here’s what I want you to focus on in the above statement….indomitable will.  The ability to possess unusually strong willpower.   Willpower is the act of self-control, training and control of oneself and one's conduct, usually for personal improvement.


I start to realize just how much Batman has in common with our little.  Because of the love from our family, friends and community our little has been able to learn (still working on as he is only almost 3) willpower.  He’s learning how to properly deal with trauma.


Of all the gifts we as foster parents can give a child in foster care, none is more precious than the safety and security of a loving family.  This lack of safety and security forces children into the broken situations they find themselves in, so providing these things for them is paramount.  No longer without the care and nurturing they once lacked, they now know these things to be true not just in the words spoken to them but through the arms of those wrapped around them who willingly, joyfully and sacrificially done whatever was necessary to give them the safety and security of a family who would love them as their own.


Now the fact that he calls me Robin just makes me giggle.  But Robin is a great name as I’m our littles support system.  When he gets in a bind I’m there to untie him, when the bad guys come I help rescue him and Robin is described as a vigilante allies.  Vigilante is defined as a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate); broadly :  a self-appointed doer of justice.


A doer of justice.


Foster care is interceding into dark stories in order to bring light into them.  It’s advocating the cause of the helpless, seeking justice for the defenseless and maintain the rights of the oppressed.  This is what Jesus has done for us.  We, therefore, are compelled to do the same thing.


What you, what we are doing is beautiful, not in spite of the brokenness that surrounds it but because of it.  It’s upon the backdrop of darkness that light shines the brightest. 


In this season of his life I will be his Robin, a doer of justice.  And in my season of life I will be HIS Robin a bringer of light because if it’s just for a few days or for an entire lifetime, I’ve been given the unique opportunity to offer a child something very, very beautiful in the midst of darkness and their brokenness-love.