Seven

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Today, there were 7 beautiful babies at my house…7 happy, healthy and loved babies…4 playful boys and 3 princess girls…7 giggling, exploring, playing babies…7 hungry, squealing, crawling, running, eating babies.
Seven.
And now my heart is so overwhelmed; not in the sense of the amount of busyness, not in the aftermath of the volume of 7 excited voices…The quantity of laughter, squeals and noise is not the source of the heaviness I’m pondering now. Seven doesn’t cause me to stress or twitch uncontrollably. Seven is no match for me.
What tears at my heart is that these 7 will not be kissed by their Momma’s tonight. These seven will not be protected by their Daddy’s as they sleep.
These 7 are cared for, fed, rocked, kissed, protected and loved by another. The natural instincts of their Moms and Dads, have been wasted on selfish pleasures. The love of themselves out weighs the tender mercies of a parent that would do anything for their baby.
Now really, seven isn’t that large of a number. Teachers triple that number every single day and the number seven, compared to 400,00 is really minuet.
7<400,00. So why the comparison? These 7 are, or have been members of an exclusive club....Not in the sense of desirability, but in the actuality of neglect, abandonment and abuse. These seven, along with 400,00 others have been or are waiting in foster care. These 400,000+ precious lives are waiting. Waiting for a parent to choose them over themselves...Waiting for judges to rule in the child's best interest...Waiting for lawyers to finally present the evidence...Waiting for some imperfect humans to give them the perfect family...The perfect home. Waiting. Tonight, as I lie next to my sleeping husband, I think about these 7 and the 400,00 others. Thankfully, these seven loves that have stolen my heart, tonight, rest safely, peacefully. Their tummies are full. Their hair and toes are clean. They were rocked, kissed and hugged good night. Tonight they sleep peacefully as prayers surround them. Tonight the doors are locked and for one more night, these 7 have nothing to fear. Thankfully, 3 of these precious ones, will never remember the days of neglect...the nights of abuse...the fear of abandonment. My heart aches for the 4 still waiting permanency...The 400,000 waiting. Waiting. Now that I think about it any number of children waiting is too many. Seven is just my reality tonight.

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