The sun shining down brightly, sharply juxtaposed the darkness of the garbage bags that contained what was left of her world. She lethargically exited the state vehicle and walked toward our door. Her tear-stained face was mustering every ounce of bravery that she had left in her small frame. We are all too familiar with this hollow look and sullen gate. When little girls need us, it means that terrible things have happened to them-things that are largely unspeakable. When the authorities ask for our help, it means that they have nowhere else to turn for shelter or help for this child. We gladly, but soberly, say "yes"!
Often, potency is lost over time in repetition of activity. This was the fiftieth time that we had welcomed a girl into the House of Providence, and somehow the potency of her immense grief and chasms of loss were still just as intense for everyone. The palpable pain was just as intense as on that cold day in February of 2014 when we welcomed our very first girl.
Fifty harrowing stories, later. Fifty foster kids. Fifty broken families. Fifty children shattered. Fifty hearts unnecessarily busted.
As each new girl walks through our doors, we decide to be brave enough to hope! We go to great lengths to prepare their favorite meal, a welcome bag that is tailored just for them (including use of their favorite colors, a NEW iPod with positive music in their requested genre, NEW pajama's, robe and slippers, several NEW outfits, NEW shoes, NEW purse, NEW accessories, well organized and personalized NEW hygiene items, and so much more!) and what's more, we provide a comforting, safe, soft place to land in what may very well be their darkest day.
Fifty reasons to show up! Fifty treasures with spice and grit. Fifty personalities and boundless gifts. Fifty smiles and one hundred ears for us to fill with words of life - words that help to replace the lies of disdain that have been spoken over them for years. Fifty girls who we tenderly tuck in, night after night.
Fifty! A milestone that is nothing short of a privilege and an honor that requires "the audacity to hope" (Rob Morris, Love146)! Celebrate with us as we embark on this new chapter of expansion! Join us at our Wishes Gala and partner with us as we reach the next fifty girls. We cannot wait to open our doors to the disabled foster youth, and the young men and boys who desperately need our services, as well!