They Were Never Ours

I sit here, on the morning of my daughter’s first birthday, pondering her life. It’s overwhelming to say the least how such an impact, such a huge impact, can be made in such a short time.


I reflect to a time before she was even a thought. The lyrics of a song that I sang boldly for week… no months… came to my mind.

“I will call upon your name and keep my eyes above the waves…. lead me where faith is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would lead me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.”


That song became my prayer.  I wanted that kind of faith.  Until he took me deeper than I wanted to go. Then I realized I am much like Peter and before too long I would sink.
I don’t want that kind of faith.  I really don’t.  It’s a hard kind of faith, and I don’t think anyone really wants to go that deep.


The 9 months my wife carried Zoe Anastasia I knew she was never mine to keep.  Yet I prayed more prayers of utter faith.  With Hillary Scott I would sing, nay I would cry, thy will be done.

I didn’t mean it.  I wanted my will.

Oh she was a fighter. We wanted her born alive, no matter the cost. We wanted her brothers to meet her.  She gave us three hours and her brothers got to meet her twice.
But somehow I expected if I cried thy will be done enough times, maybe I could play reverse psychology on God and my will be done.  I wasn’t ready for thy will.  I don’t wish thy will on anybody.  It hurts too much.

But alas, I wasn’t given much of a choice in the matter.

When parents have to put their children in placement, it’s never really their will.  Even if it’s for the best.

And as fosters, sometimes we might think we know what’s best for them.  But they are not ours.  I don’t know if it hurts any less when it’s not our will.  They were never ours to begin with.  They must go back to the one who made them.  Who gave them life.

I don’t wish the loss of a child on anyone.  I don’t care if it’s temporary in foster care, or weekends and every other holiday, or a foster parent giving a child back, or the death of one.  They hurt differently, but they hurt deeply.

They are truly God’s to begin with.  Giving a child hurts.

Oh. That’s right. He knows too. Three nails, a spear and a crown of thorns. He gave up his son so that we can some day we can have a chance for perfect reunion with all kids in our care no matter how long or how short. So we can have life (Zoe) and resurrection (Anastasia).


Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
John 11:25-27


Guest Written by Caleb Bartholomew 

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