Our foster daughters through the Hope Program were not allowed to date during their first year living in our house. Of course, they all quickly agreed to this rule back in August 2008 and then fought for their “right to date” all year long. These beautiful girls, who range in age from thirteen to eighteen, are constantly being chased by boys.
Yessica is the oldest girl in our house and has been “getting to know” a certain “friend boy,” (who we have met and scrutinized). He invited Yessica to a family gathering, which would require us to meet his parents. We put on our most “adult looking attire” and nervously left for our meeting. I asked my husband, Gabo, to please not embarrass her, reminding him that it wasn’t too many years ago that he was meeting my parents for the first time. As we drove to their house, we prayed that they would understand our intentions. This was, after all, a first for us.
Yessica understands that we love her and want to protect her. We want to know that the people she hangs out with have her best interests in mind. We want Yessica to make good decisions, and honor the Lord. We want to do so much for her, and yet are reminded how limited we are. We can teach our children in the short time they are with us, but then we must trust their future to the Lord.
Meeting his family was great and we had peace that we had done the right thing. We left knowing that Yessica felt valued and special. As parents-to-be to Baby Velasco, we are learning how tough it is to let go of the future and of people we love. We want to hold them as tight as we can, and never let anything bad happen. We are grateful that our baby will have a jumpstart on knowing God’s love. Unfortunately, abandonment and abuse have robbed many of the girls in the Hope Program from feeling the security of God’s plan for them. We trust their hearts will heal and they will get in step with the amazing plan God has before them.