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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: Cover Them, Lord
By Micheline Murray


Four forty-five Friday afternoon. I pop a meatloaf in the oven and set the timer as the phone rings. The voice belongs to my seventeen year old son, Mike. “Mom? Can I stay for the baseball game, and can you pick me up after?” I’m quick to give my okay. This means my four other children and a slew of neighborhood kids can continue their kickball game in our well-worn backyard. Shouts, and peals of laughter float through my kitchen window. Squeals erupt as the dog steals their ball again, desperate to be chased.

Okay, dinner’s cooking, kids are all good out back, my handsome prince will be home any minute. We can eat, pick up Mike on our way to drop one child off at drum lessons and another at karate, deposit Mike and the three youngest back at home and stop at Home Depot before circling around again to pick up our musician and ninja. We should be home before eight, and settle in for a quiet night.

My prince is home! Before I can kiss him the phone rings again. The caller ID says the evening may not be as quiet as I thought. Lord, please give me wisdom.

“Hello?” I say, knowing full well who’s calling.

“Hi Jen, it’s Karen from Social Services!” Her cheerfulness and enthusiasm must be hard to maintain in her job, I thought. “I have a six-month old baby boy that I need to place just for the weekend. Grandma will take him, but she can’t get here until Monday, maybe Tuesday…”

While she talks, I pick scribble the details onto a napkin, motioning for my sweet prince to come see. He quickly nods yes.

“Sure Karen, we can do it. When will you be here?”

“Should be less than an hour. Thanks, see you then!”

I call the kids in, sending anyone who doesn’t live here their separate ways--down the block, across the street, and tell ours about the baby. Before I finish, they jump into action, setting up the extra porta-crib in the living room, pulling out the bag of blankets, burpee cloths, binkies and bottles. My loving prince dashes to the store for formula; we have a stash of diapers here. Right now our aging van looks like a white horse as he drives away.

Halfway through dinner Karen arrives. Suddenly five hungry kids shout, “Done!” and scoot into the living room, hoping to be the first to hold him. My first real turn comes when they’re all asleep. He wakes shortly after midnight.

“SSShhhhh…” I pick him up from the crib that is permanently set up next to our bed, my handsome prince and the dog snoring blissfully away. We slip downstairs and settle into the rocker-recliner. The chill of the leather takes my breath away for a moment until we’ve settled under a blanket.
“Come, little one--let’s rock awhile,” I whisper, and as the wall clock ticks away the minutes we rock in the dark. I caress his sweet head and as I begin to sing “Jesus Loves Me,” his body calms and his crying stops.

Dear Lord,

You have brought another of Your precious children into our home. Thank You for this privilege. Protect him and watch over him all the days of his life. Thank you that You “know the plans You have for him--plans to prosper him and not to harm him--plans to give him a hope and a future.”

Please surround him with your angels wherever he goes. May he come to know you as Lord and Savior at a very young age, and may he testify to your faithfulness in the midst of his circumstances. Please be with his mom and dad Lord, show them Your love and mercy, and be with his grandmother as she has such a long drive. Bless her as she cares for him, however long that may be. Hold him tightly in the palm of Your hand Lord, and never let him go….

He stirs, and I see it’s after two a.m.--we’ve both been sound asleep. Stiffly working my way out of our soft, warm haven and back upstairs, we both sleep until daybreak.

Two weeks later…

3 am--I’m dreaming the phone is ringing….wait…it’s not a dream. Ok, brain, wake up!

“Hi Jen--it’s me, Karen from Social Services…”


* Scripture verses paraphrased from the NIV

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Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Ann Moore05/07/09
Foster parents are heroes. I loved your perspective, and to see the inner workings of their home. I was especially touched at the MC bathing the child in prayer, what a priviledge. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.
Mary Lou Cook05/12/09
What a beautiful story. This reminds me of my daughter's neighbor,a foster mom. Lots of kids and lots of love.
Bryan Ridenour05/12/09
Touching entry...Foster Parents are so needed and such a blessing. Well written.
Rachel Rudd 05/13/09
This is beautiful! I was tearing up reading this! My husband and I are considering being foster parents one day and this story makes me want to do so even more...what an awesome way to bless a child with God's love. Thank you so much for sharing!
Norma-Anne Hough05/16/09
what a beautiful story. Yourmcsounds like a real angel. BlessingsNorms