Monday, May 04, 2009

Outsider's Perspective

Recently a new couple at our church who are interested in foster care stopped Daniel to speak to him after church. The man said that he gets a bunch of extra food every month from his mom who thinks they never eat, but there's no way he and his wife can eat that much food. He asked if we would take it because we have a large family and "You don't look rich".

Daniel told me about it, laughingly, when he got home. I thought about that all day long. Our teen foster daughter, Miss Lady, has said to me that compared to her family we would seem fairly well off financially because we aren't dreading bills every month and we can afford to do fun things when we want to in general. I know we're better off than either of our families were when we were kids. At the same time we certainly don't qualify for the President's version of "rich".

We don't buy clothes that cost more than about $10-15 at most and usually much less than that. An expensive pair of shoes for us is anything over $20. But we spend most of our money lately on fast food, which is driving us all crazy. As my foot heals I hope to be able to cook more. We've used the extra money we had from the foster care stipend, not to buy a newer vehicle, or other big ticket items, but instead to pay for a trip to Disneyland to hopefully make wonderful once-in-a-lifetime memories with the kids. My family never took vacations, so I know how much it means to a kid from a poor family. Miss Lady is excited to ride on an airplane and stay in a hotel for the first time. How funny that those are the things that really make the trip special to her.

I guess what really hit me was that the same day this man said that we aren't rich, another friend said that we definitely knew what was important in life. That's true. We'd rather spend time together than drive a big fancy car. We'd rather have a cheaper house with lots of bedrooms to be able to help more foster kids than a beautiful new house with fewer rooms. And I'd rather do dishes by hand because there's no room for a dishwasher because we've got a gigantic table that the whole family can eat around together. I guess if I'd been there when he was talking to Daniel I would have said, "My friend, you don't know what rich is. We are richly blessed."


Kelly said...

Amen sister. Preach on. I agree completely. We too are rich, just as you. Richly blessed with a house full! :)

April said...

well said!