Fostering Faith

Will you slip through the system’s wide cracks
Like a ball down a driveway’s storm drain?
Will you bounce between homes, leaving tracks
That they’ll only retrace if you’re slain?
See, the case plan is hard to believe
When so many are carelessly tossed,
Doomed to land where no love can retrieve
Even bits of the little lives lost.
Yet my soul says, “Perhaps there still stands
In the darkest of gutters, a guard:
One whose outstretched and welcoming hands
Have no cracks, just two holes that have scarred.”



Bethany Mootsey is a stay-at-home mom and foster mom living in Clearwater, Florida. She is a Covenant College graduate with publications in “Church Educator.”

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7 Responses

  1. jd

    Lovely, Bethany, on so many levels. Terrible, the
    thought of what too many children endure, but
    so hopeful in the final lines.

  2. Paul Freeman

    I see you’re a foster parent, Bethany. Hats off to you. From the poem we can see you take on this responsibility from the heart.

    Unfortunately, I have seen fostering from the other end of the spectrum, where the foster parent treats the responsibility as a job, with profits maximised from the number of children fostered and the kids becoming a commodity rather than being someone to be cherished.

    I’m not the most religious person, but that last two lines really get me.

    Thanks for the read.

  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Bethany, to my mind, to harm a child is the worst form of evil that exists and you manage to convey such atrocity with clarity and a heartful of care in a beautifully crafted poem that hits home with its stark message. The close is a heart-touching triumph that brings a beam of sunshine to an ever-increasingly dark world. Thank you!

  4. niccro22@aol.com

    Beautiful Bethany! If all foster children could see this heartfelt poem on their behalf, they would know that we do care for and love them all.

  5. Carol Connell

    Thank you, Bethany, for this touching poem. The last two lines are especially moving. I just shared this with a friend of mine that does foster care.

  6. Margaret Coats

    Bethany, this is good use of anapestic meter, and a good choice not to make the poem a sonnet, but to leave it at twelve lines. The anapests suggest the rhythm of the bouncing ball you offer as an image in lines 2 and 3. We may expect a final couplet after the hopeful third quatrain, but that image of Our Lord’s hands can stand as powerful enough in itself. The lack of a final couplet also seems to express the ever-present uncertainty about how foster care will turn out. As Paul Freeman has noted, sometimes foster parents fail to meet the particular needs of foster children. As well, some foster children (because of immense needs they bring with them), can do great damage to the family trying to help. But both these situations can arise in all kinds of families. Faith helps understand the full range of a child’s personality, including his spiritual needs.


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