When I think about the One Hope 27 bags, I am overwhelmed with emotions. I feel a deep appreciation. I feel desperate to be hopeful. And I feel a gut wrenching sadness. All from a clear plastic bag.
I look back at the day our first foster child arrived. We got a call that a little one year old girl needs a safe home and she would arrive within the hour. I immediately panic. The 4 months of waiting through the licensing process is finally here, and I’m not prepared. I don’t have a crib, a car seat or anything else a one year old would need. So I pace the floors until the door bell rings. And in walks two workers with a beautiful little girl.
There is a bit of chaos as the workers describe the orange folder and give us a little background on the day. But all I see is this little girl sitting in the carseat looking scared. I ask where her belongings are and the two workers give each other a look and respond with – her mom didn’t send anything.
I look at them with disbelief. Nothing? She sent her baby with nothing?
I look back at the scared girl. The workers then tell me that the girl was filthy when they picked her up so they bathed her and put her in an outfit from a volunteer group. Then they handed me a clear gallon sized bag with a clean new pair of pajamas. And leave.
I take her out of the carseat and put her on my lap. All while holding the only thing this girl has- a pair of pajamas in a plastic bag. And I cry with a sadness I have never felt before. There is nothing this sweet girl did to deserve this. To be dropped off to strangers with only a plastic bag. What was her past, what will be her future? I’m not sure, but I hope I make a difference to this girl.
We get ready for bed and as I put on the new pajamas, I read the One Hope 27 card from the plastic bag. I appreciate the Ganieres and volunteers for giving this girl something clean to wear but more importantly, caring enough about a child they never met to give them something to show up to the new house with. I’m thankful that I don’t have to install a car seat to go to Target. I’m thankful that she had a pair that fit since she is bigger than expected. I appreciate that I can spend time bonding, not shopping.
That night, and every night since, I have prayed for that girl. I pray for her future. I pray that she breaks the cycle against all odds. After 2 months this girl went back to her family and I hope a small part of her remembers my love.
4 months later, we have another baby girl arrive at our door. And the only thing with her is a One Hope 27 bag.