We have all heard it said that “You can never go home again.” It’s true; when we return to the place where we grew up it is not quite the same as when we left it. It is not the home as we remember it, but it is still home.
I recently did just that and returned home after 7 years away. I grew up in Indiana and had not been able to return until now. Many things have changed. Some businesses have closed and some new ones have sprung up. People and places look different than they did before. However, many things remain. It was good to see corn stalks everywhere, and it was of course wonderful to see my family. It was a great trip of reconnection with family and friends. Many things were quite different, but much was the same. It was not the home exactly as I left it, but it was home. I went home. You can go home again.
The kids we have in our care; for one reason or another; are not at home. They have left home, and not by choice – they had no say in the matter. We try to make our homes as much “theirs” as possible, but they will never in many cases be home here. Most of our kids will eventually go back home. That is the goal and that is usually the outcome – it is where they belong. (If it is safe.)
It is our prayer and longing that when they go back home, that it is different. We don’t want them to return to a home the same as it was. Their home needs to have changed before they go back, and many times it does. The parents have had their eyes opened – they see what might happen if they continue on their destructive course.
It is hard for kids to come to us because they have had to leave their home. We pour God’s love into them while they are here. And because God is mighty even in the midst of terrible situations, many of our kids can go home again!
By Randall Jeffrey