We are incredibly
proud of the work we
do with foster kids. We
are proud of our mission
statement and our team,
the steps we take to
accomplish that mission
statement and the
people working along-side us. We are excited
about what goes on at
Home and the process
of redemption that daily
takes place here.
But we cannot serve our
children well if we don’t
take time to remember
where they have come
from and why they are
here – if we don’t
recognize they are with
us as a direct result of
Perhaps you remember going to camp as a
child, or spending the night at a friend’s or
relative’s house for the first time – feeling unsettled, out-of-place, missing your home and
your bed and your family... What our kids
experience is similar to that – only amplified.
Leah* came to us at the beginning of the school
year – an adorable 8-year-old – confused, sad,
lonely and nervous. She had not anticipated
being removed from her family, had not been
eagerly awaiting an exciting sleepover. Instead,
everything she knew was, suddenly and without
warning, gone. When she arrived at ACH, she
was driven onto a campus full of houses,
introduced to new people she would live with as
family and given a new room, a new bed, new
clothes – things we consider wonderful, but to
her were strange and different and scary.
The day was overwhelming. She tried so hard to
be brave, and she managed to hold it together...
until bedtime. Alone in a strange bed in a
strange room, surrounded by people she did not
yet know or trust, all the emotions came
rushing in. She wept uncontrollably, unable to
sleep. She missed her mom. She missed her
family. She felt alone... and afraid... and alone.
It was emotionally difficult for her houseparent,
Jennie Dunn, to go to bed, knowing the pain
Leah was experiencing. But Jennie, a former
foster-kid and ACH kid herself, knew there was
nothing to be done but to face the ache.
Jennie recruited Irena*, a seventh grader in the
home, to spend the night in Leah’s room so she
wouldn’t have to be alone. A natural care-giver,
Irena was a comforting presence. She told Leah
all about ACH. She told Leah the people here
were nice, and everyone in the home was glad to
have her here. She told Leah they loved her.
Night after night, the weeping continued. Leah
received a doll which she clung to as she wept.
Gradually, the weeping time grew shorter, and
Leah began to fall asleep more easily, to sleep
more peacefully, safe in her new bed.
As we work out our mission statement in Leah’s
life, we know beauty will grow from her ashes.
We know the pain and loss will not be erased,
but the safety and security she experiences here
combined with the intentional calling out of
who she is will result in her thriving and
growing in wonderful ways. We can glimpse
these things because we have seen it with our
other kids, but to Leah, the future still looks
uncertain and unclear.
While ACH only exists because of horrible loss,
we believe that, as we are God’s hands at work
restoring our kids’ identities, their great loss will
be powerfully redeemed and their impact will
be even greater because they have overcome.
Thank you for believing with us and for
choosing to take part in this divine work of
redemption at Amarillo Children’s Home.