The faith-family that I grew up in, cherished “breaking bread together” and the most common time to share a meal was at our after-church Pot Luck lunch. I remember the excitement and wonder, as each dish was uncovered. Would I like it? Would I be brave enough to try it? Maybe I would add a dish to my “never eat this again” list. Or, maybe I would like something so much I would ask someone for his or her recipe. I remember some weeks when we were eager to bring a special dish that our family loved, and other weeks when we barely made it by the grocery store to pick up some rolls to add to the table.
As a child, it never occurred to me to think beyond the dishes on the serving table. As I grew older and became more involved in the church, I realized that the Pot Luck lunch would not be possible without someone planning and preparing for it. The room had to be reserved, the announcement had to be made, the drinks, tables, dishes, and utensils had to be ready. Also, someone had to clean up afterwards. There was a lot more to it than showing up with our dish.
I am finalizing my new curriculum for an Adoption/Foster Care Decisions Class for people that think they might be interested in foster care or adoption. In it, they learn about all types of adoption and all that is involved in fostering children. They learn if it’s right for them or not and what to expect in the process. Most importantly, they learn that they are not alone in their journey to foster or adopt. On the last night of class, the lesson is a Pot Luck dinner. I announce that I will bring the main course, paper goods, and drinks. Beyond that, they are to bring a dish of their choosing. There is no sign up sheet or any other coordination of who brings what. The point, or the lesson is that we have planned and prepared as much as we can. We have the essentials for a meal and will not go hungry. We may however, have a main course and five desserts or a main course and five green bean dishes. Still, we will enjoy a meal with conversation, laughter, and encouragement for one another. We will rely on our careful planning for the basics and remain open to what we each bring to the table. It’s an important lesson for anyone considering foster care or adoption. I believe the “luck” part of this is actually God’s part because God brings what we could never have planned. In the five or six times that I’ve offered this lesson, we have always had a salad, vegetable, and dessert to add to the main dish. Whether this happened or not, we would have a meal but it amazes me that we’ve always had everything we would want in a meal.
No matter how much we plan for adoption or foster care, we also get things we could not plan for. Some may be wonderful surprises and some may be challenges. This is the second of a three part blog series, Pinkeye, Pot Luck, and Fondue. My son brings challenges much deeper than pinkeye but we prepared ourselves to remain open to God’s direction as we navigate through these challenges. My son’s blue eyes were like an unexpected sweet desert uncovered at the Pot Luck serving table. They are a precious gift from his birth mother. They are something he treasures and we are happy to look deeply into them and connect daily as we grow in our relationship.
Are you a foster or adoptive parent?
What unexpected surprises have you uncovered?