I write a lot about the hard of foster care. The unanswered questions we face, the unthinkable pain children suffer, the unyielding difficulties the system creates. But each time my walls of despondency build, hope wrecks them. Wrecks me.

Last week I had the honor of bringing a meal to dear friends who had just welcomed two beautiful children into their home. Into their family. I expected to drop it off without staying long. Without disturbing all that was growing there. Instead, they invited me in.

Before my feet hit the hardwood, the four-year-old begged me upstairs to see his room. His little sister bustling to keep up.

His room donned the Avengers. Hers was decorated in pink. With 18 nieces and nephews and a healthy addiction to Land of Nod, it wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before. But it was.

I listened as my friends shared bits of their journey. I watched as the little ones leapt into their arms.

In one sense, it was as I expected. All of it.

And yet seeing these precious children loved so well, so deeply, struck me in a way I never expected.

I tried to choke tears back. As if they were something to be embarrassed by. As if I needed to pretend to my friends that their love wasn’t overwhelming. That it was ordinary.

But I couldn’t anyway.

They saw them. And I’m glad they did. They need to know that they are extraordinary. That their love is powerful. That they make hope.