"From here that looks like a bucket of water, but from an ant’s point of view, it’s a vast ocean; from an elephant’s point of view, it’s just a cool drink; and to a ﬁsh, of course, it’s home."
~Norton Juster, The Phantom Toll Booth
The quote above from one of my favorite childhood reads reminds me that it is all about perspective. As I type this post, a four-week-old precious baby boy is asleep on my chest. Baby "James" is the eighth foster baby to have blessed our home and our souls. I love him so much. As a transition foster home, from birth mom to forever family, we literally get the baby on the day of discharge from the hospital after birth, and love them until their forever family adoption day is realized.
Baby James has an adoption date, a Gotcha Day, scheduled for Friday of this week. Knowing he is about to leave us, I have held him a little tighter this week, and have soaked in every moment, even his colicky screams.
Every single day, someone asks me, "How can you do it? How can you give them up? How can you give them back? I couldn't do that. I would want to keep them all." Please, please, please know this: we don't want to give ANY of our foster babies to a new family. Selfishly, we want to adopt every single one of them as our own. We fall in love at first sight, and think of them as "ours" for the entire time we are blessed to have them in our homes, and really, we feel that way even after they have been adopted. We feel connected to them forever.
I have quietly cried a lot this past month. I am exhausted. Baby James has been the most challenging baby to date as he has not slept well, has had 24-hour colic, and has the loudest voice I have ever heard come out of a 7-lb baby! I have walked the floors, rocked, 'shhhushed', run the blowdryer, run the water faucet, and played white noise apps on my phone--whatever it takes to settle his little body.
In addition, for a period of five days this past month, we actually had another newborn foster baby in our home, so it was like having twins. Michael and I each took a baby to care for during the night. Let me remind you--we are not spring chickens. We are 45 years old, and this is not easy for our aching bodies. It is hard. But it is oh, so worth it.
But I have also cried because I don't want to say goodbye--again. The other day I told Michael, "I don't want to do this anymore. It hurts too much. My heart can't take it; I love them too much."
But God in His infinite wisdom, slapped me upside the head and said, "Ministry is hard. If it were easy, the world would be full of missionaries. You are not the first person to ever want to give up. However, you and your family are MY hands and feet. I will provide the strength you need to get through this. And I will provide rest in MY time, not yours."
Goodness. Hard to argue with that Word, huh?
So here's the deal: It's not about me, people. It's about the babies, the birth moms, the forever families. It's about the calling on our lives to be willing to do His work for our short time here on earth. If y'all could see the absolute relief on the birth mom's face, knowing her baby is going to be lovingly cared for, you would get it. If you could see the absolute joy of the adoptive couple when they hold their new baby in their arms, you would understand. These babies are the missing piece of their lives; so many of these precious couples have been suffering for many long years with infertility.
And if you could see how perfectly God matches these babies with these families, you would understand.
God knew from the date of conception to whom these babies were going to belong. I am completely in awe of how He orchestrates it all. It is just so beautiful, merciful, graceful, breathtaking.
Michael and I are not special people. We are no different than any other Christian. We are weak, selfish sinners who mess up every single day. We are simply willing. Willing to be used. Willing to love. Willing to be uncomfortable. Willing to ache. Willing to risk. Willing to be a blessing. Willing to be blessed. We humbly accept His call, and we lovingly accept His comfort.
"May this blessing rest upon my children forever, for when you grant a blessing, Lord, it is an eternal blessing!” 1 Chronicles 17:27
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