He's tiny, precious and perfect and we are head over heels for him.
Mercy is fascinated, I can't stop kissing his chubby cheeks and Chris could just look at him and snuggle him all day.
Our first week with this little man has not been what we expected.
We expected to be awake a lot at night, maybe pulling our hair out some, we expected fits from the big sister and inconsolable crying from the little guy.
Instead we have had nights full of sleep, a brother/sister relationship that is sweeter than anything I've ever seen in my life, and the most content baby boy who just loves to study our faces and smile and sleep.
We keep saying to each other, "We're only one week in, things could change any day."
Today, as I've thought about being a week into the uncertainties of this journey I've wondered how accurate that thought process actually is...
In one sense, we're one week in and in a very different sense we're a lifetime in.
We've been loving this guy for seven days. How our future with him looks is completely unknown. I know that I love him right now, and I know that I'll love him tomorrow and forever.
We aren't just in this to love a child temporarily. We're in this because God has called us to take care of a child as long as He allows us to and to love that child forever.
I think I understood that to an extent before this guy arrived... What I didn't understand very much at all was the other reason God placed us on this journey.
To experience first hand God's adoptive love for us, His children.
Y'all. I love this guy, I just can't even... He's just... so lovable! I love him so. Much. And I know that there are likely things that could draw him out of my arms and into a whole different world. I'm not preparing to let him go because even if he physically leaves my arms, I'll hold him close for the rest of my life. I will never. Stop. Loving him.
As Christmas approaches and we look forward to celebrating the birth of the man who came to adopt us, this baby is a very physical representation of what the love of Christ looks like.
What great news it is that Christ isn't just in this to love us temporarily!
When He knew from the beginning of time that there would be plenty of things of this world ready and waiting to draw us away from His arms.... He came here, born in a feeding trough in a barn, lived perfectly and was killed unjustly. He knew we would walk away from Him, but He came here to rescue us and adopt us into His family anyway. And although we daily turn away, He loves us. He will never. Stop. Loving us. Loving YOU, and ME.
Snuggling this guy who is sleeping peacefully in my arms as I type these words... is one of the greatest experiences of my life. I am a changed woman. I will never be the same. I will never look at the birth, life and death of Jesus in the same way, I will understand His love and His grace more completely and be more grateful each and every day, I will love harder and more deeply, I will cherish the seconds as they pass too quickly. If and when this guy leaves my arms, I will mourn and I will remember the many times I have walked away from the arms of my Savior and how He longs for my return, how He has promised to love me for the rest of time.
And I will turn back to Him. Again and again.
Friends, if the idea of fostering has crossed your mind, but the fear of loving and losing a child has stopped you, let me encourage you... It's going to be worth it. You will mourn, but you will not regret. You will be changed and you will be grateful. Pray daily about the work God may be doing in your heart, talk to foster parents, share your fears, attend an informational meeting in your area, PRAY. Don't. Stop. Praying.
**Visit crossroadsnola.org/foster-care for information about fostering in the St. Tammany Parish and New Orleans area.**