nine months in

This week marks nine months of caring for our foster son.
Nine. Months.
...and it just occurred to me: we have cared for him for as long as she carried him.
Maybe that's why she called this week after so long. Maybe she's grieving, maybe she's missing him a little extra as she sits on the gravity of what happened nine months ago.
Half of his life he was with her more intimately than he will ever be with me. I'll never feel his kicks and hiccups or see my body growing as he grows inside of me. He was perfectly knit together in her womb, life moving through his body with every beat of his heart, each day becoming more and more of who he is today. I'll never see him take his first breath, see the world for the first time or hold him close in those intimate precious moments immediately after his birth. Those moments were reserved for her. She loved him, no, loves him so very much. That has never been in question and never will be. He is perfectly who he is because she is his mom.
Half of his life he's been with me in a way that he will never be with her. He will never be as little tomorrow as he is today. He will never again need to be rocked to sleep as a newborn after his 3am feeding. She will never soothe him and wipe his tears as he cuts his first tooth, or crawl on the floor next to him on his first crawling adventure... the many firsts we've celebrated this year will never be firsts again. He is growing and changing so fast, each day he's becoming more and more of the little boy and man he will be one day.
...and while I'm sitting here wishing he wasn't growing up so fast, how I'll miss these sweet baby days... she is grieving because she has missed all of this. She is grieving because she has missed half of his life and she misses him still.
Nine months ago this precious boy's mommy showed up to the hospital to visit him on his 16th day in this world... and he wasn't there. He was here, with me. And she wept.
This. Is. Devastating.
This is LOSS in its greatest form and it's tragic, friends.
Please remember birth parents in your prayers over foster care. Please remember that foster parents and the children we care for are not the only ones affected by this process and that despite the events and choices that led to these circumstances, there is often deep heartache, remorse and fear. Please pray for healing... for redemption, grace and mercy.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11