Our foster son has been in our home and our hearts for 365 days. He was 17 days old when we picked him up, and I would be lying if I said these past 17 days haven't been sopping in jealousy.
Reflecting on the days of his life before I knew him has been uniquely joyful and grievous. I wish I could have been there on his birthday, I wish I could have held him close in his first moments and watched him take his first breath. I wish I could have gotten to know him as a brand new baby, and I wish I could have seen the joy on his siblings faces the first time they met him. I know those days were sweet. I know there were a lot of unanswered questions amidst the celebration, but I know the joy stood tall and mighty over the questions and the unknowns. I wish I had been there to celebrate. I'll never have those moments for myself, and the jealousy is sometimes consuming.
Some days I'm frustrated.
Frustrated that it would take so long to provide such a precious child with some type of permanency. Frustrated with a system that still surprises me after so many months of trying to figure it out. Frustrated that so many questions remain unanswered.
Some days I'm fearful.
Because even after being this boy's mommy for a year, I know things could still change at the drop of a hat. I've become what all who utter the words "foster care" fear the most... I've become too attached.
Some days I'm angry. Some days I'm bitter. Some days I'm sad.
Those are the days that I know I'm not cut out for this.
|Melissa Breedlove Photography|
In His grace and His love He has shown me how I need Him.
How could I be jealous? In my jealousy of baby boy's first 17 days of his life, God has reminded me of the 365 days his mommy has missed. This day holds great joy for our family, but we know that it holds great devastation for his family. That has knocked me on the ground today. The tears have flowed as I've thought about the events that transpired one year ago today to bring him to our home, the emotion and fear that was felt when one mommy walked into a hospital to visit her son, but he wasn't there... How she must envy the year I have spent with him and how much love and grace she has shown me over these twelve months. God, give me that kind of grace toward others.
HOW could I be frustrated? In my frustration, He has reminded me that one year is such a blip in the years ahead for this child. He has reminded me that over this past year I have built friendships that will last a lifetime. I have gotten to know and love this boy's birth family and I have been shown so many times why it's important that this process is not quick. He is not my son, he has a mommy who loves him so very much. She gave birth to him, he has her genes and she deserves time.
How could I be fearful? Too attached?? Can there be such a thing? I've battled those two words every day of this journey. Of course not. You could never become too attached. That's absurd. This baby boy needs attachment, he needs as many people as possible to go all in for him. And for us, going all in means going all in with his birth family as well. How could I fear losing him when I know that these wonderful people I'm blessed to call friends will never be far from my heart or my life. No matter what happens, we are part of this child's life forever.
Angry... Bitter... Sad... yes. Some days I am all of these things. I cry, I rage, I over think....
|Melissa Breedlove Photography|
...and I praise.
Every day I'm thankful. So thankful that even while I was not cut out for this, He cut me out for this. He shaped my life just so that this precious boy would spend his first night in our home one year ago today. Every day I'm joyful. How could I not be with the smiles and laughter this child has brightened my life with! Every day I'm blessed, so blessed that I was given the opportunity to love this child with all of my heart, to the deepest part of my being, forever and ever.
And what a blessing even the trials have been. They have shaped me, molded me more and more into the image of Christ I was made to bear. I have been shown my sin on a deeper level and been brought to repentance, to love, to grace. I have been shown love on a deeper level, grace on a deeper level. I have been shown Christ through this child and this journey we were given with him.
I hope you will not let fear keep you from taking this journey of growth and grace. If you have ever considered foster care, please, please contact me or someone you know who is a foster parent. You may not be cut out for this, but I can assure you, HE. IS. And with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26). You will not regret loving sacrificially, your life will change, you will know God's grace in a way you never have before.
Happy anniversary, Baby Boy. Thank you for loving us, for changing us, for your smile and the laughter you have filled our home with. Thank you for your cheeks, for peekaboo, for sloppy wet kisses. Thank you for your adventurous spirit. Oh, you keep us on our toes, constantly reminding us of the adventure we are on with you, an adventure that has left us awestruck by the grace of an amazing God, that He would choose us to be loved by you for this season. YOU are a true blessing.