Foster Care: The First 10 Days. ATTACHED.

grayscale photo of baby feet with father and mother hands in heart signs

As I sit here and type, it is hard to believe it has only been 10 days. Just 10 days since we met Sweetheart (we will call her this since I cannot use her name and because she truly is such a SWEETHEART). Just 10 days that we have been blessed by her joyous presence in our home. Already, she feels like a member of the family. Already, we have fallen in love with her. Already, it is hard to think about the day we will say goodbye.

I did not think it would happen this fast. I’m attached. It may be because age wise she fits into our “natural order” or because so many people just assume she is ours because she “looks like us.” More than likely though it is because she is SO EASY TO LOVE, and my heart breaks for her– I want her to feel safe, protected, loved, special.

It has not been an easy 10 days but I can say it has always felt right. Like this is what we are supposed to be doing. Like God called us to fostering to foster love to THIS child…at least for now. I don’t know what is next. But I remind myself that none of us really EVER know what tomorrow might hold. I don’t want to waste what we have today– 3 beautiful, joyful, healthy children– by worrying about all the what ifs of tomorrow.

So I try hard to live in the present. I focus on accomplishing TODAY’s agenda (appointments, meetings, etc), loving as much as I can TODAY,  and capturing memories of TODAY to hold with me FOREVER. It is not all “sunshine and roses” but there has been beauty enough to make the hairs on my arms stand tall from goosebumps daily. Mixed in the chaos (some moments are oh so loud and crazy) of caring for 3 kids age 3 (almost 4) and under are some really special moments.

Moments like:

-Seeing my 23 mo old daughter gently tickling Sweetheart and the two of them smiling and giggling together.

-Hearing my 3 (almost 4) yr old son excitedly ask “Will (Sweetheart) be here after my next sleep?!” and following it up with “I want her to stay forever.”

-Seeing Sweetheart light up with our church friends’ kiddos during Community Group, clapping and smiling along with new friends.

– Sweetheart squealing with delight, legs kicking in excitement, while carrying her downstairs as her eyes meet our dog, a dog that  is SO tolerant of toddlers. 

– Rocking her at night (sometimes up to 4 separate times a night) and her comforted by my presence, laying her head on my chest and falling back asleep. It is SO worth the lost sleep really…but the night she slept through the night, I didn’t complain (ha).

– Seeing her asleep in my husband’s arms & being so proud of a man willing to father (love) another couple’s child.

– Giving her baths and watching her splash in oatmeal lavender water.  Then lathering her up with lotions and giving her a little baby massage.

– Holding her at church, singing songs and relating the lyrics back to this whole journey God has sent us on…holding back tears. It is amazing to think about all God has done… and what we would have missed out on had we ignored His voice. 

I am SO thankful God led us down this path, so glad fear did not succeed at paralyzing me from stepping into the battle, from leaving the safety of the shoreline.

“A ship is always safe at the shore- but that is not what it is built for” ~ Albert Einstein

Have you ever thought about fostering? Or about doing something else that scares you? From one risk averse person to (possibly) another, let me suggest you JUMP. If it is something you feel called to, something you can’t stop thinking about, JUST DO IT, try it. We only have today. If you wait until you are totally ready, you’ll be waiting the rest of your life. And let me tell you, on the other side of “YES” is an amazing adventure…it is not guaranteed to be easy, but I bet you’ll experience more JOY & PEACE than you thought possible.

“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.” ~C.S. Lewis

Have a GREAT weekend,

♥ Angela

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