“She is so lucky to have been placed in your home, to have you 2 as parents…”
This “compliment” or similar has been uttered to us many times over the past 27 months since we started welcoming foster children into our family. I used to feel embarrassed and unsure of how to respond; afterall, the stories of how these kids’ lives crossed ours are heartbreakingly devastating. Stories of neglect, drug abuse, abandonment, ect. Far from “lucky”. Now, today, I confidently say, “Thanks but, WE are the lucky ones.”
On this night before Thanksgiving 2020, I want to reflect so as to never lose sight of all God has blessed us with in His call on our lives. Has it been an easy couple of years? No, not the least bit. It is an emotional roller-coaster and has completely changed the way our family lives: our time/schedules, our priorities, our choices, and our hearts. It has wrecked us. We cannot unsee or forget what we have learned, and therefore, it is impossible to go back to life as it was prior to entering this journey.
But I am SO THANKFUL.
“Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25. I feel we have found our purpose and with that comes fullness of life, peace, and direction. And afterall, things that matter are HARD.
Rocking our (foster) daughter to bed in her room, I often listen to the JJ Heller Song, “I Get To Be The One.”
In the dark, with tears oftentimes streaming down my face.
My husband calls it my nightly jam session. It can last an hour some nights, just listening to music, rocking & reflecting, and praying over this amazing miracle God allowed into our lives almost 15 months ago now.
In JJ Heller’s song she says,
“You should know,
That I am the lucky one.
I get to be the one to hold your hand
I get to be the one
Through Birthdays and broken roads
I’ll be there to watch you grow
I get to be the one…
I can’t wait to show you
How to crawl, how to walk
And how to run…”
Tear jerker, huh? JJ Heller is good at those. But it perfectly describes my feelings in regards to fostering these children. “I get to be the one.” What a privilege.
I could add lots more “lyrics” of our experiences over the past 27 months. Lyrics like:
“We get/got to be the ones to take you home from the parking lot/hospital room/NICU, to give you your first baths, to feed you those first spoons of baby food and watch your funny facial expressions, to listen to those first baby giggles and words, to hear you call us Mama and DaDa, to teach you to clap and wave and do ‘Sooooo Big!’, to take you to the doctor and comfort you after your shots, to spend the night in the hospital with you when you were recovering, to nurse you at home when you were sick, to watch you learn and grow from 4 lbs to 21lbs and amaze the doctors, to throw your first birthday party & clean you up after your Smash Cupcake, to show you the Ocean, to dress you up for Halloweens, celebrate Thanksgivings & Christmases, and to document all your Firsts in your Baby Book.”
We, our family, get to be the ones.
Those lyrics could go on and on. A song that only an amazing God like we have could write. A song of redemption. We have been able to witness first hand how God can bring about beauty from ashes. How He can turn a mess into a message. And I can’t wait to “hear” what other lyrics God will write in the months and years to come.
So, this Thanksgiving I am VERY THANKFUL. If you’d have told me 5 years ago that this would be our life I would have never believed it. BUT GOD.
Ephesians 3:20 says: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” We are not able, not “special”, but we believe in and serve a God who is.
We are available. HE IS ABLE. And that combination, we are learning, writes some pretty amazing lyrics.