Our Christmas Baby: Foster Care, Adoption, & Christmas
December 23 is one of my favorite days of the year. We show up at my parent’s in jams and eat breakfast and open presents and do our best to re-create Christmas morning.
I was running around, cooking and sorting gifts and getting ready for our special day, this day two years ago, when we got the call. A four week old little girl needed a home. We weren’t planning on taking a four week old. We weren’t planning on taking any child at all. But something made me call my husband and ask, and something made him say “yes.”
I ran home mid-presents to meet the social worker and our new, temporary daughter. She was smaller at four weeks than my babies had been at birth and twitched constantly. She had mottled, nearly translucent skin and blue eyes. And she reeked so badly, I nearly felt sick holding her. But she was precious, and I loved her immediately.
That Christmas, two years ago, we thought we were giving the gift of a family to a child. Little did we know we were receiving the gift of a child into our family. Our little Christmas baby quickly became our beloved daughter, and and our beloved daughter became our official, forever child earlier this month.
Christmas, foster care, and adoption are now forever connected for me because of this very best Christmas gift. But really, they’ve always been connected.
Christmas is the story of God coming and meeting us in our brokenness. It’s the story of a Rescuer going to great lengths to make beloved children His own. It’s the story of a Father loving and pursuing His children, even when they’re unlovely, even when they rebuff His love. Christmas is the story of God bringing Help to the helpless, Hope to the hopeless, a Father to the fatherless.
Of course, the Christmas story isn’t an anecdote about foster care and adoption. It’s the soul-saving, real-life story of God sending his Son to die for us so that we can be forgiven and know Him. But what a time to reflect on how God’s sacrifice motivates us and encourages us in orphan care. And, of course, foster and adoptive parents cannot save any child, we are not the Savior. But we have been rescued by the Savior, transformed by the Savior, and are now compelled to live like the Savior.
At Christmas, I remember who I was: a helpless, hopeless orphan, rescued by a loving Father. And I rejoice in who I am: a beloved child who brings the help and hope of this Father to others.
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman...that we might receive adoption.” - Galatians 4:4-5
“We love because he first loved us.” - 1 John 4:19