This Time Last Year - The Littles Who Came & Went #instagramseries

This Time Last Year - The Littles Who Came & Went #instagramseries

This time last year, I started to think about bringing another foster child into our home. Our two bios wanted another kid in the house as much as I did. Our two fosters had been with us for 15 & 18 months and had been moved to the adoption unit. Everyone was sleeping through the night and walking and feeding themselves. It just felt doable again.

Then one day I was doing my devotions, and I came to the parable of the talents. I read about the man who had been given five talents and used them all up for his Master. And I felt it from God, as clearly as I've felt anything like this before. I've been given the capacity and support system and space and ability to parent five children. I've been given five talents, and I needed to multiply them for my Master. I felt like we were supposed to open our hearts and home to another child.

I went to my husband that night: "Umm, so I need to talk to you about something, and I don't mean to pull the 'God told me' card, but umm..." He looked at me: "God told you?" "....sort of." We talked about it that night and many more nights. With him being so humble and so open to follow my burdens and so desirous to follow God's will, he eventually came back with a faith-filled, sacrificial "yes."

So began the string of short-term fosters we had, starting with this gorgeous little boy...

‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matthew 25:20-21)


Next came this little one. The tiniest baby I've ever seen in real life, and the frailest, neediest baby I've ever cared for. He weighed only four pounds, had a weak suck, and was on a heart and lung monitor that would put me in a panic whenever it sounded. Caring for him was wonderful and terrifying.

Three days after he came into our home, a judge ordered he go to an aunt. While I was so happy for him to be with family, I was so sad about the situation. After living in the NICU for the first month of his life, and spending only a few days in a home with a family, he was going to be going back to a medical center for 12 hours a day while his aunt worked. I was sad that he left and sad that he was going back into medical care. This was one of those "I have to trust God for this little one" situations.

And we quickly said good-bye to another.

#smallestbabyever #preemie

Our next short term little was a 15 month old boy, the exact same age as one of my foster daughters and a year younger than my other.

The only time this boy was at rest was when the TV was on. It was like he didn't know what to do with himself besides sit on the couch in a TV coma. He was sad and confused and cried anytime I wasn't holding him. Which would've been fine, except that my exact-same-aged daughter cried any time I WAS holding him.

I had disrupted the delicate balance of our home. So I spent three days like this. On the couch or on the ground with three toddlers on me. This little boy helped me learn that my youngest girl can't handle her place in the family being threatened. We haven't taken a child her age since.

After three days, the judge ordered he go to a family member. Again, another "happy disruption" with another big side of sadness. I learned that his grandparents hadn't stepped in initially was because of the grandfather's racism. Apparently this man had decided to allow the child into his home anyway. But I knew that this meant he was going to be raised by a grandparent who maybe hated him, or at the very least didn't love him, because of his skin color. I had a hard time even praying for this man, but I tried.

Even the open-and-shut, they-go-straight-to-family cases are riddled with confusing feelings of "I'm glad my life is back" and "I'm happy he's with family" and "No, no, no, how could this be?"

#two15montholds #lotsofcrying

After a string of littles came and went, we had this darling little girl stay with us for respite care for the weekend. She was the little girl behind the story “She Doesn’t Know What Mommy Means.” She had such an open heart--too open, broken open--running to me and Alan with an enthusiastic “mommy!” and “daddy!” every few minutes. She was such a joy to have in our home.

A few months ago we were at the zoo when my son ran up and yelled, “Mom, there’s *A*!” And there she was, sitting in a wagon, smiling. I looked at the group of kids with her, different ages and races, looking like a stereotypical foster family. I thought about walking up to introduce myself to her foster mom, but when she turned around, I saw that her face was the exact image of her little daughter. She was not her foster mom. She was her bio mom.

I had carried this little girl in my heart. I formed a relationship with her foster mom and kept up with how she was doing. When she needed respite a second time, she came again and as she left I thought “I could fall in love with that girl.” When there was talk of her needing an adoptive family, I found someone who was willing to step in if it came to that. When her foster mom decided she needed to “disrupt her placement,” I went to bed heavy-hearted and praying, wishing we had the room in our home to take her in.

I was reminded that day at the zoo that when these kids leave our homes, they don’t leave our hearts. That while we may not be able to care for them or even walk up and say hello, we can always pray for them. I can love this little girl--and all the others who quickly came and went-- in that way forever.

#inourheartsforashorttime #inourheartsforever

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