We walked into the city hospital hand-in-hand, the empty car seat swinging from my hubby’s open arm. Taking a deep breath, I tried to slow my racing heart. It was late December, the thick winter jacket and matching scarf felt like a straight jacket and noose.
The foster care certification had taken us six months to complete. The call came three days after we were certified.
“Can you take a newborn?” The words hung in the air. Questions flew through my head, this quickly? We thought it would take a while? Christmas was just yesterday.
“Tomorrow,” the placement coordinator quickly replied.
My thoughts, fears, and prayers were fast and fervent. We knew this is what God was calling us to do. We had many confirmations, open doors, ease of answers, and certification. I knew I needed to trust God as we had through out the entire process.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
This verse started it all. When I read it my heart felt so burdened. It ached for the children that were left. I had always dreamed of going to a foreign country to work in missions, God had not yet allowed it. Then there was the local television special on adoption day and the foster care system these children had navigated through. Then, the flier in the mail. I prayed. I prayed a selfish prayer. God if you don’t want me to pursue this then shut the doors, and windows and, and, and. The thought of fostering frightened me.
I talked with my husband, then our three boys about my desire to foster, they were all in. What a blessing our family could be to a child without a home and family, we all agreed. The children would have a great beginning with a stable home. We could love them and feed them and nurture them.
The moment I laid my eyes on that precious brown-eyed, reddish brown curly haired baby girl I knew that all the blessings we would be in her life would never compare to the blessing she was and is to our family. Her life was precious. She had survived such hardships in utero and at birth. God had created this perfect human being and had put her into our lives. She was a gift! God’s perfect gift.
From the beginning of our fostering process, we knew God wasn’t asking us to adopt. It was very clear. Our family was purposeful in praying for the family God would bring to love and cherish this precious life.
Over the next many months fostering was not easy, but it was easy to nurture this precious baby girl.
It was not easy to love her parents, but it was easy to love the baby they had created.
It was not easy to navigate the system, but it was easy to handle the coos and gurgles.
It was not easy to know that she would one day leave our family. But, it was easy to open the front door and invite the couple who would take her into their family. Invite them in to see their baby girl.
The moment they walked in the room ahead of me, she smiled, squealed, opened her arms and their hearts. The tears flowed for us all. Not for the precious baby girl, the joy of being with her forever parents was in every smile, squeal, and squeeze.
We thought that we were going to be a blessing to this little girl’s life, and the babies that followed. We were fooled. The blessings she and the others gave to our lives were more than we planned. Our hearts and memories are full of love and honor that she left with us.
To this day when I see a picture of the beautiful young woman she is becoming I smile and my eyes leak memories. I thank God for our time with her. I thank God for the parents He picked for her.
Stepping out in faith led our family into a God moment. Many, God moments. Allowing Him to use us in a way that took us out of our comfort zone opened our hearts for Him to work in and through us.
Is there something God has placed on your heart that you need to say yes to? Are you afraid? Do you realize if God is asking you to do it He will provide everything you need? What’s stopping you?
“God is able to accomplish, provide, help, save, keep, subdue… He is able to do what you can’t. He already has a plan. God’s not bewildered. Go to Him.” Max Lucado