This week we had to let go of our first. Our first girl in the house (besides my wife). The first infant I’ve ever held other than my sons. Our first foster child. Baby M went to be with her great aunt and uncle this week, her new forever mom and dad.
She captivated our hearts from the very start. She was by far the easiest and most laid back baby we’ve ever had. She smiled constantly, slept well, and had a sparkle in her eyes. It has been an emotional week for us to say the least. Even in the midst of all this transition and grief, God has still been evident through it all.
It’s almost indescribable the feeling you have when you give your heart to a child and then they leave. I guess it’s similar to your child leaving the home for college. I started reflecting back on why we started this journey. God brought these verses to my mind:
"Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. 'Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?' Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD? "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” – Isaiah 58:1-10
If taking care of the orphans, widows, homeless and hungry were easy, then all Christians would be doing this. But in reality it’s hard. It’s hard to get involved in people’s lives, to sacrifice yourself and love them completely and sacrificially. It’s not natural for us to use our biggest personal resources (time and money) on others. But it’s what we’re called to do, and it’s what God expects of us as His Church.
I’ve been so amazed at my wife and sons through all of this. They have not only shown the orphans in our house the love of Christ, but have encouraged me as well. I’ve seen my sons make steps towards becoming men of integrity, responsibility, of sacrifice. They are becoming men of God. My wife has shown strength and courage that I never knew she had. She has ministered to not only the children in our house, but also the family members of the children. She has been an amazing minister of the gospel.
I’ve never felt more alive than I do right now. I realize that all the things that have gone on in the past seven months have not been because we’re amazing, but because we have an amazing God who has chosen to work through His people to do amazing things. I am humbled to know that He has used us in a small way in the lives of those who have crossed our threshold.
Though there will certainly be more tears and grieving in the coming days, we know that God is taking care of Little M. My hope is that our tears of sadness will one day be tears of joy as God calls her to his own. It has been such a privilege and honor for her to be our first.