|I arrived at the hospital around 4pm, only 30 minutes after the call to come for her. After being led into the NICU by our social worker and greeted by the nurse, our worker took me to her little cubby of the room. Walking up to the baby bed, I was in immediate awe. It's hard not to be when you place your eyes on an 8- day-old little angel. I remember feeling strange because I had not given this child birth, yet I was the one taking her home.|
As a foster parent I had learned over the past 2 1/2 years to be slightly guarded with the children I had in my home because I didn't want my heart to grow too attached. I knew that they would return home, being reunified with their parents or a relative sometime in the near future. Although that idea made total sense at the time, I always felt incomplete. Something was missing in my relationship with the children I had. When I took our sweet 8-day-old home I had the same plan in mind. Be loving, while also being guarded. I must protect myself in order no to be too hurt.
I don't remember the exact moment, but one night early on with baby girl, the Lord clearly told me I was wrong.
That baby needed more! She had never felt love before. She didn't have a history with her family to help get her through this time. She was fully dependent on me, and she deserved all the love in the world. I battled with myself for a while, wondering this meant for me.
Broken heart. Tears. Pain.
But then I was reminded that my Savior gave his entire life on the cross to give me a chance at eternal life! He went through the ultimate tears and pain, and here I am not wanting to lay it all down for the orphan which He has told me to love! (James 1:27)
So I surrendered my fears and my insecurities and asked him to show me how to love this child that is not my own. But not only love her. I asked him to show me how to love her with a true love. A love like His.
It's been an incredible journey. That precious baby is now five months old and has stolen my heart. I would love to keep her forever and one day be able to say she is my legal child. But the Lord has not promised that. He didn't say that if I loved her he would let me keep her. He just told me to love her. If the day comes where I am called to say goodbye, I know it will be so much harder than all the others. And they were hard!
It's never easy to say goodbye to a child you have been pouring your time, attention, and life into.
I feel like the greatest gift the Lord has given me in this foster journey is a willingness to sacrifice my emotions and my desires and say, "Lord not my will, but yours be done."
I want her. I am begging him for her, but I truly believe His plan is so perfect for my life and hers. I will always pray for her salvation in hopes that if I never see her on this earth again, I will see her forever in eternity. Because honestly none of my children are my own. Even if I gave birth to them myself, they are not mine. The Lord can do with them as he pleases. So when people say "I don't know how you foster. I could never give the children back!" I pray they see I am not a special person with a special ability to love and let go. I am just a vessel of My savior, willing to be poured out and broken in order to care for His child. And because of Him I have great hope!
Because of the One who taught us to pray, "Not my will, but Yours,"
Voices of Foster Care: From the Heart of a Mother
From anonymous Guest Poster, who I want to grow up and be like one day...