"J" left our home 2 weeks ago today, and I can say with certainty that we have NEVER felt loved more than we have in these last 14 days. We had so many people send us messages, bring meals, offer a listening ear or a hug, and pray for our family. It's incredible the blessing that you receive when you do something hard.
I didn't want "J" to leave. When we started this process we were very secure in our decision to do foster care rather than straight adoption, but the moment they placed that sweet baby in my arms at the hospital, I felt a protectiveness over him that I did not expect. In our conversations with people, Michael and I continued to maintain that the best place for "J" was with his family, but in my selfishness I truly believed that he was better off with us. I prayed that God would take away these thoughts, and I prayed daily for his birth parents, but in my heart of hearts I continued to struggle with the fact that this was not my child.
The truth is, none of my children are "mine". Not "J", and not Maya, Charlotte, or Milo. They all belong to God, and we are given them to care for and raise for Him for as long as His plan allows. Michael and I have known this since before Maya was born, and in our nightly prayers I always thank God for the privilege we have to raise these amazing children that He has given to us for this time. Until "J" left, though, I don't think I truly understood how powerful that blessing really is. To be a part of a child's life, whether they were given to you through birth, foster care, or adoption, is an unbelievable gift.
Although it is still hard for me to understand the brokenness of this world, I have seen small glimmers of what God was doing through our short time with "J". This tiny baby impacted so many. There are several families that were so moved by "J" that they are now considering becoming foster parents, even after seeing the hurt that comes with letting go.
In the car the other day, I was talking about "J" with the kids. The mantra we've been using is that we're happy for him, but sad for us. Charlotte asked me what that meant, so I told her that it's good that "J" gets to be with his family, but we can still be sad that we don't get to take care of him anymore. She said, "does that mean we didn't love him enough?" Oh, my. Through tears I told her that, no, it means we loved him exactly like we were supposed to.
God is continuing to work in us, and we are standing with our arms and hearts and home wide open for whatever He has in store.
"Blessings" by Laura Story
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel you near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if each promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win, we know
That pain reminds this hearts,
That this is not, this is not our home.....
It's not our home
What if my greatest disappointments,
Or the aching of this life,
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy.
What if trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?