Tomorrow morning we'll throw a birthday party for three sweet kiddos. My baby girl will turn five. My baby boy will turn three. And someone else's baby girl will be two.
As I think back to Luke being born, I'm overcome with emotion. He changed my life. Both of my kids have. In huge gigantic ways, they changed my life.
When Addison was born, I suddenly knew what it felt like to be willing to do absolutely anything for another human being. There was simply nothing more important than her.
So, I still struggle with being involved in the foster care process where some people simply don't fight for their babies. How do you ever not fight for them? It still baffles me. And it makes me mad.
But in the same breath, one of the reasons we decided to become foster parents was because we believe that we're all sinners. Every one of us. I look at people who have found themselves in undesirable situations, and I can't believe for a second that I'm better than them. I'm not. I've screwed up plenty! And I'm sure I still have messes to make in my journey towards becoming more like Christ simply because our nature is to sin.
But what happens when you have no support system? When no one taught you how to be a mom and suddenly you find yourself with two babies? What happens when you don't know of a God who can save you?
If you look at your life, I would bet that many of you would say that the resources that surround you are what saved you from your own self-destruction. I know my resources saved me. No doubt about it.
I had the privilege of growing up in a church. Even though I did really stupid stuff in high school and made more mistakes than I care to discuss here, it was what was deep inside that eventually came to my rescue.
My women's group is what made me accountable when I felt like I was suddenly drinking too much (because, yes, every night is too much). My momma is who taught me how to be a mommy to my babies. My husband taught me about love. Love that doesn't have to prove itself but that just is. My daddy taught me what it looked like to love Jesus. He made mistakes just like the rest of us, but there was no denying his love for the One who died for us. And when I think about my dad, that's what I think most about....the way his Bible looks. The Holy Spirit is who saved me from my own selfish pride. My daily growing relationship with the Lord has taught me how to be more and do more for His glory.
But what if you don't have that? What if you had no resources at your fingertips?
Let's be honest. Life is hard.
So, I have to ask myself, if no one else is willing to fight for their momma, why should I?
But, oh, what a loaded and selfish question! It should be the other way around.....Because no one will fight for their momma, we absolutely should!
Look, I'm not naive enough to think that we can "fix her" or "save her" or whatever. But, I do believe that we can be her hope. I believe that God can work miracles, especially for our children. And I believe that Hope can be more powerful than ability.
I don't know what God's grand plan is in all this. I may not understand all of it until I see His face one day.
There are lots of scenarios as to how this all could play out. Some that I don't want to consider. Right now, I want them to end up with a momma who loves them and will fight for them, and maybe we can get there. Just maybe.
I still don't love them like I love my babies. But, they're not mine even though they feel more and more like mine everyday. Our sweet baby boy (who I am going to refer to as Wade from this point on....which is not his real name....it's my best friend's maiden name....but I can't keep calling him baby boy here), took his first steps in the past few days. He's walking and so very proud of himself. Today he went seven or eight steps....all into my arms.
In all honesty, it breaks my heart. His momma should be holding her arms out to her own unsteady baby, but she can't. And I can't wait to show her. She's going to be so excited. And Wade is so proud of himself.
And tomorrow a little girl (we'll call her Bailey from here on out) will be treated like a princess for her second birthday. She'll be royalty in our eyes. As she should be.
And maybe that's all we're supposed to do....love them to the best of our ability for as long as they're ours. I can't tell you that being foster parents is easy. I never thought we would be here. The only way we ended up here was by seeking the Lord everyday.
It was His favor for them to be ours for a little while. Even though it's hard at times, it's all part of His plan, and believe it or not, it gets easier everyday. And we get stronger everyday. Brian and I are being changed by this entire process. We're learning to die to ourselves everyday.
(Please note....this is when I step onto my soapbox....ready.....go)
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 1:27It seems to me like it's what Christ would have wanted us to do, yet few people every really even allow the idea to begin to formulate in their minds. The world tells us it would be too hard. The world tell us it would inconvenience us. The world tells us that we have to look out for ourselves and our own children.
Really? What else does the world tell us? That we have to be thin, beautiful, rich, successful, perfect? Really? Who is?
And you know what? Yes, my children had to adjust to these two babies being in our house and changing everything they knew to be true about life. But you know what? They get it! Both of them.
At three and five years old. They get it. Wade and Bailey's momma is sick and we're going to take care of them until she's better. That's the truth. They understand it. They know we're all sacrificing to make it happen.
On the way home from Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, Wade was crying and Luke said to me, "He needs his momma." To which I replied, "Yes, he does." And then I said, "Luke, where is Wade's momma?" And he said, "She sick." I said, "Yeah, baby she is." To which he replied, "Wade needs his dadda." To which I replied, "Yes, baby he does." And Luke said, "Wade's dadda sick, too." "Yes, baby, you're right." And then my three year old said, "We take care of Wade."
"Yes, baby. We'll take care of Wade."
I don't know what else there is. They get it. They know it's hard. It's hard for everyone. But we were never called to live an easy life. He never said, "Come, follow Me and life will be awesome!" No. He said:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
And you know what else? (While I'm on my soapbox?) I believe He leads us into hard things. He challenges us. He changes us.
We're all just selfish sinners anyway. All I want is to be changed by His spirit in my life....through seeking Him and His purpose for my life daily. That's it.
I don't know how this turns out. I haven't fast forwarded to see the end. But, I know I'm going where He is leading me, and there is no greater adventure, my friends. No greater adventure.
So, I wonder....what is He asking you to do? What is He asking you to sacrifice? Who is He asking you to be? Go with Him. Believe Him. And find peace in the journey He is asking you to take. It's a journey He created specifically for you. You and no one else. Don't miss the ride. I'll bet whatever He is leading you into will end up at the greatest party of your life. I'm just guessing......
.....day 210 of a year of writing.....