We were licensed to Foster/Adopt in Houston a few weeks ago. Since then we receive an average 3 emails a day regarding children who need a forever home. Their stories are heartbreaking and a reminder that the ministry of adoption needs more families of various backgrounds to step into the call to foster or adopt. We asked for our family to be submitted as a possible home for many of the children who were presented to us via’ email. However, we were never chosen for any of them. Then Monday night we received a phone call that we never expected would happen to us.
We were enjoying a night as a family with no evening activities (very rare!). We were getting ready to put the kids to bed, pack our bags for a quick trip to Waco (I was scheduled to speak at an adoption ministry event) then settle in to watch a movie as a couple. Then it happened. Before we could get the kids to bed, our agency called and said there was a baby who due to terrible circumstances was in need of a home that night!
We prayed like crazy, talked and then called back our adoption agency and said, ‘Yes.’ Since that moment our home life has been a whirl-wind. We quickly picked up the house, put the kids to bed, put on presentable clothes then met our caseworker at the door around 9:50 pm. We signed enough paperwork to kill a small forest and right as we singed our last piece of paper, the CPS worker pulled up at about 10:15 pm. In came the CPS area supervisor and a sweet, clueless, baby girl.
We sat the baby down in her CPS government-issue car seat and killed another forest in paperwork. The baby came with a car-seat but no base. It’s a paperweight in our house at the moment. She had dirty clothes on and hadn’t had a bath in days. As we signed paperwork and discussed her sad story with CPS the baby fell asleep next to me. It brought me great joy to hear her sweet little snore knowing that tonight maybe for the first time in her whole little life she would be safe. It looked like CPS confiscated some food out of the pantry of the house the baby was in and a diaper bag (that we’ve yet to open!). A good friend went to Target and picked us up some items to help us get through the night. Baby shampoo, soap, lotion, diapers and pj’s. We are extremely grateful for this gesture all we had was a crib and a baby monitor. CPS finally left our home around 11:30 pm and then the fun began!
Tuesday we got on our feet as a family. We had a few loose ends our adoption agency wanted us to tie up and we bought clothes, pj’s, food, formula, a stroller, car seat and as I type this Angie sent me a text about a diaper bag she wants to buy. Things are settling down and as we have entered the trenches of parenting a baby again, I believe we will find our groove by Thanksgiving (that’s kinda a joke…I hope!)
SPIRIT OF THE HOME
One of the things you can’t predict or explain is how will your kids respond when this happens and how will you respond when this happens. While it’s fresh I thought I’d shed a little light on what REALLY happens when you find out you’re going to have a baby in 3 hours.
The kids have done amazing. In all honesty, they were excited about going to see some friends in Waco and one of my kids did not want another girl in the house (I bet you can guess which one that was). We had a great calm discussion before the baby girl ever arrived about selflessness, the call to adopt and the situation this little girl was in at her current home (I was very general about the details). The conversation with my two oldest ended with tears and prayers for the baby. Since then there have been no problems with jealousy or selfishness. For the most part all three kids spoil her. They love on her and try and include her in whatever it is they are doing. My middle daughter has really stepped into a mothering role and has been a huge help to mommy (and me). I am sure this is somewhat of a honeymoon phase and will change as we all grow older and more comfortable with one another. In the meantime, it is good.
Angie and I are also feeling the change. I have found myself already being very intentional about balancing who gets my attention to be sure my 3 kids never feel ‘replaced’ or ‘unloved’ because of our newest addition. So far so good. The baby of course isn’t sleeping on a schedule and that has been an adjustment. I am very grateful for Angie who continues to get up with the baby every time she wakes up. We’re both sleepy but find plenty of reasons to laugh at our beautiful chaos.
Spiritually speaking I feel full. Strangely this morning I was driving to work and hadn’t expected it, but my eyes are heavy for lack of sleep but my heart is full from pouring out God’s love into a precious little girl. As I hold her I can’t help but to think of the terrible hand she had been dealt. The things her little eyes have seen already. The words her ears have endured. The tones, sounds and people that she doesn’t know to be afraid of yet, have all been a part of early life. And for some reason in the midst of the chaos she was parachuted into our home. I don’t know for how long (hopefully forever) but in the meantime we get to pray over her, sing hymns over her, show her love, security and peace. We get to be a living, breathing example of what God did for us through His Son Jesus. Living out the Gospel is hard. It was hard for Jesus. But doing it fills your heart in way I can’t fully describe; I just know I wish everyone could have what I have today.
Thanks for reading