Eight weeks ago we received our second foster placement, Baby J. She came straight from the hospital after spending seven weeks in the NICU. This girl is THE sweetest little girl you can imagine. Every time you hold her you are guaranteed smiles, and now even laughs. She is a happy, beautiful, easy little girl.
The past two months have been a very different journey than ours with Anna Lee. With Anna Lee the overwhelming/immediate need we felt from her was a need for parents. She needed consistent parents and fell into our arms the moment we met her, desperate for this attachment.
Seven-week-old Baby J’s most immediate need was a home. For seven weeks, she was handled with special care due to her circumstances in the NICU. While she was taken care of well, the NICU cannot be a home for any child. Baby J came to us…though too young to know…desperate for a home.
We were created for home. God’s desire in creation was for us to feel completely safe, have abundant food, feel taken care of, feel peace, value, rest and love. We were intended to have a perfect home. And however much sin has kept these needs from being met, the desire for them is still in us. Every one of us has different thoughts and feelings when we picture home as a child. Unfortunately all of us have hard memories of home. But for most of us, it isn’t usually the hard memories that come to mind first, it’s the memories and feelings of safety, security, love and value.
Over and over during the past two months God has continued to bring this idea of home to mind for me, encouraging me to do everything I can to provide safety and peace for this little girl. Baby J is in need of those things that home should give us. We all are. What God has called Lane and I to is to provide this in every way that we can for her. He’s using us, right now, to provide her with what many of us take for granted most in life. In this brief window in her life, God is using us to help establish in her a desire for a much greater home than we could ever experience in this world.
This week we found out that Baby J will most likely be leaving our family in the next week or two. This is part of the foster care journey, but it is a part that Lane and I have not had to face yet. While we are sad to say goodbye, we are thankful for how God is guiding Baby J’s life and that He is leading her to reconciliation with her family. In foster care, healthy reconciliation is the hope, but it is not the norm. From everything we know, God is leading Baby J back to a very stable part of her family that is closer to her birth parents than we will ever be. God desires reconciliation for His people, reconciliation with Him and with each other. Though the role we have played in Baby J’s life may be a small one, it is grace that God is allowing us to watch Him lead her in very clear ways, pointing her to the core of who He is – a God of reconciliation. These are the moments that are hard, but also the moments that you hope for in foster care.
I beg God that this little girl feels safe, protected, rested, taken care of, and loved. I beg God that He protects Baby J and guides every day of her life, for the rest of her life, but I also beg that He grows her up with a yearning to know Him, to understand His love for us, to have faith in His Gospel, and to spend eternity with Him. I will pray for and trust in the hope that God is not only guiding Baby J’s home here on earth, but also preparing a perfect home for her in heaven. That is a hope that I have been so thankful for in these months, and a hope that has the power to help us worship Jesus with our entire life.