We had talked about it. Prayed about it. Wondered when the right time would come…and then it just happened. We began our journey as foster parents. The foster care director at the orphanage called with a need for short-term care for 1.5 year old little girl, who we happen to know and adore. Her foster parents needed to travel for work before her adoptive family could complete her adoption.
But there is more to the story.
Let me go back to my first day in the orphanage after a three year break. I was given the full tour that day. So much had changed including how open and accepting the nannies and teachers were of my presence. Part of that tour included the baby room. I had never stepped foot in that room. I was trying hard to keep my wits about me as I was handed a new baby brought in that very week.
“You have experience with your son with one leg. You have four children. This new baby has no ears and isn’t eating well. What do you think?”
What did I think? I was in awe over the tiny perfect little girl who was new to the orphanage. We shared something – both the newbies. I have prayed for her ever since, expecting great things for her.
She is our first foster daughter.
We share something.
This time I am the lone newbie. To her I am just another stop along the wait for her forever family. Poor baby. She is my guinea pig. I really am not sure how to do this foster care thing. Loving this little girl is nothing like I have done before. I am caring for her as if she is my own, knowing that she is a guest. It is the ultimate act of hospitality and through her I am seeing a new side of love. It is hard, but it is good.
Little Man wasn’t so sure about inviting another little into our mix, but he now is asking, “Do we really have to give her to someone else to be adopted? We are a forever family!”
She is teaching us that you can love someone like family for as long as G.d places them in our lives. She is reminding me that I love babies and showing us that five kids isn’t too many! She, for sure, is keeping me on my toes as she darts around our house and tries to climb our bookshelves, smirking all the while. She is breaking my heart as she grieves the changes. She melts my heart as she pats my arm while I give her night time bottle, and she makes me feel old as I walk the floor with her in the night.
But more than anything…she is reminding our family that we love not to get something in return, but because He first loved us.
Learning to love again…like a newbie.