This time last year, we had just spent a week and half frantically preparing ourselves and our home for our first foster placement.
We had just taken the ten-week foster care course to become licensed as part-time respite care providers. That all changed at the end of the ten weeks when our social worker asked us to consider taking in a newborn baby boy as a full-time placement.
We were faced with a life-changing decision that had to be made in just a few days. After much prayer and conversations with our family and friends, we made the decision to welcome this little one into our home, not knowing whether he'd be with us a month, a year, or a lifetime.
We sprung into full-time crazy mode. We had not one baby item in the house. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
I immediately started cleaning out the guest room, repainting, ordering baby furniture, and polling friends to find out what the heck babies even needed.
Though we had just finished a ten-week foster care class- it wasn't a course about how to actually BE a first-time parent.
Brian had never changed a diaper. I hadn't babysat young children. To say we were clueless was a TEENSY bit of an understatement.
In the week before the placement, friends started dropping off diapers, wipes, clothes, boppies, and all things baby.
By the time the day of the placement arrived, we were ready.
Yeah right. I hadn't slept in a week and lost about ten pounds due to nerves.
We drove to our friend's house who were the foster parents that had been providing short-term respite care for the baby. It was absolutely surreal driving over to their house, knowing that when we left, we would be in charge of a 7 lb, two-week old baby boy.
We arrived at their house, thankful that he had been in the care of families that we knew and loved, and who we could ask crazy questions about parenting to and wouldn't think we were dumb. (Or maybe they did, but they didn't tell us.)
After a a few hours of getting acclimated, we packed up the car, buckled him in and started home. And he started crying. I started sweating.
Turns out that the little peanut was just hungry, so one bottle down and a few burps later, and we were good to go.
As we entered our home that night, carrying that beautiful, sweet boy, our lives were forever changed.
Baby J, oh how you have wrecked us.
It took all of two minutes and we were smitten. And the crazy thing was that we knew you weren't ours. In fact, you still aren't. . . legally. But that has not, for one minute, affected how we love you.
Caring for you has opened up our eyes to a world that previously we had glossed over. In our suburban, middle class bubble we had been able to ignore much of the brokenness and pain that many experienced around us. But not anymore.
You have wrecked us. And I am so thankful.
Baby J, you have taught us how to love and not to expect anything in return. Caring for you has forced us to open ourselves up and to risk everything in order to be obedient to God's calling.
What a year this has been, sweet boy. You have no idea the many lives you have already impacted.
As I hold you each night, I am continually reminded that you are His, not mine. And though I love you with all of my being, you are loved by our God more. Because of that, you will do great things, Baby J.
Thank you for wrecking us. We are indelibly changed forever.
We love you.