Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Building a Family: Part 14

Dear Joseph,

This was written the night we met you.  Oh, how our hearts ached as we heard about your past.  Know that we loved you before we knew you.  That our prayers for you started long before this day.

Our love and our prayers will continue to grow.  God has added you to our family and to our hearts.

Posted originally: Friday, November 14, 2014

God Will Add

You came to us tonight.  Much too late for a little one like you to be awake.  You were tired and hungry.  You munched on goldfish and drank milk while we signed stacks of papers.  Papers that define your past, but not your future.

You came with this bag.  I saw it, and my heart broke.  Everything you own fit inside: a few changes of clothes and two toys.  No wipes or diapers.  No cups or extra shoes.  No blanket or pillow.  Your past was in that bag, but not your future.

We rummage through it to find pajamas.  Only one pair in the whole bag.  One.  As I dress you for bed, you struggle and cry.  To you I am just another stranger in a long line of strangers that have come and gone in your short life.  Some have been kind.  Many have not.  I am sure you are wondering what kind we will be.

I tuck you in.  You look at me, study me, then try to get up.

"No.  It's bedtime."

You whimper.

"Would you like me to sit with you."

You stare.  I take that as a yes.  I sit beside your bed and pat your back.  Your eyelids flutter as you fight sleep with every fiber of your being.  I pray for you to feel safe.  For you to sleep.

As I pat your back I wonder how many times I will have this privilege.  Will you be with us for a month?  A year?  Forever?

I pray with all my might.  Just the first of many to be offered up to our loving God.  And finally you surrender to sleep.

Your name means "God will add."  Dear one, we pray God will add you to our forever family.  Until then, I will pat your back every night.  I will bathe you, play with you, protect you.

I will love you everyday you are my son - starting today.

Building a Family: Part 13

God and His timing.  He knows who are children are.  His hand can be seen in all.

July 25, 2014

Our precious Pete.  This is the day we met you and your half sister. 

You are so tiny - just shy of seven months old.  Your black hair hangs in your eyes.  I brush it back and snuggle you close.  Your sister shares a room with an ecstatic Susannah.

That first night, we find out that you cannot yet sleep through the night.  You are too hungry.  Our hearts break.  We feed you bottles and stroke your cheek, praying for you to understand that we will care for you.  You will not be hungry here.  Your needs will be met.  Soon, you are sleeping through the night.

We realize early on that your sister will not be staying with us.  Knowing makes it easier.  Hearts can be prepared.  Can be guarded.

We do not know about your future, Peter.  Will you stay, or will you join the line of children who leave our home?  The prayers pour from our lips.  Prayers of protection.  Prayers of hope.  But most of all, prayers of thy will be done.

The girls ask.  They always ask.  "Do they get to stay with us forever?"

We reply with our standard, "Who knows the answer to that question?  God knows Pete and his sister, loves them more than we do, and knows where their forever home will be.  Our job is to love them while they are in our house."

Oh, how those girls love you both.

I am slowly beginning to realize this letting go of control must apply to Abigail and Susannah, as well.  God, not me, is in charge of their lives.  He knows their days and the number they will spend under our roof.  He loves them more than we do.  Our job is simply to love them each day we have them.