I'm keepin it real here in the blog world and my sinful nature and selfish qualities play a big part in this one. I'm actually quite ashamed of this phase in our journey...but God challenged and grew us through our flaws so I suppose our inequities served a purpose.
Allow me to paint a picture for you... There was this little couple who wanted a baby with all of their hearts. On their path to finding their baby, their hearts were broken repeatedly, deepening their desire to be parents. While they waited, they welcomed two lovely little houseguests into their home. They quickly grew to love these precious babies, but also knew their stay was only temporary. Unaware, their hearts were guarded. Then their baby was born. This was a time they had waited so long for, prayed for, and dreamed about. In their minds, having their first child looked a certain way...having all the time in the world to sit and stare at the baby in their arms played a big part of that look. Focusing all of their attention on their long awaited new addition was their plan. When they brought their baby home, their houseguests were 25 months and 10 months old. This fact severely disrupted their "dream" of what having their first baby looked like. Because of the every day chaos that having three children under the age of three creates, because of the lack of attention they felt their new baby was receiving, because the nursery they had painted for their baby years ago was occupied, the couple was wearing down, exhausted by the every day and saddened by the experience they felt they were missing. Their houseguests were scheduled to leave in April, about 2 months after the birth of their son. The couple was not looking forward to their departure, but they were looking forward to the relief and the "dream life" they anticipated with their little one.
Hopefully, that "story" helped you to understand what we were experiencing. Without realizing what was going on, we were definitely guarding our hearts from the hurt of losing them... don't get me wrong, it was still going to hurt. But I think we were subconsciously avoiding complete devastation by not loving them as strong and as completely as we could have been...thus creating something ugly when we brought our baby home. If they had moved before Rowan was born, we would have gone on and never knew we had done any wrong. We would have missed this opportunity to grow our character, to change our hearts, to allow God to develop something within us that we weren't capable of ourselves.
We got a phone call in early April, the children wouldn't be moving any time soon, the plan to get them out of state and closer to their mom fell through. I remember it like it was yesterday. JT and I were driving out to my parents house, I hung up the phone and told him the news. Neither of us said anything for a while and then I asked him...are you disappointed? He nodded his head yes and I admitted that I felt the same. We were both ashamed and what followed was a discussion that would change everything. We talked about why we felt that way, we laid it all on the table, and we talked about how to fix it. Our conclusion...to love them as if they were ours. They deserved the same love and devotion we felt for Rowan, but we were denying them that because we were guarded. Loving them like they were ours meant losing them like they were ours, and that's a pain no parent can prepare themselves for. I know we weren't denying them this kind of love intentionally...afterall, our motto was "it's not about us". "Whatever we have to go through for the sake of loving these children is worth it", was our stance on fostering. But I guess we were just making sure that "what we went through" wasn't the hell that it had the potential to be. Being a foster parent is hard, being a good foster parent takes a heart only God can create. Loving other people's children identical to the way you love your own isn't something that comes naturally...not in our society. We didn't have children first and then decide to become foster parents, which is much more typical. We became foster parents and then had our first child. We found ourselves in a unique and complex situation that we weren't prepared for. But God was prepared and He chose us to love like this, He knew we were up for the challenge when we had no clue we were even being challenged. So it was on that drive that JT and I decided to live like this family of five was OUR family. Of course, we knew they were our foster children, but we released our hearts to love them in a new, better way. I know God's hands were all over our plan, because it was instant. We instantly had 3 forever children, we felt it, and we loved it. The crazy chaos in our home was now OUR chaos, we owned it:) Life was easy, love was real, and our days became happy and healthy. We didn't really spend any time thinking about the consequences of this newfound joy...we just lived and loved and life was good.
It's a humbling thing to think you're doing something so right and then realize you're very wrong. It's a humbling thing to believe your life isn't about you and then realize it very much is. We were so ashamed when God opened our eyes, but we are so grateful that He created something beautiful out of our failures. Our journey is not yet complete, but we're well on our way to His final masterpiece...for this chapter anyway;)
Until next Monday,
Crazy Mama Crook