1096 days ago, we said hello to a beautiful brown eyed six week old baby girl. We've now celebrated 3 birthdays with her, 3 Christmases, taken 3 crazy crook family vacations. We're entering into our 4th summer together. That's a lot of life. All but the 1st six weeks of her life...to be exact. And for the longest time, that's what my heart has fixated on. She has no idea that she's a "foster child". And shouldn't it be that way? Or should we have raised her from infancy explaining that we're not her family? Should we have corrected her 1st words..."mama and dada"? Should we have made sure she understood that what she knows to be true, really isn't? These questions are absurd. And to me...they explain why no child...I don't care how old...should linger in foster care for 3 years. I long for the confidence that her adoption into our forever family is in the near and definite future. I trust you Jesus. I say that to myself over and over and over because it's true and He can be trusted and LOOK WHAT HE'S BROUGHT HER THROUGH. Some of these last 365 days have been the hardest of my life. And He lifted me up out of that valley with His mighty arms and tucked His sweet baby girl back safely into my arms. I've gotta get this "rest" thing figured out. I want this to be a summer of rejoicing and rest, but I feel like maybe the rest part will come next summer...because I'm human. Or maybe rest never comes...because I'm a mom. What I do know, is that I'm the mom of 4 beautiful and amazing children. They're a responsibility and gift I'll never take for granted. God has trusted me...little, unqualified, flaw filled me...with precious lives I played no part in creating. But He created them and in His complete sovereignty knew I'd belong to them. That's huge and heavy and miraculous to me. He can be trusted. In my soul, I own this truth. I think it's my head that needs the work. But He loves me through it. I can just picture Him patting me on my weary head..."Oh dear one, when will you learn? I love your baby girl infinitely more than you do. I loved her when I had her on my mind...creating her, fashioning her in all her sweetness and spice and naughtiness. Turn off your fear and find rest in me. Trust me." I think that's what I would hear Him say...honestly:)
So here we are...3 years...1096 days, after 1st laying eyes on our sweet baby girl. We opened our hearts and home thinking her stay with us would lead to healing for her biological family. And for over a year we fought for them. Our hearts have shifted what feels like a million times in this 3 year journey...in an effort to emotionally survive it. This calling will never not be hard. I read something on Jason Johnson's blog today...he said "we love out of our poverty, not our abundance". He equates the poor widow, who gave all she had, 2 small copper coins into the offering box (Luke 21)...with the sacrifice of the foster family. There's so much truth there. We aren't wealthy, we have no super strength hero powers. We just have ourselves...our hearts...and our yes. We give it all. And His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Please continue to pray with us, for hearts to change...one heart in particular, for judges and caseworkers, and for her adoption into our family to be complete in 2017. It seems out of reach, but I've felt that way before only to be lifted up and put on my Father's shoulders. It could happen:) Thank you for joining us on this journey through your prayers and encouragement and hugs and tears. There aren't enough thank you's that could be offered for the army of prayer warriors that have fought and fought for her. I hope you all can see what I've seen...the incredible power of prayer and the faithfulness of our loving God...in a real, tangible, fall on our knees with thanksgiving kind of way.
He has this. I trust Him. I'm so thankful. That's where my rest is, if I could just park my spirit there and run out of gas so pulling back out isn't an option. That would be perfect. But he loves me despite my shortcomings...maybe even more for them, I think:) The Gospel really does come alive in this ministry. Thank you for reading the 4th installment of my "Falling madly in love..." series. Perhaps this will be the last? With all my heart, thank you for praying. I thank God for you.
In His amazing love,