Last Fall, we had a 4 year old girl in our home for a few weeks. She had only been in care about a month when her short-term foster Dad was injured in an accident. We took her in for respite care while he recovered.
Almost immediately, I was overcome with a feeling that this was someone else's forever baby. As a foster parent there is always a baseline sense that you are the right-now Mommy while the dust settles, family restoration is attempted and facts come into focus. I am ever aware I am rocking, holding, disciplining and experiencing milestones with someone else's baby. It is the bittersweet nature of this ministry. But this one was different. I had an unusual fire in my belly. The facts of the case were more clear-cut than previous placements and this sweet girl was longing for a Mommy and Daddy in a raw sense.
My husband and I both were both moved to advocate for a foster-to-adopt home to be found for her as soon as possible. In very short order our agency matched her with another family one town away and the decision was made to move her there.
The transition was ideal, in that, I was able to speak to her new foster Mom the day before. We were able to discuss bedtime routine, food preferences and the little things that would make her feel more known as she entered their family.
The new foster Mom and I clicked immediately. I am was able to encourage her via text messaging and pray for her as they got to know one another. She sent me photos and updates. We met for coffee without kids a couple of times. When we were awaiting a new placement or transitioning with a new child, she covered us in prayer. We even got to visit their home and see how beautifully this little girl was acclimating to her new life.
Through all the heart-wrenching twists and turns of the loss of this child's biological family, her foster Mom and I have been united in prayer that God's Will be done and her heart be protected.
This week the foster family passed the last major legal milestone in their journey and signed a letter of intent to adopt. She is at home with her forever family--and has been for the last year--they've been able to experience first lost teeth, Kindergarten, soccer practice and almost 400 nights of bedtime snuggles and growth.
This afternoon I received a series of texts from her new Mama that made me weep and reminded me anew of the faithfulness of our Father.
The original post she referenced was written after an intense emotional night where God's Word (Psalm 23 through Sally Lloyd-Jones) was exactly the balm that fragile heart needed. I am thrilled to report that it was a promise God kept.
And while my friend complimented MY writing, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God is the real author of this story!
I cannot wait for the official court date to be set where this sweet one becomes on paper what God has known all along. She is an adopted daughter, loved, wanted and found.
This Fall, we are three months into another preschool aged placement. A family rhythm has been established. We have bonded. She will forever have a place in my heart as a dearly loved baby of mine regardless of how much longer God chooses to leave her here. And this is the point in the process where it gets emotionally messy. I get fearful. I am tempted to question God's timeline and speed. I want to know the outcome so I can prepare and protect her heart (and those of my family members).
And through these text reminders of His Faithfulness, God sends me a clear message of who He is and how He operates. Not on our timeline. Not in a way we can predict. Always according to His nature.
The story God is writing in both of their lives has allowed me to carry the baton for a season, but He is ultimately writing the story in a way that is full of creativity, restoration and grace.
Glory to God.