It’s 4:31 on Saturday morning, and I fell asleep at 2:23 am. 2 hours of sleep, 2 hours is not enough for the day I am about to face. I know I need to get more than 2 hours, yet there is NO way my eyes will be willed back closed. No WAY. So when I am lacking sleep, I usually write. There is a lot happening FAAAST in our home. It’s all happening faster than I can totally process it, so I will process here through words. The best I can…
I believe that each and every person walking the earth has a God given destiny and purpose. I also believe that we are given the very gifts and talents that we need to fulfill that purpose. When we are able to fulfill our destiny, something amazing happens. God’s light shines through our lives, and we know we are right where we were meant to be. There are many seasons in life, and we all experience the seasons of our life at different times. While I was in my darkest valleys, the world continued on around me. For that I am so thankful. That beauty continues even when we may be in Winter. I am thankful for that because it brings hope. A reminder that the way we feel today is NOT the way we will always feel. Hope that if today is a dark, wintry season, tomorrow may be the first sign of spring. We were not meant to walk in the valley for long, and when we cry out to the Lord, He is faithful to walk us out and into our next beautiful clearing.
So, why can’t I sleep? Well our family is a licensed foster family. We have been called and purposed to love on babies who are vulnerable and need a safe place to call home. I know without a shadow of a doubt that being a mommy is my greatest calling. I have had the desire to be a mother and a teacher since I was a young child. Even as a young child, I knew deep in my heart that I would be mommy to a large family. I never knew quite what that would look like other than the way that I dreamed it up in my mind. I didn’t realize back then what the Lord was going to call me to do. Now I see… I am parenting children who may stay for a week, a month, a year, or forever.
When my beautiful boys came to me, it was supposed to be for one week. They needed respite care for one week. That was in October 2015, and their adoption was finalized on March 8th, 2017. To say foster care is uncertain is the biggest understatement, yet I don’t know another word to attach to amount of unknowns there are. Most of the questions people ask me, I cannot answer because I simply do not know myself. It’s a minefield of maybes, what-ifs, and sometimes tragic events. The foster parents are a covering, a shield to the children in care. Protecting them from every angle: protecting their precious hearts, their physical needs, protecting their precious ears to be sure they never hear anything that may hurt or confuse them, and protecting them from feeling the uncertainty about tomorrow that you feel every day.
Its in these unknowns that Jesus provides peace that only comes from Him. Peace that the world simply cannot provide. In the world, I like many people, find peace in knowing. There is peace in knowing what the future will most likely bring, peace in knowing that your children are safe and snuggled in their beds, peace in knowing that they will be yours forever. To find peace when you are parenting a child that may have a future outside of your home can only come from Jesus. I learned to trust Him in a deeper way. I learned that He holds each of my children in His mighty Hands. That He breathed life, and purpose, and destiny into each of them, and that He will sustain them all of the days of their lives. My baby boys are no longer part of the foster care system. Their birth certificates arrived yesterday, and to behold that document with my name on it was surreal. I lined up all four of my children’s birth certificates in a row and just stared. They all look the same, they all say that I am mommy. I don’t know what I expected when I opened the letter yesterday, but I guess I thought that maybe the birth certificate would look different in some way. That there would be a page 2, but no. The birth certificates look exactly like the others. Four children, four beautiful amazing God given children. Four children sleeping peacefully right now knowing that have the certainty of knowing that this is their home, I am their mommy, and we are a family. The certainty of knowing those basic things is something I spent many nights praying for and crying out to God on my boys’ behalf. I do not take this gift of being their mommy lightly. I am aware of both the responsibility and the joy set before me.
When their adoption was finalized in March, all of our caseworker phone calls stopped, the home visits stopped, the court dates ended, the Guardian ad Litem visits ended, and our home enjoyed a quiet peace of just us. We enjoyed the certainty that we were no longer living in those maybe days. It was a beautiful rest and we are all still resting in the comfort of knowing we are a forever family.
So why the post about being unable to sleep? What is happening so fast?
Here it is…. Our family will be welcoming a baby girl into our home today. She is being discharged from the NICU today and coming home to us. And so….the maybe days begin again. The leaning HARD into Jesus. The trust that His plan is sovereign over mine. That HE knows just what our family has been called to do and HE will equip us every step of the way. He will be the source where we receive love from so that we can pour it out onto each other and all over this precious baby. She will need a lot of love and care. She will need all of us to shield her from the uncertainty. We will love her fiercely. We will protect her. We will cherish each day we are given with her whether it’s one day or forever.