What a Difference a Month Makes
It’s been a while since I have posted on here, and for good reason. At the end of January, we received our first placement. Prior to that, we had a wonderful little 3 year old boy in respite care. Things were looking like he was going to be moved into our house. As we got closer to the end of the weekend, although we really loved the little guy, we felt like we were not the right solution for that little guy. So God worked it out where the other foster family decided to keep him, which was ultimately great. But, on our last day with that little guy, while we were walking through the decision of, “Should we keep this little guy or not,” we got a call for our new little guy.
Our new little guy, Baby J, is such an angel. We picked him up on day 2 of his precious little life. When we picked him up, they told us, “Just go ahead and call him whatever you want. We’ve been through all of this with mama a few times and he will mostly likely be yours and you will be his forever family.” MAN! We were a mix of emotions with that statement. There was a part of us that was absolutely overjoyed. This was totally what we wanted. We wanted to love some little babies and then to adopt them and for them to always be part of our family. BUT, on the other hand, we had heard tons of stories of people who had gotten a placement and were absolutely sure that the little one would be with them forever, only to have some ransom cousin pop up at the last minute and say that they wanted him. We were overjoyed, and scared, and nervous.
We’ve had Baby J for over a month now. He is just as precious as can be. He’s happy, healthy, and just the sweetest little cuddle bug you could ever hope for. His momma, as so many foster babies’ mommas are, was on drugs. Baby J is healthy, though! And I have to say, it used to be that when I had a rough day at work, I would come home and just shut down. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to disconnect and watch TV and shut my brain off. Now, I just want to snuggle my little guy. Putting him on my chest just melts away all of my troubles.
I have definitely started to realize that I am not the same person. When you get excited when your baby poops, you know you are a dad. When you get peed on, spit up on, and drooled on and it does not bother you at all, you know you are a dad. When you have a 100 pictures on your phone and at least 95 of them are of the baby, you know you are a daddy. Life has changed, but it is good.
On the other hand, I have had some really tough stuff happening in other areas of my life. My sister, who has been fighting cancer for over a year now, has had some rough turns. She had gotten down to just having one tumor on her liver (although that tumor had a blood flow and was not dying despite their best attempts to kill it). Recently, we found out that the cancer is in her bones, too. It is in two of her vertebrae and in one rib bone. Then a couple more tumors popped up in her intestines. It’s hard to see someone you love in so much pain. There is not a thing that I, my sister, or my mother can do. When we try to express our sorrow, my sweet sister always feels like it is her fault. We just don’t want her to be in pain anymore. It stinks to see someone you love hurting.
I met with a friend of mine who happens to be a pastor at my church as well. We talked about this for a little bit and he explained something kind of interesting to me. He referenced Genesis 3 where the curse of the fall is laid out. It talks about how there were 3 parts to the curse. Man was cursed to have toil and struggle to survive. Basically it would never be easy to provide for your family again. Woman was cursed to have pain in childbirth. Satan’s curse was that humanity would always be in opposition to him. Specifically, it says that there would be “enmity” between Satan and man. Enmity is one of those words that, because we don’t use it often, is not understood very well by us. It basically means hatred. A lot of times, we, as Christians, we struggle with the word hatred. Either we hate the wrong things (gay people, people who are promiscuous, people who get abortions, etc) or we think that hate is wrong in all cases. But there is one case in the Bible where hate is called forth. We are supposed to hate the Devil and we are supposed to hate sin. My pastor friend talked about this, and I think it freed up in my a sense that I could be angry at the unjustness of this situation. Because even though God is omnipotent, he does not like that my sister is ill. So I hate Satan for the illness, and the pain that she is feeling.
It has been a crazy whirlwind. On one hand, I am having some of the most beautiful, sweet, tender moments in my life right now because of my beautiful, baby boy. On the other hand, my heart is broken because of the pain that my precious sister is going through. All of this has left me feeling raw and exposed. I take comfort in the fact that my God loves me, he protects me, and when I am feeling exposed, as Martin Smith wrote, He “wrap[s] around me like a winter coat.”