“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” – Winnie the Pooh
This week we have welcomed a little bundle of pure joy into our home and hearts, and I can already see our lives will never be the same. When we called Identity Missions here in Honduras to say that we almost have all of our paperwork together to become foster parents, they responded about how good that was because they were waiting on a call that an “abandoned” newborn was ready to be released into foster care.
You see, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, the hopeless circumstances of abuse, early pregnancy, violence, lack of education, and continued poverty leave many parents feeling they have no where to turn. This leads to many children being abandoned at birth or early in life. What are we to do? How can we help? Well, our family may not be able to change the world but we decided we can change the world for this one – this beautiful, tiny miracle of God.
What a whirlwind the last few days have been. A late night shopping spree to buy a bed, car seat, diapers, formula, and all the basic material needs to bring a baby into our home, led to excitement and anticipation for our family. As we waited for her to arrive in our home, all we knew about her is that the local police found her abandoned and brought her to a hospital. But God is good, and these policemen, I am sure saved her new life.
When she arrived and was put into our arms, our hearts were full. Who knew you could love someone so much in a matter of minutes. She is perfect. God created her in His own image (Genesis 1:27). She is a miracle formed by our Father’s hands (Psalm 139:13). We know God has a plan to use her for His kingdom.
These past few days and nights, we have all enjoyed opening our hearts. We are adjusting to nightly feedings and someone needing constant attention. Our three boys are being lots of help, and they are completely smitten. It is new having a 5 pound baby girl after having three baby boys weighing 8 lbs 11 ozs, 10 lbs 5 ozs, and 10 lbs 9 ozs. She seems so delicate, and the guys in our transition program are afraid they would break her if they were to hold her. Newborn clothing hangs off her tiny legs and body, but she is healthy and a great eater. She is so alert like she is taking everything into that little mind.
With all the love we feel, we are trying to remember that this is foster care. Only God knows the time we have with her in our family; especially, when dealing with a volatile department of children’s services here in Honduras. It is interesting to note that just this week, we have also started our paperwork to be put on the list to adopt here from Honduras. But this process has no easy answers; it is an extremely complicated, long, difficult, and ever-changing process here.
So, it is easy to see that we have to consciously decide as a family not to love with reservations. What if we grow to love her even more (if that’s possible) and she is taken away? How will we handle it and how will we grieve? But then I think, what if she has these first moments and milestones of her life without the feeling of love and security? What will this teach her about God and the importance of her life and future?
So, whether she is with us for a few weeks, months, years, or forever, she is worth being loved without reserve and to be considered family. No matter the circumstances from where she came, while she is with us we will love her and teach her to praise God because she was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
Please pray for our family as we grow our personal ministry to include foster care.
Will it be easy? Nope! Will it be worth it? Absolutely!