Can you read this with this crazyness going on!? Sorry about all the changes. I can't make up my mind what I like or don't like--any input?!?
On to the real post here...hold on, it's really long!
Where to begin? Where to end? I've gone back and forth about where to pick up the story of Baby L; of what exactly to post; and where to bring it all to a close. It's a hard story to tell because so much of what happened was a direct result of what God did and not what we did. I'd like to think I'm a decent communicator, but it's hard to communicate a story that's all about God and really make it all about Him. You know, without sounding totally crazy. Here's my best attempt:
I'd made several phone calls on the way to the hospital to people who I knew needed to know we were there. Once we were settled in, I texted one last friend. She texted back that she was praying for us and that she was singing over us; in fact, that she was praying that the Holy Spirit would give us songs to sing. I appreciated her thoughts, but soon forgot them as I settled into a restless sleep in one of those hospital chairs that folds out into a bed.
Around 2 am L's heart monitor began to go off. This had happened several times, but he was usually settled by a few gentle touches. This time was different so I got his bottle ready and nestled him in my arms. He was sleepy and quickly settled into that sleepy suck that looks more like a chomp (moms, know what I'm talking about?). I'd seen this chomping before; in our Katie. I actually chuckled in that hospital room at that moment. Was it possible that God had given us a poor eater in Katie almost two years previous for this moment--feeding this little boy in a hospital room?
I remembered that singing often helped her stay alert as she ate in the middle of the night.
I rocked. Twisted the bottle this way and that. Held my finger firmly under his chin (another trick we'd learned with Katie-Girl).
In that moment, I remembered the text from my friend. I really had no idea what I'd been singing up to that point, but at that moment of realization these words were on my lips: "Here I am to worship, Here I am to bow down, Here I am to say that You're my God..." Tears still come as I remember. At that moment, I worshiped in the most pure way I've ever worshiped. In those moments, I felt the Lord’s presence in a way I’ve never experienced before and in a way I long to experience again.
Sunday was filled with snuggling, silencing the heart monitor, feedings, a little dozing, and a lot of emotion. Doctors and nurses urged me to go home and be with my family. I felt torn. They moved him to a room beside the nurse’s desk, so I could rest in the fact that he was being well cared for. I slept that night in my own bed and the rest was good.
Monday morning I woke with a new drive. No longer the emotional momma from yesterday, instead, determined to make sure what needed to be done for this baby was done—today!
I grew angry as I realized that, because of his medical condition, this child should’ve never been placed in our home. Then, grew graceful as I realized that it wasn’t a mistake that this child was placed in our home.
It didn’t take long for DSS to arrive at the hospital. I saw her at the nurse’s desk in an animal print suit and heels, magnifying a definite presence and I guessed her identity. When she requested to speak to our nurse, all doubt was gone and I prayed for strength to say what needed to be said and grace to say it in a God honoring way. When she arrived, she apologized for all that we’d been through and promised that we’d have a home suitable for Baby L to be discharged by day’s end. Usually a non-confrontational person, I was surprised by the assertiveness with which I spoke. I explained to her, and anyone else who’d listen or asked that day, about how God had placed this child in our care for a specific purpose—that purpose, we believe in part, was to save his life.
The night before, Baby L's cardiologist visited and told us what he believed to be true: if L had not been in our home, rather had been in the situation he was taken from, he’d have, in all probability, been found dead that weekend.
On Tuesday Baby L was discharged into a medically fragile foster home and the week before Christmas had successful open heart surgery. That's all we know and all we'll ever probably know about him. Like Little Man, he'll forever be in our hearts for all he taught us about who we are and who God is.
As we anxiously await the call for another placement, we are learning that this journey has little to do with the kids who come into our home. Like much of life, this is about us...about our hearts. We've seen more about who God is over the past year, through foster care specifically, than we've seen in a lifetime. Our view of God has grown.
Honestly, we're discouraged not to have a "new kid" (how our girls refer to our next placement =). We're learning--even in this waiting period--that God holds the world together. He's got this one figured out and He can be trusted.
The girls and I were reminded of this today in the sunrise. It was spectacular. We admired from the window upstairs as they got dressed this morning. On the way to school, they were eager to pray. "Dear Jesus," prayed my darling Annabelle, "Thank You for the sweet sunrise You gave us this morning!" She didn't mean sweet as in "cool." She meant, "God it was sweet of You to give us that." Again, tears even as I type.
It was a sweet reminder that He is a big God who loves us...because of the cross!