Monday, November 9, 2015

Becoming a Foster FAMILY

We got into foster care because we have a heart for kids in need. Our hearts broke for kids who needed a loving home, and we wanted to serve as their family in their time of need. We always thought we may even grow our family through fostering. But when we thought we would grow our family through fostering, we assumed it would be through adoption. However, this week we realized that we may grow our family through fostering in an entirely different way.

Last Tuesday, Mckenna said she missed Baby N and that she hoped we could see her again. So we decided to text Baby N's mom, Andrea, to see how they were and if she'd like to meet for a playdate at a park. And to our surprise, she said she would love to. So on Thursday, we picked them up and headed for a park to catch up. Baby N looked wonderful. She was happy, healthy, and had grown a ton. We weren't sure how much she recognized us, but we sure recognized her. We were all delighted to see her sweet face and give her snuggles again. At that playdate, we found out that mom was pregnant again, and due in mid December. We told her we were happy to help in any way that we could.

Fast forward just over 24 hours later and we received a text from Andrea saying she thought her water broke. We offered to take her to the hospital to have things checked out and watch Baby N. Sure enough, her water broke, so I went to the hospital to keep her company once she was admitted, and Ronnie stayed home with Mckenna and Baby N. All weekend long, we were Andrea and Baby N's "family". They had no one else on those days. Baby N stayed with us, and I went to and from the hospital, alternating between keeping Andrea company and leaving so she could rest. It was so amazing getting to spend time with Andrea: chatting, laughing, and sharing stories.

Thankfully, yesterday afternoon they had some family get here to help and support. We dropped Baby N at the hospital to see Andrea and their extended family. And Baby N's grandma was able to take her for the night.

I received a text message at 4:21AM saying: "Just wanted to let you know that (Baby M) was finally born. Thank God :)"

When we got into fostering, we wanted to help children in need. As we went through the training, we learned that fostering wasn't about just helping babies, but that it was a platform through which we could show their families' God's love, in possibly some of their most desperate moments. We never knew what this would look like. We didn't know how we would do it. And for most of the time Baby N was under our roof, we didn't do it. Sure we did it in little ways. We did many of the drops off and pick ups to have some interaction with Andrea. We tried to go above and beyond to make mom feel comfortable with us. We worked hard to advocate on Andrea's behalf. Never in a million years did we think that when Baby N went home, we were maybe only starting to really show her God's love.

What I learned through this weekend is that by taking in a foster baby, you are actually growing your family, by a whole family. And there's nothing more beautiful than that.

Needless to say, Mckenna was thrilled to have her buddy back.

My other hospital buddy...since I'm nursing so much, he came along.

Two peas...

Killing time!

Pile on!

Amazing to snuggle my little love again!