Our Little Girl is three months old today. She has already outgrown the hat I made for her. It was so big when she first wore it...
And as I think about having a three (nearly four) month old baby later this month, I find myself fighting against jealousy of all those parents who have had the chance to hold their babies the whole time. I think about all the nursing I've missed already, all the giggles and the growth. I even think about all the dirty diapers and stained favorite clothes and sleepless nights I've missed. She's changed so much since we met her and first whispered our hopes to bring her home someday.
I think about how our lives would be different now, if we'd had this baby for three months. Being able to know her and to see her first smile, to be able to make her laugh, take her to doctor's appointments, read her books, sing her songs. All the time.
But then I also think about the family we wouldn't know if we had our Girl already--our Baby's foster family. We are blessed that they do not live too far away from us and we are able to go up to see the Babe at least once a week. It's such a joy to know them, to have them in our lives, and in our Little Girl's life. They take such good care of her and want nothing but her happiness. They hope and pray that we are able to bring her home, forever. And they have opened their hearts to us in ways I never expected.
It's in the little things they do for that Little Girl, for us, that make all the difference. Showing her our pictures all the time, telling her how much we love her, wrapping her in sweaters of ours so she can learn our smell. When we visit they let us take care of her all on our own. They allow us to love her the way we naturally would. If we ask, they are there to help us, to give us advice, answer questions, offer suggestions. But if not, they just let us be with her. It is a tremendous gift.
In many ways, I feel her foster parents are like parents to us, too. They have three older children, and our Baby is the third foster child they've had. Why not add another two "grown-up" kids to the mix? Why not add a young couple, longing to be parents for the first time? As any family community does, they have helped us to care for this Baby Girl selflessly and with much grace. Just like parents do..
The foster mother has told me she will be heartbroken when our--hers and my--Little Girl leaves them. Not because they want to keep her forever, but because they have loved her so much, and so well.
Each week, when the time comes to leave their home, we put Baby down in her bassinett and bless her, and I feel a tinge of regret that it has to be this way. That we have to leave her, ever.
But as we drive away, after hugging this wonderful foster mother good-bye until next week, I know that God's ways are beyond mine, mysterious and awe-full. That He has put this family in our lives in this way for a very important reason.
And my regret melts away into deep and profound (if still teary) thankfulness that our Baby has such a wonderful Home to be loved in.
I hope ours will be wonderful to her, too.