Baby C is one month old today. He is growing so fast, and is turning into quite the little butterball. His already unusually long hair is getting longer, and he is rocking a sweet baby mullet. He is absolutely adored by his siblings; there is always someone wanting to hold and/or feed him, and I've had to instate a "no kissing the baby when he's asleep" rule because the girls kiss on him so much and they were always waking him up.
He fits so seamlessly into our family that it's almost weird. A good weird. A wonderful weird, actually. As if he's always been with us.
He looks toward us when he hears our voices, and just yesterday gave me a few sweet smiles while playing peek-a-boo with a blanket. He has started cooing to try to talk to us, and has good eye contact when we talk to him. Sandra McCracken will put him right to sleep in the van. He LOVES to lie on a blanket on the floor and look out the big living room window. He just happily looks around and kicks his legs like crazy for a good long time. He only fusses when his diaper is dirty or he's tired, and he generally sleeps like a champ, especially since we switched to a different formula that is easier to digest. Almost like clockwork at night he will fall asleep around 9, wake up about 2:30, and then again at 4, 6, and 8. I take the 2:30 feeding and Josh usually takes both the 4 and 6. He doesn't usually sleep with us, but like most parents we don't shy away from some morning snuggles.
This month he went to church for the first time and was introduced in front of the church, he got to go to Classical Conversations with all of us and hang out in Taylah's class, and he slept right through his first adventure in Mammoth Cave on Josh's birthday. We are spoiling him rotten and soaking up every minute of every snuggle, partly because we know how fast he'll grow up, and partly because we don't know how many more days of snuggles we'll get.
We go back to court tomorrow and I have to admit that I'm a ball of nerves. He could be returned to his parents immediately, they could initiate a transition process for reunification, or he could remain with us until the next court date. There's no way to know what the judge is going to decide, and it is working every faith muscle I've got to trust the Lord with his future.
Even though foster care and adoption is supposed to be just about the kids and not about us, can I talk about us for a second? We've prayed for a baby for the last 6 years. Saved all of Jude's baby stuff and outgrown clothes. Cried. Begged. Prayed. Miscarried. Cried. Taken medicines and run tests. Prayed. Cried some more. There are no words for how thankful we are for the four amazing kids that God has given us, but it still hasn't dampened our desire for another baby.
And one month ago today I sat in my living room knowing that C's mom was in labor (he is a full biological sibling of our three adopted kids) and had no expectation that he would be removed from her care. That same day we found out another friend is pregnant. And I wept. Hot, unstoppable tears from a heart that hurt so deeply. Tears that I didn't even feel like I was allowed to cry, because I should just be thankful for the kids I have and be happy for others who are given children, right?
That night, on a whim, I took a pregnancy test and it was faintly positive. That next day, I received a call saying the state was going to take custody of C, and would we be willing to take him?
6 years of begging God for a baby, and he gave us two in less than 24 hours.
We spent a blissful and sleep deprived week adjusting to having a newborn again and talking about what life would look like with babies 8 months apart. Eager to tell them when they got older that we found out we were expecting on the day C was born.
Then, as most of you know by now, God's perfect plan didn't include the baby in my womb surviving. In fact the baby wasn't in my womb at all. In the loving Father's perfect goodness, he allowed me to be within 1 minute of the hospital when my tube started to rupture, and I drove myself to the ER and was quickly taken back for emergency surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy.
6 years of begging God for a baby, and we've already lost one of them and could lose the other as well.
I'm trying not to see it that way, but it is so difficult.
In a text conversation yesterday, Josh put it so simply and perfectly when he encouraged me, "Do not worry. For by worrying you cannot add a single child to our family." I'm so thankful for that man.
I'm writing all of this to beg you for prayer.
1. Please pray that God would grant the judge over C's case wisdom and discernment, "for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." (Romans 13:1)
2. Please pray that God would help us to walk by faith and not by sight, and to trust him no matter what happens.
Whenever we have faced trials of any kind, I'm always reminded of Peter's words in John 6:68. Many of the disciples turned away from following Jesus after a particularly difficult to understand teaching. Jesus asked the twelve if they were going to go away as well, and Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” That is always my prayer in trials. I cling even tighter than ever to Christ, because there is nowhere else to turn. He alone has the words of eternal life. He alone is my comfort, hope, and security.