Remembering this day...four years ago, when we said goodbye to precious baby M...
March 15, 2014
I wailed when he left. Empty swing. Empty bed. Empty drawers. Empty hall. Empty arms. Empty heart.
I tried to hold it together when she came to get him. I tried. Really hard. But there is some pain that can’t be held in. It just comes pouring out, and sometimes at really “inappropriate” times. I explained this and that about all the things I had packed up…his whole life, really. That’s when it erupted, from somewhere deep within, right out my eyes, the windows to my soul, all hot and wet. I tried to be strong. “Here are some extra diapers and formula. These are the jammies he is used to…” said through tears who clearly have a mind of their own.
Bringing home a baby from the hospital is pure joy. But in this case it was mingled with sadness, as birth mama is left behind. Empty womb. Nevertheless, the joy of new life overwhelmed our family. We knew he wasn’t “ours.” No baby really is, but you think differently when they come out of your body.
When I found out he was going, I began to grieve for him. I decided to keep loving him with my whole heart. He deserves that. So I hold nothing back. I relish all the little moments, tiny hands grabbing my bottom lip as he nurses his bottle. The smell of his head, the sounds he makes as he begans to discover his own voice, the way he feels, heavy with sleep in my arms, the joy of my other children engaging with him, playfully, lovingly, the tenderness of my husband. The look in his eyes at the first of morning, bright and shiny and ready to receive love and life. His smile. His wiggly yearning to go, go, go.
It is such a confusing journey, being a foster mama. I knew when I entered into it that I would have to let him go. And truly he is where he needs to be, with adoring family who are devoted to him and love him wholeheartedly. For this I am deeply grateful. He doesn’t need me anymore. This is beautiful and brutal simultaneously.
Life goes on. I have others to love, to continue to give my heart to…a choice I make moment after moment after moment.
The wailing has stopped and in it’s place I find a dull ache, a longing for a child no longer mine. I miss him, and I wonder if this ache will always be part of my heart. I hope it will be, because it means that I loved him. It is a place in my heart reserved just for him. It reminds me of him.
And it was worth it, it is worth it, every single bit of it.
I had the privilege of giving my whole mama heart to a precious baby boy for five whole months. When he left here, he was overflowing with love, all squishy and happy and healthy, ready for his new home, his new life, his forever family. So if it costs me some pain, some ache, it’s okay. It’s worth it. He’s worth it.
And I would do it again.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:3
Postlude: March 15, 2018
I am so grateful for the friendship that God birthed between M's forever Mama and me...It is an unexpected gift. This is our God. We all got to see each other a few Sundays ago. I took him in my arms and he laid his little head on my shoulder, as if he remembered. I am so grateful for where he is today, and now, I have another baby boy in my arms...Look what God can do!
"Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you." Ephesians 3:20, The Passion Translation
To learn more about foster care in the Bay Area and how you can become involved in living out God's love for vulnerable children, check out Foster the Bay. If you live in the Bay Area, I would be happy to get information to you on how to take first steps in welcoming a child into your home OR in supporting a foster family who is caring for a child or in anticipation of caring for one. "Whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me..." said Jesus. Mark 9:37
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