I have a lot on my heart lately. It’s the Christmas season, our official licensing appointment is happening tomorrow(WHOOHOO!!!), and of course in the middle of all of it we are busy preparing to bring a foster child into our hearts and home. My heart has felt so full at times it seemed it might burst.
Several weeks ago as we approached our home study and and now more so since we found out our home study was approved I have had the inexplicable urgent need to nest. Amid the tinsel and twinkling lights I have been fluffing and rearranging our little nest. I realize I’m not about to have a biological child but the maternal instincts are kicking in nonetheless. It’s so weird and wonderful and beautiful to have those maternal instincts fluttering about my heart and soul. I can’t begin to explain the happiness and joy at knowing we will soon have a placement–a placement we might not have for very long–but a child all the same. I’ve found myself wondering what our placements face will look like and excitement at getting to finally meet them after all this time. I keep telling myself and reminding myself, and repeating to myself over and over again that it’s important to be realistic about the attachments I form with this child–and I am–but the nesting feelings persist. I don’t know how my heart will be able to tell the difference as I introduce this child as “my child” every time we meet someone new. God’s just going to have to make a way for me.
I feel as if nothing is properly ready–though I am as prepared as my situation will allow me to be. Since I will not know the age or sex of our placement there are so many things that I cannot purchase yet. SO-MANY-THINGS. We are installing the final piece of “nursery” furniture in our bedroom this weekend–the shelves above the changing table–and I’m sure once that gets done I will feel somewhat better. I plan on giving the house a final thorough cleaning from top to bottom after we sign our licensing paperwork and put Christmas away. I usually leave it all out until after New Years but with a new baby on the horizon I thought it best not to be caught with Christmas pajama pants down. Ah-hem.
The strangest, most terrifying development as of late is the sudden fear that rips through me when I think I’ve “left” or “forgotten” our placement. I find myself bolting upright in bed as I’m about to drift to sleep because I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the baby in the car. This seems to be happening more frequently and it’s not just while I’m falling asleep–it’s while I’m washing the dishes, or driving away from the gas station or running errands. All the sudden I’ll have this fear I’ve left my child at the house and driven away, or on top of my car as I leave the gas station, or in the cart at the grocery store. This is probably the weirdest of all the ‘feelings’ I’ve been having lately. We don’t even have a placement! How could I forget a child that is not here? It’s the weirdest, strangest, most bizarre sensation. Every time I think I’ve left my child somewhere I feel like a few months have been shaved off my life. My heart palpitates, I get short of breath, time stops–in short, it’s a horrifying feeling.
I have also spent a lot of time praying for our first placement–though not near as much as I should. When I find myself thinking about them I say a quick prayer that God is keeping them safe and I pray for their parent/parents. I pray that they would get the help they need to be the parents their children deserve them to be and that they would come to come to know the unshakable love of Jesus. The circumstances that surround the child in foster care and their parents is so very complicated and delicate. I don’t want to become callous or bitter as we walk this foster care road with our placement. I pray a lot that God will help me always see this situation from his perspective–with love, grace, and mercy–and to remain tender and kind. It’s been a bit of a challenge to know how to pray about this situation and I think if there is enough interest I will dedicate a full blog post to how I’ve approached this subject in prayer–rather clumsily I might add, but with fullest sincerity. I’ve been in such need of it myself that I’m eager to share my methods in the hope that someone else will share theirs with me! If anyone knows of a solid devotion for foster parents please, please, please, leave info about it in the comments. Foster care bible studies for parents have been hard to come by–I haven’t found a single one.
So yeah, a lot of feelings and things on my heart. I’m still reeling from the fact that TOMORROW we will be licensed foster parents. It’s so surreal and the most perfect Christmas present. the. most. perfect. gift. ever.
I hope you had the most wonderful Christmas spent with Jesus and family in your hearts, and love, peace, and joy for the world.