When you have a baby and it’s their first birthday, it’s so hard to believe. What’s hard to believe is two-fold though. First, you can’t believe it’s already been a whole year! At the same time, you can’t believe it’s only been a year because you feel like your child has always been a part of the family.
With foster care and adoption, it feels the same way – at least to me it does. I can’t believe it’s been over a year already – and yet, I can’t believe it’s only been one year. We didn’t know we would get this much time with Smiley when we said “yes”. And what a blessing she has been.
It’s hard to “celebrate” for the simple fact that a child being in foster care is nothing to celebrate. But at the same time, we want to acknowledge the blessing she has been in our life. We do celebrate the person she is, because that is definitely something worth celebrating.
Smiley is the kind of girl who doesn’t like her chores, but does them when asked. She is the kind of girl who drops everything when Owen slams his hand in the door, so she can sit next to him and tell him stories of her scars while I hold him and wipe his tears. She is the kind of girl who argues to the death with Peyton and then sits down to help him understand his math homework. Kylee is the kind of girl who asks me if we can go through the drive-through to buy four egg mcmuffins and hand them out to the homeless man we both smiled and waved at as we came off the freeway – and then when I pull out my wallet to pay, insists on paying for it herself. She has the biggest heart you can imagine. My life is better because she is in it.
Foster Care is hard. I want to be her only mom and keep her for myself. I want my very own daughter. But this journey is not about me, and as God teaches me how to live freely in that, I’m thankful for the growth, even though it hurts sometimes.
Our journey doesn’t end here. Smiley says put for now. When this smiley bird flies the nest, our family will always be viewed as “five” until we are blessed with another and then it grows to six. Who knows what the future holds, but never have I ever wished we didn’t start this journey.
I pray others will consider opening their heart and their home!