I've been meaning to write a post like this for a while, now. It's not really my story to tell, but I'm going to. It's about the little baby in this picture -
and this one -
She was three weeks old when we got her, and we call her Baby K. You see, sometimes when God does something in our lives, we wonder and wonder and question and never know why. We know we can trust Him and His plan, and we can have peace without knowing why. And then other times, we get a pretty crystal clear picture of why. It was pretty obvious right from the start why God brought Baby K to our family for a couple weeks.
It was for her parents.
We'd never done parent visits before, because we were only short term emergency foster care. But this time we agreed to it, because she was breastfeeding, and because we knew we would only have her a little while - we thought until six weeks, when she would move to a long term foster placement. I felt so incredibly nervous and clueless when I showed up for the first visit, and confused and emotional when I left. Baby K's parents were so obviously hurting, but after all, there must be a reason *I* had their baby instead of them, and I didn't really trust their emotions as being sincere love - at least, not the kind of love that sacrifices, that gives things up and makes changes to prove itself.
Over the next week I saw them almost every day. And every day they came in, eager to tell me everything they had done and accomplished in those twenty-four hours. Nervous. Anxious that it wouldn't be enough. A little angry at a system that had more power than them, and scared - so scared they would fail. They worked themselves ragged. They didn't rest. They had appointments, meetings, paperwork, more appointments, checklists, she pumped round the clock, he worked overtime and fixed a salvaged truck to sell so they could buy some things they needed to care for a baby. They sacrificed. And every day when I saw them they were so happy to have their girl in their arms for an hour, and looked so haunted when they left.
And every day they told me, in varying phrases, "We made mistakes. We're getting them fixed so we can have our baby back. But we wouldn't have survived this without you. Thank you so much for loving our baby today. Thank you so much for being here. It was so scary when they took her, we didn't know where she would end up, and we worried about her so much, but then we met you, and we saw your kids with you, and the way you held her, and it was a little more ok. Thank you. We're so thankful she's in a loving home, and that you were willing to do this." And every day I prayed for them, because I didn't know, really, how to help them, but I knew God could.
The story ends well - Baby K's parents were able to get the help they needed and they were reunited after just 10 days. I still pray for them, because life is hard and messy, and I don't know where there story went from there, but I know God brought Baby K to us - for their sake.