A year ago our lives changed so dramatically it is hard to rap my graying head around some days. Our BD came to live with us just 12 short months ago today. We agreed to a foster placement that had the potential to become an adoption placement. Case workers asked us repeatedly if we were willing to adopt this tiny little 8 month old girl and we emphatically said yes. Little did we know what that yes would mean.
Mostly it meant joy. The deep down in your soul want to dance and run in the rain kind of joy that you just can’t keep contained so it leaks out of the corner of your eyes and peaks out from around your upturned mouth as big toothy grins. I can remember the day the joy really hit me, I was driving over the Wilmington River Bridge on Victory Drive and couldn’t help smiling. I had my radio turned up loud and was praising God all the way into work. It occurred to me at that moment that no matter what the 50/50 outcome of this child welfare case was, I was so thankful for this moment of pure joy brought about by getting to be mommy to a beautiful, happy, and definitely bouncing baby girl. And I still feel that way. No matter what happens with the pending court hearing, I will always praise God that he redeemed the most broken place in my core by calling me to foster and then sent this baby into our lives.
It also meant changes. You know the memory posts you get from Facebook reminding you what you were doing a year, or five, ago today? Most of mine are amazing. There are trips, concerts, vacations, family and friends. Like most everyone my life according to my Facebook posts was AMAZING. But the truth is it wasn’t all fun and games wrapped in luxury. In order to afford all those vacations and fun things, I was working myself to death, taking on challenges at work that brought bigger paychecks that brought bigger responsibilities that brought bigger stress and pressure. I was on medication for all kinds of stress and lifestyle induced conditions and diseases. With all this career success, I was rewarded with a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, a neurologist, a physical therapist and an internist. The extra salary was needed to keep up with the medical bills don’t you know. So now, no vacations to beautiful islands, or adventurous trips to new (to me) countries. We haven’t taken a “real” vacation in two and a half years. And yeah there are some concerts I’d love to see but for now jamming to my favorite band or artist on Pandora while dancing with the change agent of our life will suffice. At least until she gets old enough to go hear some quality music. Tim is doing a great job on her musical education. She did pretty well at the bluegrass festival so there is hope. And I’ve already started planning her first Disney trip which means vacations will return but they will be very different and family friendly until she is truly ours and gets her own passport. For now we are doing regular stay-cations and who can complain about that. We live an hour away from four amazing islands with beautiful beaches and 15 minutes from the historic district which is one of the most popular tourist destinations (according to Savannah Trade and Commerce). I’m still amazed that God provided this opportunity to live in Savannah again to us.
And the list of changes goes on and on. We are not the same. We haven’t been the same since our first placement almost three years ago. Fostering changes the way you see the world. It changes how you relate to suffering and need in your community. It changes priorities and focus. But mostly it changes your heart for the better. I am so very grateful for this journey we are on. I’m ready to close BD’s case (through adoption) and move on to the next one but patience with the process and the bureaucracy is all part of it. Those who have met BD will agree she is an amazing child full of bubbling over delight and cute as a button. I am beyond grateful for my family who have welcomed each of our foster children into their lives for whatever season they are with us and for wholeheartedly welcoming BD as their grandchild, niece and cousin. Thank you Grigsbys, Wiechorsters and Carters near and far for making room in your life for our shiny new child. And to the former shiny new cousin turned favorite cousin and now awesome cousin, Kim Gossage, thank you! BD will agree you get the world’s best aunt award for sure.
for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.