Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I wasn't ready

Remember my last post? It was October 29th, 2014. I lamented over the fact that the waiting for our little guy was so hard.  Just two short weeks later we had our baby in our arms.  Remember when I said we were SO ready? I lied.  I wasn't ready.

Sure, we had the crib and clothing and bottles and car seat.  (We won't mention the fact that I forgot to buy a bathtub).  Physically we were mostly ready.  We weren't prepared for a call for a three month old, so there were some last minute preparations that were quickly fixed with a trip to Target.  But the emotional part? I wasn't ready.

I thought the phone call would be cut and dry.  I was standing in Hobby Lobby with my mom and girls when we got our call.  I thought saying yes would be easy. I was wrong.  There are so many factors that go into each case that you couldn't actually prepare for all the nuances. After hearing the facts about our little guy, we almost said no.  But we prayed and said yes.  I'm so thankful that we did! It may have been the end of our waiting, but it was just the beginning of the real process.  And I wasn't ready.

I knew I would love him.  But I didn't know I would love him as fiercely as the girls from the get-go. I wasn't prepared for the feelings that I would give my life for his from the second I saw him. It doesn't hurt that he smiled the biggest grin ever when the blanket was pulled back from his car seat for the first time.
I knew the girls would love him. I wasn't ready for them to cry such tears of joy when they met him.  And then offer to help in so many ways! They thank us all the time for their brother.
I knew Brian would love him. I wasn't ready for me to fall in love with him all over again when I saw him hold his new son and kiss his head. (And show him golf and it begins).

I knew people would have odd questions. I wasn't ready for the terribly inappropriate questions they would ask about his history. Or if we were waiting until he is adopted to get attached.  (what?!)
I knew I would be asked about adoption. I wasn't prepared to be such an ambassador of foster care and adoption.

I wasn't ready.  I thought I was.  The stretching and growing we have had to do spiritually and emotionally have been worth every single second. There are moments when I am still gripped by fear because he's not officially ours yet.  I have those thoughts of "what if" that I try to dismiss or pray away quickly.  The reality is that there are still what if's. But the fact that there are unknowns that scare me just show how intense our love for him is.  In our hearts and minds, he is ours.

Two weeks ago he had a respiratory infection that landed us in the hospital for a few days.  Our social worker thanked me for staying with him.  What? Who wouldn't stay with their child?! She said that most foster parents leave their children in the hospital.  Heartbroken and angry, I told her, "well he's not a foster. He's my son."

I wasn't ready to hear about all the ways our system is broken and failing our kids.

I guess with anything you can prepare as much as possible but until you are in the situation, you have no idea how your heart will respond.  I wasn't prepared to tear up every time I looked at him.  And often still do. I cry every time I get to tell our story of how he came to us.  When he laughs at his sisters, or tries to "kiss" my face by grabbing it and slobbering all over it, I can't hold back the tears. I'm a mess.  But in the best way possible.  I'm a planner.  I thought I had done all the planning. But it's just like God to show me over and over again that I can't prepare for everything and HE will still carry us through and meet every need.

Our little guy is such a gift. We have named him Carter James.  "Every good and perfect gift is from the Lord." James 1:17

Someday we will share with you his precious face.  But until then, enjoy the glimpses of his perfection.


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