We live in a world of instant gratification. We can order things with overnight delivery, we can buy books and movies and watch them ten seconds later. I grew up in the world of one day delivery, fast food, and immediate text responses.
Therefore, when we hit 9 cycles of trying for a baby three ish years ago, we decided it was time to stop trying and just foster through the summer. June 28th, we got a panicked phone call from a social worker. It was 4:00 pm on a Friday afternoon and they had just done an emergency removal on three and four year old siblings.
“Can you take them? Just for the weekend?”
Those are the famous last words.
We said yes and today those scared little babes are our beautiful Princess and Monkey. I look back in awe of how much has changed since that first night with them. We had screaming terrors, two in diapers, Monkey scaling up the side of our fridge. In our three years together, I’ve been forced multiple times to step outside my comfort zone. From being interrogated in court(and I mean interrogated, their biological mothers lawyer was a beast), to setting up visitation and going through with it alone. I’ve been tested in my faith; I’m pretty sure nothing has ever tested faith quite like sitting in the courthouse, stating that I didn’t know which was for certain best for my kids, I was just doing what God called me to do and I would continue that, whether they left or not. I’ve been disappointed-in the system, by birth parents choices, and in myself.
But none of that matters today. Because today I celebrate them and I celebrate the gift they were-and still are-in my life.
My little Princess. You’ve changed from an unsure, confused, and shy little girl to a wonderful queen. I love to sit and have you read to me; I love to hear you tell daddy stories of the day. Your passion for church and Jesus and to do what’s right is amazing to me. I adore watching you up on the stage or running between the pews, so at home in our church building.
I admit, there are hard times. I know you are still confused and I know you still have memories and sadness that pop up. I’m sorry that I can’t take those things away from you. I wish I could. But your strength is so beautiful. Fighting through with you is always my goal-I never want to fight against you. I know sometimes it feels like we are all against you, but we’re not. You are a lover and a warrior for all that’s good in this world. I pray you’ll never lose that innocence and loving spirit.
And my Monkey. Oh little man how you’ve proven them wrong over the past three years. They told me the delays were so severe, you may never function like a typical child/adult and you’ve proven them wrong. You have potty trained; you’re speaking and verbalizing thoughts and opinions. I am so proud to call you my son. (I would have been proud even if none of those things had ever happened).
I know some days you still feel a bit different than others. Embrace those differences. You’re so smart, you’re so kind hearted and you’re so spunky. I just can’t get enough of your spunk. Please don’t let yourself ever be held back or down by others who tell you your abilities. You’ve come far beyond what you were “supposed” to do-and I pray you never forget you can continue that.
I had thought God had said no back as I tried to conceive our first child. I was sort of okay with that, because I knew for us, it was never “have a baby OR foster/adopt.” We were okay with doing both at the same time-heck we had already had two kids through foster care. But I still wonder, had I known we were already growing our little guy, would I have chosen to take the chance on Princess and Monkey? Not because I wouldn’t have wanted to, but because I would have doubted my own abilities.
So three years later, five kids have become forevers. On this day, I stop and thank God for telling me not right yet. For making me wait. For all the failed tests and tears because I wanted to be able to have a baby, for giving me the “No” while quietly working his own miracle and making me say yes to that call, and for taking away the instant gratification I grew up loving.
And a big thank you for the two youngsters I have had the blessing of loving the past three years. You are my sunshines. Happy Gotcha Day.