I'll begin by sharing the story of our daughter before she was adopted into our family. This isn't the easiest story for me to share, but I choose to...if for no other reason that to give a "face" to the often quoted statistic of "millions of orphans" in our world today. These are not just numbers. They are real breathing children.
It was a cold fall day when a birth mother placed her tiny baby in front of a busy restaurant in the city where she lived. For whatever reason (which we will never fully know), she knew she couldn't care for her baby the way she wanted to. The very best gift she could give her child was the gift of a family. So, she did all she knew to do. She bundled her baby up and placed her in an area where she knew many people would be passing. She knew that doctors and social workers would be passing by...people that would find her baby and be able to give her what she needed. Maybe she prayed...maybe she hoped... I cannot say what emotions must have been pulsing through this birth mother's mind and heart as she made what was probably the most difficult decision of her life. All I know is that, like the widow who gave all she had, this precious birth mother gave her baby the gift of a forever family...and it cost her this precious piece of her heart.
A social worker was called, and our angel was taken to a doctor for a check-up. Tests were run, determining that she was approximately 3 months old and had Down Syndrome.
She was placed in a temporary foster home. She was BLESSED to have a loving foster family. They cared for her and loved her. In fact, they took many pictures of her (2 of which I'm sharing with you here). Many orphans do not have this situation. Many are not blessed with a loving foster family, so we are beyond thankful for the foster mom and dad who loved her long before she joined our family.
An array of emotions goes through my heart when I see the pictures...
-Grateful for her foster family
-Happy to have all these wonderful pictures of her early life
-And yet sad that I missed some of the moments when a baby just needs her Mama...
Sometimes a passing thought assaults my mind... I wasn't there to hold her when she was hurt, lonely, confused, scared, sad. But then a bigger thought settles in over that one and bathes me in peace: I may not have been there, but her Heavenly Father was ALWAYS there. He is a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). He was and is and always will be. And He was there with her long before I knew about her. It is HE who knows everything about her, cares for every detail of her life, watches over her beating heart. And it is HE who chose to place her in our family.
Sometimes all I can manage to say to Him is, "THANK YOU."
(More to come in our daughter's story...)