I have wanted to post about our last foster care journey for a long time now. In foster care things have to stay confidential, so I wanted to wait until baby Vanessa was officially adopted before I published her story (with her mama’s permission of course!)
Vanessa’s story is a beautiful story of reconciliation, hope, and God’s faithfulness. I hope every foster parent can be encouraged by this story of family reunification
Vanessa’s Story: Part One—Getting Vanessa
Child Protective Service (CPS) called us on December 23, 2011. Vermon and I had decided a few days earlier that we were not going to take another foster placement until after the Christmas holiday. We had just gone through an emotional roller coaster of having newborn baby Z for a brief period and thought we should take a week or two break before getting our next foster baby.
I am not sure why I said, “yes, bring her over” when CPS called me. I knew there were other families willing to take babies, but I felt such a strong urging from the Lord to agree without even calling Vermon (which is not how Vermon and I EVER make decisions, we always talk things through together). But within hours they dropped off a precious 2-month-old baby girl named Vanessa and Vermon came home to a full house. Fortunately, he was just as excited as the kids and I were to have this little one with us for the holidays.
You could tell her first few months of life had been challenging, but it was clear to me form the moment I held her that the Lord had a plan for this little one’s life. I was instantly in-love with this precious angel. CPS told us there were no relatives who could take her and no contact with the bio family.
The next few weeks of Vanessa’s life she was held and cuddled constantly. Over a very short period of time, Vanessa’s tense and anxious little body relaxed and she became a joyful, happy, loved, and safe baby girl. We all began praying day and night that the Lord would show us quickly what his plan was for this little one’s forever home.
When you get a new placement, it is so important to throw your entire heart into the child. We cannot guard our hearts trying to protect ourselves from the loss when they leave. For that baby to attach, heal, and begin to thrive they need our full love and devotion. At the same time, we hold that child with open hands. We do not put a tight grasp around them, hoping they can be our next adopted children. Foster care is a special ministry in and of itself, not a means to adoption. We foster children with the hope and prayer (until proven otherwise) for the Lord to heal, restore, and redeem broken families.
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