from Psalm 68:
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families.
I barely even know how to begin such a post.
So I'll just jump right in.
We received a call yesterday letting us know that there is a baby girl that is ours if we'll take her.
We'll take her.
The details we have at this point are sparse:
*She is one week old.
*She is African-American.
*Her birthmom used cocaine during the pregnancy.
*She is currently in a facility that specializes in drug-affected babies, and she will remain there until they release her to us. (We've been told it might be two weeks but we know it's usually longer than this, so we're not sure.)
*This is a fast-track adoption. The birthmom has had two children already taken from her and there are no relatives that will pop in to claim her. This is good for us in that the state will move to give this baby a permanent home with us. So our foster-to-adopt journey will almost positively end in *adoption*. (As opposed to many working-with-the-state adoptions where the birthmom will agree to rehab, get the baby back, start using again, get the baby taken away, agree to rehab, get the baby back, start using again,...You get the picture.) Not so, here.
And that is all we know.
We are trying to work out the details with the baby's caseworker and the facility she is in so that we can go and see her, as well as learn how to care for her these first few months of her life.
What we have learned in our very minimal training is that cocaine-exposed infants are very sleepy and are difficult to wake to feed. They do not have "sucking power" and may fight the bottle. They generally cannot eat more than one ounce at a time. The two main concerns for these babies are failure to thrive and dehydration.
The average time it takes for a baby to withdraw from drugs in their system is 30 to 60 days. The long-term studies done on such babies is positive.
My heart is aching for our sweet little baby right now. Her tiny body is ridding itself of this drug, and we are praying that she is a little fighter. I want so much to see her and to hold her and to get her home to us.
In the meantime, we continue to care for our foster baby, and I continue to wrestle with how this will be for us to have to let her go.
As I stood at the kitchen sink this morning, full of the news of this new baby and pondering our foster baby, I tearfully whispered to God, "Do You really think I can handle all of this at once?" Apparently He does. But my emotions are so all over the map these days I am doubtful.
I weep even now to think of saying goodbye to this precious girl who is sleeping down the hall from me. Oh, how I love her.
But she is not mine.
And then, today, God reveals a little girl who is to be mine. Ours. A baby I know so little of, a baby I have not seen; not even a picture.
Honestly, I'm struggling beneath all of these emotions. There is heartache. There is gratitude. I am so thankful to Him for answering our prayers, for bringing us to this stage of the journey. And. A baby. (We were licensed for ages 0-3 but I so wanted (and prayed for) a baby. I love babies. I am so thankful she's so young.) That is all mixed in with my wonderment at God's timing (Right *now*? Really? Are You sure?). And then there are my fears of attachment and bonding issues (which is always my greatest fear in terms of adoption). Toss in my feelings of inadequacy (Can I do this? What are we in for with her exposure to cocaine? And-- will I even be able to do her hair?)
Is it awful to admit that joy has only crept in a few times today? I think there's a part of me that needs to see her, and then I may need to get past the goodbye that will need to be said, in a couple of weeks, to our foster baby. (~sob~. And truly, I am literally sitting here sobbing at the moment.)
I trust God. I may not "get" His timing, but I do know it is right and good. I know He will equip us for what lies ahead. I know He will be there, guiding us, through every step of this journey. I know He will be my Comforter, my Helper, and my Strength.
Aside from all of that, I also happen to know what we're naming this baby girl of ours. But I'm not telling you that yet. (Well, except you, Amy. And Micah. And mom and Stef. And Michelle.) Actually, we only have her first name chosen. Chosen in one day, thankyouverymuch. We're still working on her middle name.
So there you have it.
God is placing another orphan in our home.
He's in the business of doing that, you know. Watch out.