Part 5: Final thoughts

In Part 1 I eluded to this chapter in the "book" of our lives, and the whys of it. I have known from the beginning that one of the main reasons -if not the only reason- that Baby entered our lives was so that we could cover her in prayer. That was absolutely clear to me from the moment she was in my arms. This precious little girl I beheld~ and what would her future hold? And so I have prayed for her future. I have prayed for her parents, her siblings, her home, for others in her life. I have prayed for her protection, (in fact, I specifically asked God to dispatch another angel to guard her life. I feel sure that He has.) I prayed for her purity, for her character. I have especially prayed for her salvation.

One of the best gifts I could give this child was to pray for her. That has not ceased now that she's gone. I continue to pray for this sweet girl, and intend to do so in the years to come.

I know that she will always hold a piece of my heart, this Baby. I told the kids a couple of weeks ago- (did I mention this already in this series? I forget....)- that I hope there will come a day, here in town, when our family will be walking through a store and will hear her name called. I'll freeze, turn, and get to catch a glimpse of her~ at whatever age she may then be. And I will remember holding her, kissing the top of her baby-soft head, and loving her.

And if that opportunity never comes, I have great hope that someday I will get to see her in heaven. And that thought right there makes me all teary.

There are two other reasons I see for this chapter of our lives.

One: It was a unique opportunity for our family- not just Mark and I, but our children, too- to minister alongside of each other. They all came aboard this project and each one felt the responsibility of "taking care" of Baby, for this season, until she could go back to her birthmom. They helped. They loved. (Oh, how quick they are to love!) And our dear children joined with us in praying for her.

Two: We think this was a preview of more to come in the realm of foster care for our family. The idea of foster care has been on my heart before, but this experience cemented it for us. And, even with the challenges it brought, we would do it again in a heartbeat. My overwhelming thought is gratitude for the opportunity God gave us to love this little girl.

Other thoughts:

Something that was particularly challenging for me throughout these past few weeks is that most people didn't seem to understand why my heart ached as much as it did. I think especially since we got Addie as we were saying goodbye to Baby, people's response was more or less, "Well, now that you have Addie here, that makes it easy." And they sort of ignored the part that it was a difficult thing, this saying goodbye. And it's why I've droned on and on about it here on my blog. Because I can. :) (And truthfully, having Addie here did make it easier. My arms weren't empty; I had another baby to love and to hold and to care for. This time with the *huge* perk that she will (Lord willing) stay.) But the grief of Baby leaving was still very raw, even those first days Addie was here with us. I missed Baby. I had a connection with her I didn't yet have with Addie. (But no worry, I have it now.)

I want to say a special thank you to Tracy, Dawn, Overwhelmed With Joy, Maxine, and Lisa. Each of you have been or are currently foster moms and you were hugely supportive and prayerful for me over this past season. You were able to offer me words of comfort and prayers from a place of having been there, and that so ministered to me. Thank you for allowing God to use you in that way!

Some more thoughts...

Something I've said several times in my life: "I could never do foster care. I'd never be able to say goodbye to them. I just couldn't do it." It's a lie. I can do it (through Christ who strengthens me). I did do it. And I hope to do it again. (And I'm not even sobbing over Baby anymore. It's more like a pang in my heart when I think of her, but that's just a prompting to pray for her, and I'm thankful for it.)

Another thing I worried about: "It will be so hard for my kids to say goodbye. They'll love this little one like a sister and then all of a sudden she'll be gone from their lives? How will they handle that?" They handle it much better than we do, dear readers. Much better. Kids are just resilient. They bounce back and carry on. It's simple in their minds, somehow. An example of this: A few days after Baby had left, I was a bit tearful over it and asked Ella, "Honey, are you missing Baby?" Her response: "No. I don't even remember what she looks like, or what her cry was like or anything. I just forget." Pretty matter-of-fact.

One thing I did think of as we said goodbye that morning: It would be much, much harder if Baby were older. A goodbye would be far more challenging with the added difficulty of explaining- somehow- what was happening to an older child. But when that time comes, God's grace is sufficient.

And. I do hope and pray that some of you will consider getting your foster care license. I absolutely think that it is the church (us!) that should be rallying around these orphans in the foster care system. Because we can offer them the love of Jesus, we can offer them Hope.

I read something Sara Groves said regarding a CD she'd put out, (and this is not a quote by any means), but she said something about how she was convicted about the amount of time she had spent grooming her own faith, and how God had challenged and stretched her to look outward. (And her new CD was a response to what God was doing in her heart.)

This made me wonder if sometimes we don't do that with our own families. We read books, blogs, we figure out just what we can do and how we can do it better, we groom our families. While I absolutely agree that our husbands and children should be our priority -next to God- I wonder if we are doing that at the expense of reaching out to the orphans? Perhaps God would call us out, expanding our vision of family, stirring our hearts and lives to embrace these children that so desperately need a safe place, the security of a loving daddy and mommy, the structure and routine of a family life, the hope of Jesus Christ.


  1. This blog definitely touched my heart on so many levels.

    My parents did fostercare before I was born. Skipping to the mom always wondered how the little boy that was in and out of their lives so quickly was doing. A few years ago (30+ years AFTER they had met the little boy), she found out randomly. she was able to learn that he was married and had become a Believer. It brought closure to her heart. I pray God brings about the same thing for you one day. xo

  2. These last five posts were just beautiful Stacy. What a beautiful heart you have! I will continue to pray for that sweet baby, and for all of you!
    Amy Crawford

  3. Wise and powerful words, Stacy. Suffering - of any form - for the love of Christ gives you a powerful voice. I hear that in yours now.

    Thank you for sharing and challenging all of us.

    I send much love,


  4. Wow, what a jouney. I pray that God allows you a glimpse into what He does with the seeds of prayer that you have and will to continue to plant in Baby's life.
    Thank you for sharing this. It has been so good to hear your heart on this journey.
    I can't say enough how thankful I am for baby that she has had your family in her life.

  5. Very good posts. I can relate. Our little guy stayed from 17 months old until two weeks before he was three. We loved him and prayed for him. But every so often I wonder where he is now (he's 8) and who is in his life to love him. We were blessed to have him in our lives. Most of the other foster kids we had in our lives over a 13 year span were older and we still hear from some of them.

  6. I am so glad you posted this! I agree 100%...the church SHOULD be more involved in this. It is a command to take care of orphans and widows. When we were first considering doing this I would lay in bed at night and think, "What are we doing? Life is easy now." Then the thought came to me, "Where does it EVER say life is supposed to be easy?" This is something God is calling us to do. How can we say no? Yes, it might be (probably will be) hard. Just more opportunity for us to rely on the strength of our Savior! Like you said, through HIS strength it is possible. It just makes Him look all the more glorious. Such a priviledge to serve His little ones in this way.

    We got certified with close friends of ours from church and have several more families in our church praying and considering foster care.

    Thanks for the links of other foster moms. I read Dawn's but don't think I have seen the other ones.

    Praying for you guys!

  7. Hi! A friend sent me your addy, and I've been following your story for a few weeks. Hubby and I are in foster to adopt classes ourselves. Reading your journey has helped personalize this experience so much for me. thanks for your complete honesty. It is touching to me. I hope you are enjoying your Addie, and I pray that God continues to comfort your hurt.

  8. Stacy, thank you so much for sharing your heart during this difficult journey. During our early years, we did think of foster care, but five international adoptions (hoping for a sixth) later, we are still not sure we could handle doing foster care. Your experience has given me a lot to think about.

  9. Stacy, I'm glad that sharing my personal experiences has given you comfort along the way. Believe me, when it's my turn to "let go and let God" with my youngest foster daughter, I'll be looking you up because I know that you'll know EXACTLY what I'm feeling!

    You mentioned how you said several times in your life, "I could never do foster care. I'd have to say goodbye to them. I just couldn't do it," but then you learned that by the grace of God you could. I get that too.

    It took me well over a year to convince myself to take the plunge and go through the process of getting licensed for foster care. My husband was ready far sooner than I was but he was patient and let me take my time. I really felt God talking to me, telling me "Let go of your fears," so I finally did.

    My husband and I started out saying we'd only consider doing foster-to-adopt placements, not just strictly foster only, because it would increase our odds of being able to keep and adopt a child.

    During our MAPPs class our trainer, as well as a close friend who's adopted through the state and continues to foster, persuaded us to consider emergency receiving placements as well.

    Again, I was afraid to take that plunge, fearing we'd have to say goodbye after months of getting attached. Eventually my husband and I decided we'd "try" emergency receiving placements as well.

    Our youngest FD (our first placement) came to us as an emergency receiving placement four months ago. Time and time again we've been lead to believe that she'd be going home to her parents sooner rather than later. But, at each court hearing, we are told by the judge that it'll be a little longer. The judge wants the parents to prove themselves for just a little longer.

    As it stands now, she will probably be with us through 7/19. If this is true, she will have been with us for nearly 7 months.

    7 months...we will have had this precious child for 7 months and then will have to let her go! Had you asked me 4 months ago if I could hand this type of situation, I would've told you quite emphatically, "absolutely not!" Now, I have a different response, "Yes, I can handle this and I will."

    I will keep this sweet baby with us for as long as needed. It doesn't matter that the longer we have her the more attached we get. What matters is that she's getting consistent, loving care that will help her with healthy attachment and bonding later in life. What matters is that her parents have been given breathing room and motivation to get their lives in order so that when they do get their daughter back, they can provide her with the best possible home filled with love. They know that we are taking good care of their daughter and that we're not a threat to them. They know that we are supportive of their efforts to get her back (yes, we've come a long way in our thinking in such a short amount of time).

    These are the things that matter the most, far more than our efforts to adopt a second child. I see this now that I'm in the thick of it.

    Like you, I would encourage others that are even contemplating becoming foster parents to start down the path to getting licensed. Attend an agency orientation and get the specifics. Talk to others you may know that have done fostering themselves. Find books at your local library and read more about fostering.

    Above all, listen if God is telling you, "Let go of your fears!"

  10. ((Stacy))
    I have so enjoyed this "series" (for lack of a better word, I know it's not really a "series") :)
    I am challenged to think of ways to reach outward.
    It's true, we can be focused on our little family that we forget about others in need.
    With wisdom and prayer, I know that a right balance could be achieved.
    Blessings and healing to you, dear Stacy!!

  11. Stacy,
    I have been brought to tears reading your chronicle of foster care and sweet "Baby". Thank you for sharing your heart. God has blessed you with a servant's heart for sure. In God's Love, Tami

  12. Fostering has crossed my mind often. I'm just afraid that I would have a hard time saying goodbye. Right now, my husband isn't on board, and truly, it wouldn't be possible. I work outside the home. Foster babies in daycare? Do they even allow that? So, right now, I'll just consider the thought when it crosses my mind...Maybe some day things will be different. God bless you for doing it, Stacy.

  13. Thank you for your beautiful foster care entries! You write so beautifully and its so evident you are a woman after God's heart.

    My husband and I are prayerfully considering it, since we both grew up in families who did foster care. I agree with you that this is the church's responsibility. How can we pass up that opportunity to show Christ, even for such a short time, on such a personal level. And the prayer covering is crucial! I like how you put it that it is you, as a family, ministering side by side. How incredible!

    God really is so faithful, isn't He? We look at something this big and don't see a way or "the why", but that is when He does His best work!

    I look forward to checking out some of these links to hear other stories and I'm excited for what God may have in store for us. Thanks again!

  14. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It has blessed me more than you know! And all of your "what if" questions that you worried about before you did this sounds JUST like us and what we are thinking! We would love to foster, but worry about the effects on our kids and the effects on me having to say goodbye. Thanks for sharing your insight in hindsight. New things for us to think about.

  15. Oh, how I have loved reading your thoughts on all of this, Stacy. (((you)))
    I have wept, anguished, despaired and rejoiced with you, and not even half as much as you have. I'm so thankful you have opened your heart- to us, but also to these children. They are so blessed.
    Love you.

  16. ((Stacy))
    I read this post a couple of days ago, but haven't commented until now because I just don't know how to express what is in my heart.

    I wholeheartedly agree that it seems the main reason for this "chapter" in your lives was so that you could have a ministry of *prayer* for sweet Baby... for the rest of her life.

    Something else that God has accomplished through this, though, is that He has used your testimony to encourage and convict others. I can't tell you how much Mark and I have appreciated your example through all of this. God is using you so mightily.

    I could say much, much more... but I must go make dinner.

    Thank you, dear Stacy.

  17. Stacy,
    I am just now getting caught up on your posts. Thank you for writing them. I cried especially seeing the baby in your arms on her "goodbye" day. I can't imagine having to do that. This baby will forever be touched by your family and your prayers.

  18. I love you. Plain and simple.

    I have said it before, but I will say it again to seal the deal and clear up any confusion: you are being used as a vessel for the Glory of God!!

    I have been so blessed to walk this journey with you in a small way...crying, laughing, longing, and rejoicing with you. Thank you.

    I am thrilled to tell you that your posts on this topic have helped my husband and I to make our commitment to foster care/state adoption. We have begun the licensing process.

    Thank you for your transparency and your vulnerability. You have blessed me immensely.

  19. I just don't know. I am a foster mother myself, and I am so angry at the system that yanks kids around like that. WHY couldn't you keep her until she could go "home". WHY are they so insistent to give children back to parents that cannot take care of them? (Now, I speak from the experience of my husband who worked for years at a youth facility.....over and over again these now "troubled" kids would have gone from foster home back to parent(s), then to a different foster home, back to parent(s), and again and again, even when those trips back to parents resulted in neglect, abuse, etc. That kind of trauma is so horrible for children, that I hate to witness it. Our adopted children are from Russia, where they have less sympathy for parents who are too dysfunctional to care for children. So our adopted children are emotionally balanced and happy people, they remember their orphanage caregivers with love. Those people were in their lives for all the years they were in the orphanage. They had safety, security, consistency. Even the "routine" of the orphanage was healthy and made them feel safe. Unlike being moved from one foster home with this schedule and then to another foster home with a different schedule. To say nothing about moving from school to school, which just about guarantees failure.

    Please don't get me wrong; I think you are wonderful. Your loving heart moves me. I just hate this system. The foster child we have was so scarred by their stupidity that I can almost not be civil about it. It would be hard for me to encourage other people to be foster parents with the system we have in this state.


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