Last year a baby I had never met spent his first Christmas in the ICU. Doctors worked to get him breathing on his own, believing he would be blind and mute for the rest of his life.
This Christmas he is safe. He is healthy. He is happy. He is loved. When he is sad, his face turns to mine. When he needs love, his arms reach for me. When he is scared, his voice cries for me.
And I wonder…
What will his next Christmas be?
Whose arms will he reach for?
Whose voice will calm him?
Will he know love?
And I thank God for this time. This baby. This Christmas. May it not be a happy oasis in a desert of his life. Rather, may it be the standard.
Always arms to hold him.
Always a voice to calm him.
And may those arms --that voice-- be mine.
I have always held that each human life is precious and deserves a chance, but sometimes that belief is challenged.
As our foster baby’s birth mother rose to her feet today I noticed a tell-tale bump. We hadn’t seen her in a few weeks. Now, there was no denying the obvious. What heretofore had seemed normal post-partum weight was the beginning of another human life. Baby J. is going to be a big brother.
Pregnancy in mothers of children in the system is the norm. Our first foster baby, Megan, was the seventh child born to her twenty-five year old mother. Before her adoption was even finalized Meggie herself was already a big sister. Praise God that her adoptive family greeted Meggie’s newborn sister with open arms.
Our county faces group after group after group of six and seven siblings, groups that have no hope of staying together in a foster, let alone adoptive, placement. Rarely do any of these siblings have the same father. This causes more problems when members of the various birth fathers’ families decide to take in the ones related to them. The sibling group is broken and the sibling relationships lost.
As I loaded J. in his carseat my mind was on the baby to …