The Day We Met
I will never forget the day. It will forever be etched in my memory.
It was another sweltering July day in Florida, and I was home alone. I remember being so anxious that I was cleaning the kitchen counters over and over to keep myself busy.
Then, the doorbell rang. He was here. Our first foster child had arrived!
I opened the door. There stood two foster parents with a tiny baby in their arms. No sooner than I welcomed them in, they handed me the baby and turned to leave.
What? This isn’t how this is supposed to go! So, I stopped them.
They reluctantly turned around and answered a few of my questions before they “had to go.” The whole exchange was so callous that I actually felt nauseous.
There I stood, with a tiny baby in my arms. This beautiful baby was handed to me with no care, no love, and no belongings. He had only the clothes on his back.
I looked down, and he yawned. He had dimples and the biggest brown eyes. I was already smitten.
I carried him inside, and I cried. Partly because I was so overwhelmed and partially because my heart was broken for him. He literally had no one.
I had taken all the foster care classes in the licensing process. However, they didn’t cover this. It is one thing to learn about getting a new placement.
It is quite another thing when someone else’s baby is placed in your arms, and you are all they have.
A wave of sadness washed over me as I thought about his birth mom. At that time, I didn’t know his story, but I knew I felt sad for her. For whatever reason, she could not look after this sweet baby. She was missing out on such a precious gift. It was evident that he had been through so much in his short two months of life—more than most people could ever comprehend.
In the training classes, they teach you about trauma. You think that you understand, but when you see it firsthand, it’s heartbreaking. His body was stiff, and tiny little fists were clenched.
He didn’t babble or coo; he just stared at me.
I stared back, still trying to process all of this.
Our first night together was a long one. He cried a lot, and neither of us got much sleep. Once he finally relaxed and fell asleep, it was almost morning.
Can I Do This
I remember feeling unsure. Could I do this? I was 42 years old and very much out of the baby stage. I remember praying about it. I remember God telling me that I could do it and that I had to be a voice for this baby.
So, that is precisely what I did.
Over the coming months, we fell into a routine. I realized that “being out of the baby stage” didn’t matter. It all comes back to you no matter how long it has been.
I also learned that this precious baby didn’t care if I got everything right. He just wanted to be loved and nurtured.
Fortunately for him, coming into a household with three older sisters, he got all the love he could handle!
His name is Kai
Finally, after a long and emotional journey, on December 20, 2022, we officially adopted this sweet boy. His name is Kai. I can’t tell you how many issues came up or battles we had to face during this process.
What I can tell you is that it was oh-so worth it.
I could write pages on our adoption story. But I will save that for another time.
How Can You Help
If you want to help but aren’t sure if fostering is right for you, there are so many ways you can serve. You can do respite care, become a Guardian Ad Litem, give to your local foster outreach program, volunteer, or just serve a local foster family.
Becoming a foster parent isn’t for everyone. It is truly a calling.
I won’t try to sway you one way or another. However, if you do feel that tug in your heart, please listen to it.
One of the greatest gifts you could ever receive could be waiting on the other side of the door. You just must be willing to open it. I am forever grateful that I did.