33 week pic. I've gained another pound and an inch since then! Go Chiefs!
It's time to move along with our pregnancy story that started waaaay before we found out we'd be welcoming baby #3. You can catch up on part 1 here.
We left off at the point when I was challenged by a friend to recognize the miracle that is a child in ANY womb, even if it wasn't my own. I prayed this prayer hard! And fortunately for me, it became a reality rather quickly. I feel like I had come into a cold, hard "no" from God and it must have been the simple closure that really helped move through my grieving process.
God really gave me a peace about giving up this dream of a newborn addition to the family. But at the same time, I just knew inside that our house wasn't full enough; we had more love to give; our family wasn't finished! Somewhere, somehow the topic of foster care came up in our house, as it had a handful of times in the past. Only this time, it wasn't something we would do "someday" it became-- is now the time?
Participating in the foster care system has always been kind of my thing that I'd bring up time to time. It's something I feel passionate about supporting and so I wonder from time to time how our family fits into that picture. It's not that Derek was ever completely opposed, but it's safe to say that it was never really his passion. I knew our conversations were headed into action as Derek became equally engaged and convicted this time around.
We talked about it a lot. We prayed about it a lot. Our pastor even preached about it and so did some of our personal devotions. And we even heard a guest pastor talking about it-- all within a matter of a few weeks. As a couple, we both agreed that we needed to explore the steps and move forward!
We hadn't really announced our plans for getting involved in foster care because we weren't even quite sure what we were envisioning for our family and especially because weren't sure what God had in store for us. We had more questions than answers, but we knew we were headed in the right path to taking the initial steps, knowing the specifics would work itself out in time. In December, we attended an informational meeting and our first in home visit was scheduled the week we returned home from our vacation in January.
Our FL vacation was soooo relaxing! When can we go back?
I started planning for our future with foster care. I started exploring the Heart Gallery checking out profiles of all the kids who need homes. crossword puzzles and mini-golf, we capitalized on the abundance of uninterrupted conversation to discuss the "check list" of what we were willing to sign up for in the world of foster care: ages, gender, siblings, long-term, short-term, emergency care-- SO. MANY. DECISIONS!
There was a such a peace about this process. There was an ease in which it formulated itself into an actual plan of action. The communication between Derek and I went smoothly and I was void of any bitterness or longing. In fact, I was a bit relieved to put the newborn stage behind me. Feeding a kid every two hours, sleepless nights, more diapers-- I crossed those things off my to-do for good!
I even talked to Jackson about it one afternoon when he asked if I was ever going to have a baby in my tummy. I mentioned that instead, we thought we might invite some kids into our homes who might not have a mommy and daddy and that we would be their family. And you know what he said, "Awesome! Can we invite 10?"
Ironically, as we were planning the logistics, having our home visit, writing off the newborn stage-- it turns out God was working on something COMPLETELY different! And you obviously know what that is, but I'll finish with part 3 soon with more details of discovering baby girl and the journey that has landed us here just a little over 5 weeks of expecting our own little newborn.
(Does God have a sense of humor, or what?)