Fostering Unexpected Joy
I rolled over to glance at the clock when I heard the baby cry. It was 4:30 a.m. I had only been in bed for five hours when our four-month-old foster baby woke up hungry. Walking into her room, I could tell she needed a diaper change, and this included a pajama change. By the time we were finished, she was very alert and hungry instead of her typical drowsy-hungry.
As I fed her, our eyes locked. It was a magical moment. I am so in love with this baby. We know that our time with her is limited. I do not mind the getting up with her in the middle of the night, knowing that in a few months I will be sleeping through the night because her bed will be empty again. Changing her diaper is not a chore as it is her favorite time to chat and grin. Instead of putting her back to bed this morning, I am holding her a little bit longer.
This morning my little blessing is softly breathing in my arms as I type this. And I am overwhelmed at the amazing gift God has given me through this foster baby: unexplainable overwhelming joy. Even as my heart aches at the thought of not having her in our home, I am amazed by the pure joy of caring for her just to give her back to her birth family. As I gaze down on her precious little face, I know I am also looking at the face of my Savior. I truly marvel at the opportunity I have been given to show love to Him. By feeding this baby, I am feeding my Lord. When driving 40 minutes to share a visit with the birth family, I am visiting Him. Though my laundry has more than doubled, I am able to clothe my Redeemer. As Matthew 25:34–40 says,
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”‘
Our family began foster care out of obedience, but now we realize it is out of love for our Savior. What an amazing gift, this joy.