I’ve been nesting lately.  Toys sorted, clothing passed on, bedrooms repainted and furniture rearranged.  Our fifth child is arriving this week!  We have been experiencing the emotions all expectant parents cycle through, but with a twist.  Our new little blue bundle of joy is a preschooler (and potty-trained)!

While we are excited, we know that this joy is born out of loss.  This sweet boy has experienced more loss than any child should.  He was taken from his birth family, his home and all that was familiar.  He will be moving to a new family, new community, new church.  He is saying goodbye to his daycare and friends.  And the loss goes beyond him.  His birth parents are struggling with the termination of their parental rights and feelings of failure.  His grandparents, aunts and uncles miss interacting with him. His sweet foster family who have lovingly cared for him the past two years are grieving but willing to let him go to a forever family.

We know that grieving will need to occur for our boy as well, regardless of how well we all work to prepare him for this transition.  We don’t want him to forget about the happy times and loving people in his past but we look forward to the joyful times in the future.  I can’t wait to hold him and tell him that we are his forever family – no more moves, this is where he will always be loved and safe.  My heart longs for the day when he is ready to call me “Mama.” We are planning our first family vacation together.  We are looking forward to taking him to meet his new grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  Introducing him to new friends.  Tucking him in his new bed at night.  Hearing the judge declare him a DesCarpentrie on Adoption Day.  Our first Christmas together.  Calling him our son.

Though our son’s past has been painful at times, he has also experienced love and happiness.  And both the negative and positive experiences have made him who he is and can be used to strengthen him.  Others mention how fortunate he is to have a family.  But we know that we are the ones who are blessed beyond measure.  The twinges of our ‘labor pains’ are beginning but we choose to focus on the joy of our new son in this journey!

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…”   Psalm 68:5-6a,  NIV