I received a text around 10:30 on November 14th, a Monday morning, while my boys and I were at Classical Conversations, one of our homeschool programs, but didn't see it until lunchtime. I quickly let my husband know that our foster agency was looking for an emergency placement for a newborn and he texted back that he was on board. I texted our placement worker, telling her that we were a go and by 3:30, we were at the hospital picking up a newborn from the NICU. After meeting with the social workers, filling out paperwork, and discharging from the NICU, a nurse wheeled me out of the hospital in a wheelchair holding our new beautiful baby girl.
Instantly, friends supported us with prayer, meals for weeks, babysitting, visiting us, diapers, formula, and clothes. Oh how we LOVE our community! Thank you, my dear friends, for loving us and for loving our babies. It means the world to us that you extend yourselves in this way, accepting our sweet little ones as one of our own.
We watched God's tiny gift to us slowly grow over the last three months, gradually feeding her more milk every couple of weeks. My boys argued over who would hold her, feed her, change her, and play with her. They designated days on which it was one brother's turn to hold her for the entire day, of course breaking their own rules and arguing that it was "MY day to hold her." They couldn't resist her smiles and snuggles.
She learned how to suck her fingers, then finally settling on her thumb. She started to smile... coo... laugh. She slept for HOURS...just perfect. Jadon and I would banter back and forth, claiming that she was, "MY baby girl." "No, she's MY baby girl." We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, a Legoland trip, a snow trip, and even Chinese New Year as a family of six with Baby R. Oh, how we loved her. We prayed for God to call her to Himself, for her to know that Jesus is her Lord and Savior.
On Thursday, everything came to an abrupt halt. The county social worker let us know that a relative had finally been cleared to take Baby R. I told the boys in our Sienna as we drove to In-N-Out for a visit with the birth parents. She would leave the next day. I would no longer struggle to communicate with her birth mom (since she only speaks Spanish) and there would be no more stress of scheduling and fitting in 10 hours of visits a week. It was set. The transfer would occur on Friday at 12:30 at our county's children's home. We cherished all the moments we had left with her and tearfully gave her to her aunt and her new family. They would love her, too. While they rejoice, we grieve.
A little sweetness at Krispy Kreme softened the blow of our loss across the street from the children's home where we said goodbye to Baby R. Later on that evening, we picked up my husband from his office and had some time to wind down and enjoy each other at Knott's Berry Farm. We loved watching the boys excitedly run from ride to ride in the uncrowded amusement park. A sweet time of fun, a silver lining despite the gloomy cloud that will settle over us for a while. This is what God has called our family to do. To love deeply...hold loosely...and to let go.