Yep, a real baby! Not a fur baby, not a doll baby….a real baby!
I apologize for not updating the blog sooner, but things have been a little busy at our place. That, and we’ve been missing out on our usual amounts of sleep, so when I’ve actually had the time to sit and blog, I chose to sleep instead.
A couple weeks ago, we found out that a new baby boy needed a temporary home. It’s a long story that I am thrilled to share because it’s an absolutely awesome example of God’s providence and timing.
This story involves a young woman, and I don’t want to disclose her real name at this time, so I’m going to call her “Z”. Z attends a Bible study for low-income & homeless women that some good friends of mine lead every week. I had met Z one time a couple months ago when I volunteered at an event with these ladies, but that’s all the contact I’ve had with her.
Recently, she gave birth to a little boy, and because of a long, assorted past, CPS stepped in and told her she was not going to be able to take the baby home from the hospital. She was told that she had a chance to find a friend or relative to take the baby, and if she couldn’t, he would be placed in foster care.
(Side note: As many of you know, Hubby and I have been certified foster parents before. However, we let our license expire because we were still prayerfully considering which agency to change to in order to have one closer to home. In addition, with the upcoming change in Rob’s job, we were praying about when to get certified and reopen our home as foster parents. I’ve been praying about this for months now, but still had not felt led to any particular agency, and in fact, felt strongly that we were to be *waiting* – so we are not currently certified foster parents.)
The word went out from Z, to the leaders of her Bible study, and email chains were started. The word quickly got to me as our friends knew that we had been foster parents and thought I could shed some light on the situation. I said that of course my instinct would be to offer our home for the baby, but that I’ve learned not to act without praying, so I wanted to go home and talk to Hubby and pray about this.
I got home, and told Hubby and he told me how the Lord had been talking to him for some time about saying “Here I am, Lord!” and being available for His service anytime, no matter what. We agreed that we needed to be open and available for this little baby, and if the Lord wanted him in our home, he would end up there, but if not, that was His will too.
Z had a couple options in addition to us that were presented to her as people that were willing to give her baby a temporary home. She was to give all the options to CPS and they would run background checks on everyone and make a decision. Hubby and I prayed and told God that only HE knew the timing involved. Only God knows how long this child needs a home. God knows when we are moving, where we need to be, and when. We don’t. God knows how much I want to have this child, a little baby, in our home – even if only for a little while.
So, we turned in our info, and then sat back and waited. We didn’t have to wait long. By the end of the day, we were approved and told to be at the hospital the next morning to pick up the baby. Wow!
It’s a “God thing”!
CPS was allowing Z to do a “voluntary placement” with a friend or relative rather than placing the baby in foster care. In order to do this, the caretakers of the child can NOT be certified foster parents. Can NOT be foster parents!! Did you catch that? That immediately ruled out one of Z’s options that had stepped up as they recently were certified as foster parents. But we qualify for that! Is this why God was having us wait?
I don’t know CPS’ official reasons for preferring “voluntary placement” over “foster care”, but I assume it has something to do with a lot less paperwork. Also, the state doesn’t pay voluntary placement caretakers, but foster parents do receive some income to help with the child’s needs.
So, for a little more than a week, we have had a new baby in our house!! He’s about 3 weeks old now, and it’s just amazing! Hubby is the BEST at helping and I’m so blessed to have him by my side through this.
We learned with Bug that it was silly for both of us to get up every time she needed something during the night because NEITHER of us got any sleep that way. We both felt guilty for not being up, so we’d go with the other to keep them company. Silly! So, with later foster kids, and now with this baby, we are taking turns. One night I go to bed, and Hubby sleeps on the sofa with Little Bear in the living room. The next night, Hubby goes to sleep in our bed, while LB and I hang out in the living room. It’s working wonderfully!! We are still tired, but not fall-down-exhausted! God' has been so great to us and is supplying us with the energy we need each day!
Plus, it’s just an energy boost to cuddle with an adorable baby! If you are going to be up during the night, you might as well be holding a cute newborn!
Still in AWE! It is just amazing that God would bring me into contact with this woman in such a way that I would be aware of her situation at just the right time. Also, that Hubby and I would not be currently certified foster parents so that we were able to be considered for this placement. Then, that CPS would first offer Z voluntary placement in the first place, and then choose us over the other options. A true miracle!!
This is completely unlike any foster care placement we ever had. With this voluntary placement, we are very involved with the mom and will interact with her frequently. She will have visits with the baby, that have to be supervised by Hubby or myself. In foster care, we rarely have interaction with the parents. In fact, they usually don’t get our last name, address or phone number. This extra interaction with the birth mom presents all sorts of interesting challenges, but I also pray that it provides for some great ministry opportunities.
We don’t have a timeline yet, but from all we’ve heard so far, we are looking at anywhere from 6 months to a year or so. There are so many variables involved that it’s impossible to guess. There is so much more to the story that I don’t feel comfortable sharing on here. Feel free to ask me in person about it though, as this is just an awesome, awesome testimony to God’s sovereignty!