…But the Greatest of These is Love…
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward” Psalms 127:3
Two of the kids I babysit are my son’s sisters (through his dad). Although this arrangement may appear weird for some, it is an effective way to keep my son connected with his siblings. Both girls (ages one and four) I have looked after since they were tiny. Each one was around 6 weeks old the first time they entered my care. These girls (along with their brother who is in grade 1) have wormed their way into my heart in ways the other kids I watch never could. I think it’s because their sweet smiles and infectious giggle remind me of my own son when he was little.
I am writing this blog because last night (as I rocked the baby to sleep) I thought about a question one of the intake workers on my adoption case asked me. She asked, “What does adoption look like to you????” When she first asked, I couldn’t really offer an appropriate explanation — primarily because at the time, I just wanted my family to be bigger. I didn’t necessarily have a vision as to what I wanted in terms of children in the long term — at least not in the way that an intake worker might consider worthy. But tonight, as I rocked the baby, it came to me. Now, I have the answer.
When I envision bringing a child into my life, my heart and my family — all I see is love. Not perfection but rather I see cuddles at midnight when I desperately need to pee. I envision going to bed past my regular bedtime and waking up two hours earlier then I want to on a Sunday morning. I see time-outs, laughter over scrambled eggs and I see kids passed out on my couch for naps (along with three of four pets — I have a big couch). I see chaos in the mornings as I try to make breakfast and packed lunches, all while trying to get ready for my day in whatever form that might take. I imagine silence as everyone settles into their regular routine.
I know from experience that yes, there will be tears, screaming and moments of despair. I also know from experience that there are also lots of hugs & kisses, love, laughter, and cuddles. All the things that create an emotion so strong in the inside of one’s heart that they never ever want to let go. Being a parent is hard. Our kids will disappoint us — no matter how old they get. But I also know that being a parent brings immeasurable joy. In fact, looking back on life with my own son, apart from the child care children, it’s easy to forget the rough stuff and only remember the good.
Moreover, I don’t see a girl or a boy. I see a child who needs a mom, a dad and a sibling. I don’t see a baby, toddler or pre-teen. I see a heart that needs healing. A child who needs to be encouraged to be whomever they want to be, no matter how I see them turning out. When I was younger I wanted to have a little girl with curly red hair and big blue eyes. My reality gave me a gorgeous little boy with brown hair and hazel eyes. I’ve learned that “amazing” comes in every colour.
So if at the end of the day, our family is blessed enough to expand, I will love each and every part of that child….just like I do my son’s little sisters…..because love comes from the heart. It doesn’t necessarily have to start in my womb ❤