Remembering the day he came; the gift of fostering

Everything he owned, right here in this bag

foster child first day

“A baby is born with a need to be loved and never outgrows it.” — Frank A. Clark

Two years ago today an unexpected visitor arrived at my house via a valiant army of CFS workers. It was a warm and sunny fall afternoon in Eastern Montana, a Monday. As a foster parent, I had received a phone call asking us if we could house a two-week-old infant for a 48-hour hold. After just completing a heavily emotional and challenging assignment with a sibling group of three, we weren’t so sure that we could continue fostering. Maybe we hadn’t really been called, we thought. But when I texted my husband that we were being asked to care for a baby, he instantly agreed to the two-day stay. We could do anything for a couple of days, and a baby — no problem. Easy.
I had no baby “stuff” since I had just weeks before given the last of my items to a single mom.
But I wasn’t worried. I had friends who would be able to bring me a few essentials, enough to get us through.
Everyone who knows me knows I’m a baby lover, and I was absolutely ecstatic at the idea of holding and rocking and loving on a newborn for two days.
I was sitting at my dining room table drinking hot tea with the wife of my church’s new youth pastor, waiting for the phone to ring and alert me of when to expect this sweet arrival, when suddenly there was a flurry of commotion in my back yard. Three social workers had arrived carrying a diaper bag and an infant seat containing one starving, mad baby, and I jumped up to greet them.
I led them into the dining room and they sat the baby down, still in his carrier. It had been three hours since I got the call, and now, here he was, and I was not ready. But I was flexible and had no fear, knowing it was just going to work out. I asked if I could take him out of his seat and they laughed as they said yes. It seemed like I just couldn’t unbuckle him fast enough to scoop him up and calm his cries. My hands were shaky. I couldn’t wait to get him out of that seat. The first words I said to him were,

“Hello, I love you!”

There was a flurry of activity going on around me. It was go time. The youth pastor’s wife was making a bottle of formula. The social workers were sifting through the blue diaper bag to see what we had to work with. They were giving me the “run down” of information as they knew it, and I was handed a piece of notebook paper with known essential data on the baby, and it wasn’t much. He had come straight from the local ER and was cleared as safe to leave, so all I had to do was love on him while the professionals figured out what to DO with him. Well, it wasn’t quite that simple, but you’ll get to hear about that another time.
Two years later, he’s still here. My heart just soars thinking about this unexpected blessing, this privilege granted us to love and care for this child. I’m so excited to watch him grow. See who he becomes.
Young Mother Kissing InfantSince we’re still in process for his adoption, I won’t be able to talk much about the details of the last two years. But I’ll tell you, as I sort through my boy’s original diaper bag containing everything in the world that he had that day, the emotion and awe are just overwhelming. I can still remember how he felt and how he smelled. To think that I would be trusted with this child’s life is just humbling. It makes me want to give him the world – to be the stinkin’ best momma a child ever had.
I thought I was done having babies. But God let me do it this one more time. I didn’t even know I wanted to. Until I did. Since he was sick, I even got to experience a week in a hospital with a newborn, just the two of us in the room. The nursing staff treated me like any new mom, and it was an absolute gift with a place all its own in my mommy heart. The late nights, the sleepless nights spent rocking and holding and feeding and consoling and loving this baby have no earthly measure to describe.
I treasured every moment I got to spend teaching this baby how to bond, love and trust.
Now, two years later, seeing the security, love and happiness in his eyes after the difficult and uncertain start that he had to life is an absolute privilege and gift.
I can’t wait to get to write more down the road …
We’re celebrating our anniversary date with a new toy truck because he is enthralled with trucks right now. Every time he sees one he calls out, “Mommy! Look! Truck!” And I’m making a cake that looks like a peanut butter sandwich. Because that’s his favorite thing to eat, peanut butter, or ‘budda,’ he calls it.
Thanks for reading and being a part of this day.
And if you’ve ever thought about being a foster parent, well, they need ya. There are lots of babies and children out there who need ya. Would you watch this video?

About Melissa Smith



No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: