The phone rings and we are told that a little five month old baby girl will be coming our way. There is such excitement that comes rushes in as we prepare for the unknown. The excitement can be felt, it is all around us, but it cannot cover up the dreaded feeling of knowing, a mama is about to lose her baby. Hours later an unknown car pulls up and two unfamiliar women emerge; in the arms of one is a precious baby girl. I am overwhelmed with emotion as I see the face of a stranger, a child I do not know, a child that I can clearly see is very sick, a child who was just taken from her mama. My heart is heavy and I am eager to take this baby into my arms and embrace her.
Baby angel has sick eyes, crusted with her days. Her nose is running and her cheeks are windburn. Out of her tiny little 14 pound body comes a cough that could stop traffic. She is sick, but yet when she looks at me as I start talking to her, a smile that could light up a room covers the width of her face, stretching from one chubby cheek to the other. She begins to cry and the woman hands her over to me, a mama she does not know. I have imagined this moment for a long time. How would I feel when we received our first placement? Would I be able to love a child that wasn’t mine, a child that I knew could only be with me temporarily? Would love come instantly or would it take time? My fingers had not yet closed on baby angel’s body and yet my heart was exploding with love. Without hesitation or question I was madly in love and I knew I would do anything for her. The feeling in my heart felt comfortable and familiar as I mentally recalled the doctor handing me each one of my daughters after birth. I listened to the woman speak as I noticed the baby had come with only three things, a blanket, a pacifier and a stuffed toy. Where was the rest of this baby’s life?
That first night was filled with such angst. I slept a restless sleep as I watched over baby angel and checked her breathing in between her coughing battles. I held her hand as she slept, but yet sleep for me would not come. A mama had lost her baby. I lie in the quiet of my house, but somewhere out there was a mama without her baby. I did not know who she was, but for her my heart broke into a million pieces. I did not know what happened in her life to lead her to this very moment, but I knew one thing, she was broken. I lie there with her broken baby and I could not stop thinking about our broken world. My heart was so heavy as I experienced the intensity of an overwhelming joy and love for this little child I just met. My eyes were heavy, but yet there was no rest to be had. This moment would have been the perfect place for anxiety to come in, but instead I did what I have been doing for years now. I prayed.
I prayed for this baby, a perfect gift from above. I prayed for her mama, a broken woman. I am broken. We are all broken in different ways, but for some of us our cracks are more able to be seen by others. The nights that would follow for the next few months involved a lot of praying. Every time baby angel woke me up I took that as a time that God was wanting me to pray, and pray I did.
If this child could only know the hours spent in a rocking chair while the stars were out and the world slept, that she was held tightly and prayed over. Songs of Jesus filled her little ears as she sucked on her pacifier wrapped in the arms of love, safe from the broken world we live in. I wonder if she will ever know how much we love her, how much we still love her, and how we will love her for the rest of our lives. We will never be the same because of her. I believe all of this, she will know.
Baby angel melted hearts wherever she went. She was like a magnet and drew people in to her everywhere. A common comment my husband and I would get a lot is, “you guys are so amazing, I could never do that. I could never give her back.” While I understood the comment I would also cringe a little and in my head I would think, “Do you see this baby? Do you see that she needs us, that she needs to be loved? Do you understand how special she is?” The truth is they did see it, but yet people seemed to think we were different than they were. I am no stronger than anyone else. In fact, I am a weak person who happens to serve a very strong God and because of Him I am made strong. Without Him we would never have been able to care for baby angel and I would have been destroyed when it came time to send her back to her mama. We would have become too broken, but God, He makes us so strong. He makes our daughters strong, and us as a family stronger. I would tell everyone, “There is a lot of leaning on Jesus taking place in our lives.” The hard truth is that if I didn’t lean on Jesus I would have been knocked off my feet.
Our world is broken. We see brokenness around us everyday. I will never judge those who suffer differently than me. Baby angels mama simply reminds me how desperate we all are for a savior, and thank God we have a savior in Jesus Christ. No one is too far gone to escape the love of God, no one is truly lost. Our God is a God who will leave the 99 sheep to go after that one who has gone missing. I was once that sheep, maybe you are that sheep right now. He will fight for you, but He cannot have you if you do not let Him. Maybe today is that day. I pray for those who do not know Jesus that they will stop and ask themselves, “is my way working?” His way is the best way and the only way.
I thank God for keeping my anxiety away in a time that it had every opportunity to take over my mind. Anxiety is fear, and fear is a liar, a liar that robs us of our rest. Our souls will only find rest, permanent and eternal rest, in Christ alone.
Guys, His peace is amazing!
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”