My friend Sara commented on our life change today. She called it "a miracle unfolding". I'm humbled by that. It's not every day you get to be part of a miracle. And on this cold, Spring day, I've done a lot of quiet thinking about our miracle, and what we've done to be a part of its unfolding. It's very simple. We heard a call, saw an open door, walked down a path full of risk, and here we are. But the real truth is that we are such a small part of it, and God has had a plan in motion for more than two years. We just entered Act 2, right on time.
This week, just about 12 weeks since the day we met, we will bring a sweet little girl home for good. She calls me "mom" and Billy is "dad". She has re-named Spencer the dog "Bo-bo" and has pegged Jack, Faith, and Will as the best big brothers and sister she could have. She knows that Will is meant for wrestling with, and that Faith will color and craft. And when it's time to sit and play with legos, Jack is her go-to guy. She is at home here, and she will be under our roof very soon.
When we agreed to become foster parents, we had no idea we would walk into such an amazing situation. During training you hear all the nightmares about abuse and trauma, and how these kids often go back home to a family member that has hurt them. You hear about all the visitations, and all the court dates, and how your heart will break when the state reunifies them once again. And for some reason beyond anything I can imagine, our situation is nothing like this. Our daughter has been loved from Day one. And because of her particular situation, we not only get to welcome her into our family, she will become a Repenning for good!
Last week our little one was showered with love and gifts by our extended family and special friends. My sister and her best friend put on the fanciest party you can imagine. I'm not proud of how many cake pops I ate, but it's hard to walk away from those dense little mouthfuls of joy. Our friends loaned us a crib and strollers, and you wouldn't even believe how many diapers I have stashed away. Billy and I were so touched by such generosity. We have the best friends, and we thank God for their support and love. They have no idea how much we love them. The best part was introducing our new daughter to everyone. She was welcomed with open arms and tears of joy!
Another really special day during this transition week was going to our little girl's church with her current foster parents. They had asked us to join them for her last Sunday with them so we did! Meeting so many folks who had such love for our girl was so sweet. The pastor called us all to the front and said a prayer over both our families. And then he gave thanks to God for orchestrating such a neat plan. We were humbled by welcome hugs and such kind support. People can be so lovely, can't they?
I can barely write about the people who have raised our daughter for her first two delicate years. They are the icing on this rich, surprising, marvelous cake. They took our daughter into their home immediately, and not for one minute did they hold anything back from her. They have loved her as their own. They have cried over her uncertain future, and they have weathered the storms of all the ups and downs of fostering. They never gave up hope or faith in the Lord, and prayed for her knowing God had a plan all along. They are the example that Jesus talks about in the Bible. You remember the one about a Samaritan who took care of the man beaten up on the road? They have given nine children a home, and are nearing their 70's, if not already there. (I'm too polite to ask) They have not only fed and clothed these sweet little ones, they go above and beyond to give them love and security for however long these babies are in their home. They are ordinary people like you and me. But they heard a call, and took it seriously. They inspire us. They bless us. They have given our daughter a future she was not supposed to have. We love them so much, and cannot wait to tell our baby girl how much they have done for her.
God has weaved together a story here that we are so excited to join! Billy and I don't feel worthy of this miracle, but that's the kind of God we serve. He picks big messes like us and says, "Go ahead. Do your best. I'm with you. Try not to crap it up, but if you do, I have enough grace to cover it". He actually even goes above what we could ever ask or imagine, if you can believe it. We heard a call, and walked through an open door. We know this is just the beginning and there will be hard days ahead. But tonight we won't fret about the uncertainties. Tonight we rest in God's goodness. And tomorrow we will face with the Truth that He never changes.