Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fostering Joy

It has recently come to my attention that people don't know anything about my baby, because I never talk about him. And do you know why I never talk about him? Because he's perfect and no one likes a bragger. But, here I am, about to brag about the most amazing 6 month old in the universe.

But before I start showing my baby off, I just want to tell you that I feel sorry for you. Cause you can't see my beautiful baby.

See this dog?

My boy, W, is cuter than him.

This dog is sad because he can't see a picture of W on social media, or even on this blog. It's ok sad dog. Keep eating your tasty looking bagel. I hope the rest of you have some delicious food you can drown your sorrows in.

So, we got baby W when he was 3 days old. He was a six pound peanut. And now at 6 months old- he's still a little peanut, but he has this gigantic noggin! I actually don't know how much he weighs because I am a slacker and I haven't taken him to his six month well-check yet. But I'm going tomorrow! He finally rolled from his front to his back (and it was a lot less rolling, and a lot more gravity making said giant head fall over and propelling his body over.) He coos and says 'dada', which I recognize as a sound he is making, but Chris is elated that he is W's first word. Whatever. He eats like a champ and sleeps pretty great for a little guy. Like I said before- he's perfect. 

I have this cheesy phrase that I have been uttering to God since Lily was a baby. I would say it more and more the cuter and fatter each of my babies got: "You have outdone yourself Lord!" I would say it when they awoke from their naps (only if they had a long enough nap to warrant me missing them.) I would say it when I would feed them. I would say it while I would be giving them their baths. Cause is there anything cuter than a baby in a bathtub? No. There is not. I'm not gonna lie- I never said it with J, my previous foster child. But to my discredit- I usually only say it when I'm looking at babies. There is just something so precious, and innocent, and magnificent about babies that brings out this mushy cheeseball in me, and it helps me to see how good, and pure, and wonderful God is for creating these incredible little creatures.

The only bad thing about baby W is that he is rude. He interrupts conversations that I am having ALL THE TIME. People have honestly been baring their souls and hardships to me while I would be holding W, and then he would suddenly turn and look at them with his gorgeous blue/green/brown/purple eyes (see how good I am at keeping his identity a secret! His eyes are only one of the above listed colors, but I am not going to tell you which one it is!) and the person would stop talking to me to talk to him. See? Rude.

As the kids' 3rd quarter wrapped up a few weeks ago, we went to their school to see their end of quarter work. Topher wrote a little piece entitled: "How to Take Care of Foster Kids". Yeah, he wrote a book about it. I'm looking for a publisher as we speak. Page one said: "First, you need a foster kid to come to your house." Page two was just as riveting: "Then you take care of the kid. You feed them and play with them and love them. If it is a toddler, you play with them. But toddlers are hard and foster babies are easy." True story child.

I think my lack of posting about W has caused people to think that we weren't fostering anymore. And I am not lying when I say I barely feel like I am fostering right now. To the state's credit- they are making my job very easy. He goes on his visits to see his parents twice a week and an amazing person comes and picks him up, supervises the visits, and brings him home. EVERY WEEK. I used to drive for about an hour, one way, to drive J to her visits every other week. I just didn't have any opportunities to miss her or have a real break from her before I registered her for school. But I have lots of opportunities to miss baby W, and miss him I do!

I have come to realize that I can do things that are sad, but I do not like to do things that are hard. Fostering J was really hard for me. We didn't connect the way I thought we should, and that made me feel like poop all the time. I felt like a failure. I felt so mad that she was so 'bad' (toddler bad. not actually evil-bad) when I was trying so hard to do something so good for her. And for God. I felt guilty for how happy I was when she went back home. Then I felt afraid that maybe there was something wrong with me and that I would never connect with any foster kids. And then I felt anxious about whether or not I could continue to foster if I felt like a failure the whole time.

But then baby W came along and washed all those fears and anxieties away. I now  know I can love freely and wholly, a baby that I did not grow in my womb. People say they couldn't foster because they wouldn't be able to say goodbye. It would be too hard. The opposite is true for me. I will be crushed if/when I have to say bye to this baby that I am in love with. (I even love the weird way his breath smells as he pulls my face into his with his sweet little hands! I'm a smitten kitten!) But I would rather be sad, even depressed that someone I loved dearly and well has gone away, rather than missing out on the insane joy I have been blessed to experience the last six months.

Man, I did not mean for this to be a public service announcement. But if there is anything in you that has ever thought about the remote possibility of fostering- e-mail me! Call me! Text me! I will help you to start this journey. There are over 18,000 kids in the foster care system in Arizona alone. I want to challenge you to open your heart and your home to see how God can outdo himself.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is beautiful Jihae! You are so funny yet eloquent all at the same time! I am so glad baby W has you in his life.


Kelly Lewis