I have a baby hangover. Yesterday I held a perfect, tiny little bundle of humanity. He was only 6 days old, and the first newborn I’ve held for longer than I can remember. Literally-I can’t remember the last newborn that was wrapped in my arms. Maybe a niece or nephew? Five years? Ten? I cannot for the life of me remember. And he was the picture of perfect baby. His cheeks were round and full, his tiny head perfectly shaped, and this body wrapped in the cocoon of comfort of his swaddling blankets. He was brand new, and the reality of what was likely to come in his tiny little life broke my heart.
This sweet child wasn’t born into the heart of a family who was ready, willing and prepared to care for him. He was born into the system. Three days after his birth he was taken from his mom and placed into foster care. There he will wait to see if mom can follow her treatment plan. He’ll wait to build his attachments, to discover if his life will be stable, or if he will continue in the current cycle he is in. And it made my heart ache. We have been told countless times that we should get licensed for foster care here, that babies abound and we should take them in. But my heart could not claim one as my own, and then release him back to chaos. I could not withstand it. And I know that.
So we haven’t become licensed. We have stood back, been thankful for the children we’ve been given, and accepted that a newborn would never grace our lives. But now….now I have had a taste of what might have been. I have felt the weight in my arms, and the addiction has pulled on my heartstrings. And now I wonder. Is there still a baby out there for us? Am I to wait and be patient for God to bring one into our lives, or am I to be content in what He’s given me, knowing that means I will never hold my own sweet bundle?