Five + one = a new kind of family

Today we ate cake.
Yummy chocolate cake.
We had candles on it.
Six candles.
Three blue candles.
Two pink candles…
And One yellow candle.

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We didn’t sing happy birthday though.
We sang ‘Jesus loves me’.
You know the words…
“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are week, but he is strong”

We have been fostering for a few years now. More then once over this period of time people have said to me, “You guys are amazing, I don’t know how you do it.” I am never too sure how to take this comment….I am not amazing. I am as broken as the next person. I worry, I get angry, I can become self centred….just ask my husband, he will tell you that it is all true 🙂

But I also don’t want to make light of the compliment people are giving us. Taking in another child and all the trauma that child has lived through isn’t easy. It puts strains on our marriage, our finances, our children and our time. So generally, I smile and point out something that is wrong with me…because that is what you do when you get a compliment, right? (Side note- I need to work on being gracious with compliments).

Rick and I both grew up learning about a man named Jesus. We learnt all the stories, we knew memory verses and how to be good kids that Jesus could be proud of. Somewhere in our teens, on opposite sides of the world, we went from knowing about this guy called Jesus to loving him, and through that love wanting to follow him. We are convinced that following Jesus is more then just learning about his word, it is living it out every day; in short, it is welcoming the weak…
“Little ones to him belong…”

Nearly 15 months ago, the ‘stork’, in the disguise of a child protection worker, brought a little baby boy to our door. No one knew much about this little one, but Jesus did. He knew the hairs on his head (there weren’t many), he knew where he had come from and the journey his parents have been on since the day they joined this earth….Jesus also knew that this little boy would not be leaving our home, that on the 9th of February 2013, at 1 month and 1 day old…baby J had been dropped off at his forever home.

We are not perfect parents, we are far from a perfect family, but we follow a perfect God. Our God is love in action. Jesus was love in action. His messages are about putting God’s love in action…
“they are weak, but he is strong!”
And that is all we try to emulate. Welcoming the little ones, the lost and the vulnerable. Saying in cuddles and warm food and safe spaces that
“Jesus loves you, this I know, for the Bible tells us so.”

So, (almost officially….court orders take time), we are a family of 6. Blessed by a little boy and his parents. We still don’t know their story, and they certainly have a role in baby J’s life…only God knows where and how. We are forever grateful for the little boy that they gave life to and we pray for them each time we are able to hold their boy.

But For now….I am going to go an eat another piece of cake and celebrate our imperfect family, made perfectly by a perfect God.

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