I am bleary eyed and anxious, but it is a new kind of anxious. I have experienced it before. Before, it led to crushing heartbreak with a side of disrupted sleep. This time, perhaps things will be different.
Almost a year ago, I accepted an infant from foster care into my home and into my heart. She filled me with promise and joy. She embodied beauty with her big brown eyes. A gift from God. A gift of healing.
She would rub her little head on my chest as I burped her. She did all those little baby things that a baby should do. I did not realize at the time that she nuzzled her way into my broken heart and healed it.
I had suffered multiple miscarriages. Each time joy would be chipped off my soul. I was a disappointed mother, mourning the loss of hope. That little girl was a gift from God. She healed me. Through her, I was able to experience parenthood. I was able to love openly and unconditionally with no promise of love’s return. Little did I know that little girl was also a life saving miracle for her mother.
Life saving miracles are well and good, except when that miracle must return to her mother. I guess a life saving miracle is probably more important that a life healing miracle. She returned to her mother, and I returned to that empty space. I cried and wailed at her departure. People consoled with: “you did something great for that child.” I wanted to say: “She did something greater for me.” I wanted her with me forever.
I was crushed, and yet I was healed from the miscarriages. A miracle of love had indeed taken away my pain and left me raw. I felt like a fool. Didn’t I know the consequences? I knew that I took a huge risk in accepting this child into my home and heart, in caring for a child from foster care who may or may not have been available for adoption. I took the risk and lost. I was a fool.
A fool for love. I am a fool for love and ready to leap into that fire again. Isn’t that what God asks us? Will we love like we never have loved before with no net nor promise of return? Isn’t that what Christ does? He stretches out his arms on the hard wood of the cross so that all might come into his saving embrace. Yep, a fool for love indeed.
So here I am, sleep deprived and covered in baby spit up once more. I am taking a risk. I am placing my heart in two very small hands, knowing what I know now. I know that once again, I will or may be crushed, and I praise God for the privilege.