Adoption · Being a mom · Family · Fostering

Peep’s Day.

Today is an important day. It’s the anniversary of the day I first learned of a special little baby. I heard his name. I heard his age. And that was about all the information we were given.

Caseworker: “We have a 2 week old”

Me: “Ok, let me call Chris”

Me: “Babe, we got a call. A 2 week old”

Chris: “Ok” {such a Chris response. Simple. To the point.}

Me: {faking a calm demeanor on the phone with the caseworker like it’s no big deal} “Ok, we can do it”

Caseworker: “I’ll bring him by in an hour”

That’s essentially how it happens each time we have a placement. So simple, and yet so not simple at all.

And then there he was. Peep.

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I don’t remember eating dinner that night. Newborn snuggles were enough to sustain me.

Not knowing whether a placement will stay the weekend or stay forever is emotionally fatiguing. Regardless, I always feel this instant need to connect with them as soon as they arrive and savor their little breaths. I’m desperate to attempt to absorb all of the heavy weight which seems to surround their little life like an unseen burden. I don’t usually know the actual story {that often comes later in bits and pieces}, but i’m not required to know the facts before bestowing unconditional love and safety on a child. So many unknowns in the beginning. So many questions. But the one sure constant is that their life is precious and my job is to savor it and protect it, all while honoring the birth parents who gave that child life. My heart instantly marks each ‘first contact’ with one of our placements so clearly, like a bookmark, and I often revisit those memories. I love revisiting that bookmark in my mind and praying for that child. For their health and safety and family and for them to know God. It’s all I have left to remember some of them, and those memories are so special to me.

Peep’s ‘first contact’ day holds great importance for our family and we will always celebrate it; but not in the way you may think.

I know a lot of families who celebrate a ‘gotcha day’. A day to commemorate the day they first met their child in an orphanage or at social services or the day the adoption papers were finalized. There’s quite a bit of controversy out there regarding the terminology used in ‘gotcha day’ and surrounding the idea of celebrating that day. I hate to be blunt, but I don’t really care enough to dip my toe into that drama pool. I’ll steer clear of the debate about whether or not celebrating ‘gotcha day’ is helpful or harmful. I follow the mindset that each family should do what is best and right for the children in their family.  You. Do. You. Because YOU know your family. You know your adopted child or foster child and know what would be beneficial to them and what would be harmful to them.

As important as today day is for me, though, I can’t seem to gather up any cheer to actually celebrate it with a fun party, because I know the story. I know most of the who and what and why that resulted in Peep being separated from his birth parents. And I’ve been an observer to their struggle through social programs and treatment requirements and visitations. As much joy as I feel at having him in our home, I’m reminded that his presence here means he’s unable to be there. In their home. In their arms. I. Can’t. Imagine.

I’ll always feel this way about foster care:

There is joy in this process. There is happiness and relief and hope for Peep’s future. But God calls us to also share in the sorrowful burden his birth parents are carrying, and only God can provide true healing and peace for all parties. I hope you’ll take a minute to pray for that for Peep’s birth parents; and then take it a step further and include all parents, kids, social workers, attorney’s, and judges involved in these types of situations.

Though I wouldn’t label my feelings as ‘happy’, there is JOY in this day. So we WILL celebrate this day as Peep’s day, in which we honor his story and all those who played a part in his life. His birth parents and his social workers and his therapists and his teachers and his nannies and his family and all of the people who are the pillars of love and support in his life. And him. We will celebrate him and the obstacles he continues to overcome. And though I can’t bring myself to cheer about the fact that we ‘got’ him, I will bask in the joy that I feel in being his mother and the grace that God has bestowed on Chris and I throughout our parenting journey, and the wonder of being trusted with another precious life.

Happy Peep’s day to all! We’re going to spend the day filling out the first round of adoption papers and reminiscing as we look at our photo albums and praying for Peep’s continued development and praying for his birth mom and dad.

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3 thoughts on “Peep’s Day.

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