Little Miss has an announcement and mama wakes up with a little panic in her belly every morning.
FIVE children. Five children six and under. Lord, help me.
Two weeks ago I spent an hour digging through all of our bills, prepping the financial section of our foster license renewal and Ben hunched over our house plans looking for room dimensions. Every year I say I'm going to make a copy of the paperwork and every year I am filling it out at the last minute and don't have time.
I am never doing this, again, I said. I hate the paperwork that much. Because Missy's adoption is still not finalized, we didn't have a choice. As I finished up, I muttered to the Lord, "Any additional children you have for us have to come, this year. I can't do this again."
I need a break from all of it.
Of course, our licensing worker came and asked us if we would adopt Baby Brother. That's how God works in our life. He never lets us get too comfortable.
Remember this post when Ben begged me not to fall in love with Baby Brother - when Little Miss and I went to meet him? I'm not sure why we never did a visit after that. I didn't ask because we had enough chaos in our schedule.
I remember the exact moment she told me she was pregnant with him. The moment I laid hands on her and prayed that God would help her push through and conquer addiction. I can't explain the love I have for this young girl and even though I hoped that Baby Brother's foster family would adopt him, I think I always knew we would say yes if needed.
Earlier, this summer, we were told that Baby Brother's case was going to move toward parental termination, quickly, because mom wasn't participating and that his foster family wasn't sure about adoption. We were already overwhelmed and started asking some of our closest friends and family if they would consider adopting him to keep him close.
Three weeks ago, my girlfriend and I prepared for a garage sale and I sold all my baby stuff. I was confident that we were done with babies, but at the last minute, I did pull my toddler boys clothes "just in case". It never crossed my mind that Baby Brother would need an adoptive family this soon. He's only five months old.
The case worker asked us last Wednesday night and we had until Monday morning to decide.
From the moment she asked, my heart screamed yes. I didn't even have to think. I'm a lover and jump in with both feet every time. Ben didn't have to say a word...I knew his answer was no.
He is our provider and protector and already feels stretched beyond capacity. He humored me, that night, and I talked through solutions to every challenge (there are many). Before we went to bed, I asked him to keep his heart open and, prayerfully, consider his answer through the weekend.
I trust God in all things and I also trust my husband's leadership. My reckless love can lead me astray sometimes. I appreciate Ben's steady heart and told him so. He needed to know that if his answer was "no", my heart wouldn't hold anger or resentment. Frankly, I would have been relieved.
I felt pressed all weekend and I was in and out of tears for most of it. The pressure of such a major life decision weighed, heavily, on both of us. Our four babies were at the forefront of our concern.
On Sunday night, my mom came put the kids to bed and Ben and I headed to the grocery store. The perfect environment for long, meaningful conversations. By the time we walked in, our decision was made and tears were flooding my face.
I have spent all week praising God for giving me a husband whose love reflects the Father's. Ben gave me three reasons that led to his yes. And each one made me love him more.
He couldn't think of a greater way to honor our kids' mom and dad than by giving them the peace of mind that their babies are together; he felt that his greatest reasons for saying "no" were self-focused; and in the middle of worship on Sunday morning, when he cried out to God, he knew.
Ben asked the Lord, "Are you really asking this of me?" and not only did he hear "yes", but it was followed with a gentle, "I will find someone else if you can't do it."
Ben didn't say yes to a five month old baby because I pressured him. He didn't say yes to caring for #5 because no one else would. Ben said, yes, because he never wants to be passed by.
Just like young Samuel, we shout, LORD! Here we are! We are ready for service. We can handle the work. Please don't ever pass us by.
Baby Brother should be home in September.