Four Steps Forward, One Step Back
Sep 6, 2018 • Adoption/Foster Care, Parenting • By Joanna Teigen
Fifteen years ago, we had our fourth and final bundle of joy with the birth of our daughter. We cherished every minute of her babyhood, but as she grew we moved past the life of strollers, cribs, sippy cups, and sleeper jammies. Rob and I could head out the door for spontaneous coffee dates. Nobody needed help brushing their teeth or cleaning their rooms. Everybody in the house could sleep through the night and hold a coherent conversation. We were stepping forward into the life of parents with “big kids.”
Then, seven years ago we turned our lives upside-down by welcoming a tiny baby boy into our lives. As new foster parents we believed the story we were told in training, that most foster cases wrap up in a year or so. Silly us. Our little guy stayed…and stayed…and stayed. For over three years until his case was closed. And here he is another four years later, our forever son through adoption.
We gave our hearts away to our little boy the moment we held him in our arms. We had no idea he would be a gift from God that would change our lives forever. And we never expected to find ourselves back in the life of parents-of-babies again. Yes, we missed some of the convenience and flexibility we used to enjoy. We sighed as we dealt with potty training, car seats, and illogical mood swings one more time. But we’ve also had more laughter and heart-melting moments than we could have any other way.
The comments people make are true:
“Boy, you have your hands full.” Yep, and our hearts are full too.
“They keep you young, don’t they?” Yes–we get to blow bubbles, jump on the trampoline, and laugh about the little things. We’re able to take life at a child’s pace.
“He’s going to pass you up any day now.” Yes. I’m short. He’s tall. I think I’ll be looking up at him when he’s ten. It’s all good.
We’re long finished with diapers and a full-sized bed has replaced the crib. The high chair is back in storage. We’ve got Legos, backpacks, and a two-wheeler in the garage. Life with big-kids-only is back on the horizon. But I’m so thankful for these last few years–one more chance to cuddle up and marvel over the little milestones. It’s been worth every minute.
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
Is God calling your family to explore foster care or adoption?
Message us your questions, or check out these resources to learn more:
Adopted for Life by Russell Moore
The Adoptive Parent Toolbox by Mark & Kristin Berry