Monday, October 10, 2011

Prepare my Heart

I've fallen in love with a baby that I've never met.  Ok - it may be the easiest thing in the world for me to fall in love with any baby - I am a baby fanatic.  At family gathering I go to great measures to make sure I get to hold any baby that happens to be there (and when you have 4 siblings married with children there are always babies around) - and I even take it a step further and try to make that baby fall to sleep so that no one can take them away from me (I mean you can't disturb a sleeping baby!!!).  I drool over the pictures of my friend's babies on facebook.  When I am shopping I somehow always find myself standing in the baby section looking at tiny onesies, adorable baby booties, soft receiving blankets.  Yep,  I've got it bad.  It's been this way my whole life - but probably growing in intensity over the years.  I remember as kids my big sis and I sitting on an old railroad tie that was used as a garden border at my Grandma's house - we had our baby dolls in our laps with our shirts pulled up "nursing" our babies.  :)  Like I said; I LOVE babies!

(my nephew Caleb who loved to squish his head against my arm when he slept)

But this time it's a feeling that is a little different.  This little baby has touched my heart deeply.  I have felt this feeling before.  When I was in Africa visiting an orphanage a little baby walked up to me (I thought she was about 1 but we found out she was at least 2 years old).  She kind of slumped against my leg and I picked her up.  Immediately I knew something was horribly wrong.  She was feverish and very lethargic.  She laid her little black head against my chest and her breathing was shallow and pained.  Her skin was covered in little sores.  I honestly thought she might die in my arms she was so ill.  I found out later that she had been found 2 days before in an abandoned house eating dirt.  A lump forms in my throat as I remember the horror I felt when I knew what this baby had been though.   Thank the Lord we were able to go back 2 weeks later and baby Brenda was sitting at a table eating!  Her skin was shinny and healthy looking and she was alert.  My time in Africa ended but the memory of baby Brenda will never end.   I can never forget her eyes - they almost haunt me. 

This little baby who has touched my heart is also hurting and even though I have never held this baby, my love is real.  This situation has reminded me that there are so many children who are needing something: a home, medical care, and love.  My heart longs so deeply to be in the place where we could help.  I long to give a home to children who need it.  Of course I desire a child because I love babies and children so deeply - but my heart just aches for those who are in pain or in need.  I don't just want any child.  I want a child who really needs us.  This is the reason we have chosen not to use a surrogate when we are ready to start our family.  (and this is a very personal conviction - every situation and family is different and I am not saying that surrogacy is wrong by any means, just that for us that is not an option) We could do that and there have been a couple times when the desire to have a baby that looks like my husband has been strong, and I have briefly considered surrogacy.  I'll probably always miss being able to give birth to a child, or have a child that looks like my sweet Farmer Boy (I mean that would be a beautiful baby!).  But to be honest those desires are nothing when I think of babies that I know need good homes. 

I have been feeling impatient with the place we are in right now - being in school and not having a home of our own or a real job makes it impossible to adopt right now.  I have found myself just longing so deeply to be ready for that day when we will be done with this part of our lives.  But last night I realized that God knows our desires and He knows what the next couple of years will hold, and He already knows the children that have maybe not been born yet that He will put into our home one day.  He is using the situations
where I fall helplessly in love with babies who are in need to prepare me for the baby(s) He will give me one day. 

So today I'm packing up some baby clothes and blankets for this baby that I am praying so hard for - and until the day God brings our babies to us I'll keep trusting and learning to love.

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