Well, Little Man wakes up in the morning as a 5 year old. The banner is hung across his room and balloons are blown up and strewn ALL over the living room. I'm already warming up my vocal chords for a glorious rendition of the "Happy Birthday" chorus at about 6:20 in the morning when I go in to wake him up. In the back of my mind, though, is the fact that there is another woman out there who is more than likely grieving that she is not the one who is waking her child up on his birthday, singing to him in a silly voice, and picking up doughnuts on the way to daycare (which he, thankfully, chose instead of cupcakes...). I understand that there are those people out there who pretty much dismiss birth families and feel that if they lost their child in the first place, then good riddance to them. I used to be that person... Thank God that He worked a miracle in my heart...
I'm not sure if I've told this story on here before, but it deserves a repeat right about now anyway, so here it is again.
Informational session of GPS class (the class you have to go through to get licensed as a foster parent), Traci made the comment, "We know that it is technically DHR's responsibility to transport children to and from visitation, but we really encourage all of our families to get involved in those visitations and get to know the birth family." My reaction? Ummmm... NOPE!! Not what I'm in this for... They lost their child for a reason, and I'm here for the child, not the parents.
Well, now that almost seems laughable, but I was serious about it then. God has changed my heart since then, needless to say. I now look forward to the opportunity to get to know the birth families and show them Jesus with some skin on. For in the long run, if I do not strive for change in the entire family, is the healing that takes place in the child while they're with me effective at all? True, it can have some short term benefits, but at best, it will simply turn into a talisman of hope in their hearts rather than a true and meaningful change in their lives. I treasure the time that Little Man gets to spend with his family and I hope that he creates an ocean of great memories with them so that they will carry him through the rough times that will inevitably come in the future.
Saturday was one of those memories. His birthday party was a blast... So many friends were able to come, and they truly showed their love for Little Man just by being there. The people that I was most excited about coming, though, was his former foster family, the Fox family, and his mommy. Seeing him run to greet them and hug them like there was no tomorrow put a flame of joy in my heart. It made the time and expense totally worth it... And a hug from mom after the party, and hearing how much it meant to her... That was just icing on the cake. (Yes, pun intended.)
So now that the festivities are over, we're left with his actual birthday day. He'll wake up to Miss Erin singing to him instead of mommy, and he'll stop by Joe's Doughnuts for his birthday treat for school with his foster mom instead of mommy, but by golly, the boy will have his birthday dinner with his mommy! We head out tomorrow afternoon to pick up mom and brother and we'll head to the mall, where the 3 of them will have the first evening out together... On their own... In more than a year. Besides actually turning him into a real Wonder Pet, this is the best birthday present I can think of to give this special Little Man who has captured my heart.
Happy birthday, Little Man. I pray that you will know how much your are loved... by me, by your mommy, by God. Blessings on you, dear heart. I love you!