Foster-to-Adopt: Filling an Empty Crib with Love

We haven’t even received our first placement and our kiddos are already struggling with the idea of sharing and caring with a new “sibling.”

We haven’t even received our first placement and our kiddos have already shed tears over this “brother or sister.”

We haven’t even received our first placement and yet, the change is already happening and the kiddos are having to make all kinds of “extra room” for this new soul.

Rewind to about a month ago when we first set up the crib…

There was a new crib (a real, bona fide crib) complete with a crib sheet and a blankie. And all of a sudden, things got real.

The kids were pumped–absolutely pumped!

There was all kinds of talk about the age of the child (baby or toddler), what the child would look like (fair skin, brown skin, black skin, or something in between), and if the child would be a “brother” or a “sister.” Honestly, I think they could really care less who or what, they are just super excited to have that crib filled with ANOTHER SOUL.

But then daddy broached the subject of the empty crib, the one with no stuffed animals and no lovies and all of a sudden…the fist-pumping seemed to dissipate and a few tears were shed.

The thrill had simmered.

Why?

Because daddy had suggested that there was a little boy and a little girl who had a plethora of pandas, polar bears, and penguins and scads of caterpillars, cats, and cuddly bears filling their comfy beds. They had stuffed lovies in every nook and cranny of their beds, many who haven’t been cuddled and loved for quite some time.

“Caden and Evie, have you seen this empty crib?”

Heads nodded.

“I was thinking that maybe you guys could look through your stuffed animals and maybe pick out several that you could share with the new baby.”

Heads sunk and the protests started.

“But I use all of mine,” our son insisted.

“NO. I not want to share,” our daughter proclaimed.

“I understand that, but how do you think this child would feel if they were removed from their home, taken away from all of their special things, and were placed in a home with an empty bed. How do you think they would feel?”

Immediately, tears pooled in our son’s eyes.

Hearing the conversation from a room removed, I entered the room and empathized with the difficulty in sharing and caring for a soul they’ve never met. I normalized their feelings and suggested the following:

“How about you guys think and pray about giving up some of your animals and when you feel like it, you can take them upstairs and place them in the crib? How does that sound?”

They both nodded their heads and we moved on…and so did the Spirit.

But later that night, when we went to tuck in our littlest, there was a white polar bear and a soft, brown puppy sitting in the middle of the crib.

And then a few days later, when I was putting away clothes, I noticed that our oldest had placed a rainbow-colored caterpillar.

We didn’t say anything; we simply smiled. The Spirit was moving; hearts were softening; and the crib was slowly being filled. 

And then, about a week later, I spied a blue lovie with a monkey head; it was placed by our daughter.

And today, when I went up to empty wastebaskets, I found our son’s stuffed, green frog squatting between the puppy and monkey.

Again, my heart smiled and my face beamed.

Exclaiming from upstairs,”Oh my goodness!!! Have you seen this crib?!?! Look at how much love has filled this crib!!!”

Immediately, little feet were storming the stairs and tumbling into the little, yellow room.

As I affirmed their kindness, thanked their generosity, and pointed out their softened hearts, two sets of eyes were beaming beside the crib. And then our daughter spoke.

“I give them my monkey because they gonna need it.” 

Immediately, my heart filled with another burst of love.

She was right; sooooo right. Whoever occupies that bed, is gonna need some love. ALLLLL. KINDS. OF. LOVE.

Now I realize that they didn’t give their favorites and their most-very special (aint’ nobody gettin’ “Baby Bear” and “Charlie”) but it doesn’t really matter.

Why?

 

Because giving anything at all was both a BIG DEAL and a LITTLE STEP.

And to us, LITTLE STEPS are part of the journey when choosing to live a life of BIG LOVE.

And when choosing to live a life of BIG LOVE, there are many, many, many moments when sharing and caring is a SACRIFICIAL CHOICE. 

And sometimes, those LOVING CHOICES look like shared puppies and gifted monkeys from kids who have shed a few tears along the way.

So as we wait and pray for this child (the one who will be surrounded by the comforts of a frog, a puppy, a caterpillar, a polar bear, and a monkey) we covet your prayers for softened hearts as we make all kinds of “extra room” in both our home and in our hearts.

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