By Branden DesCarpentrie
Today I paused from my work, and I saw your face. Those large round eyes were staring into mine. Your toothless smile curved my own lips upward. I really really love you. Last week you ate solid food for the first time and rolled over on my living room floor. I have heard your precious giggle then scream until your face is red. You know each of my kids and light up when they talk to you. I have fed you, changed you, burped you, wiped your tears, drank in your baby smell, lost sleep at night, and prayed for you. You have my heart. Four months ago, I did not even know you existed. Today the thought of giving you up hurts my stomach and fills my eyes with tears. And yet, that looks like what is going to happen.
The day we found out there was a relative who wanted to have you, our family ached. We tried to be strong when we told our kids, saying this was a great thing for you…what we really felt in our hearts came to the outside though. So instead, we all cried together. You see, I am your foster dad, but inside I am your daddy.
God gave me the chance to bridge the time you really needed a home to when you would go to a permanent one. You should know my family has filled that time with love for you. You should know that we are the ones who were blessed. You should know that I often pray you will get to be with us forever. But that is in God’s capable hands.
Some day it will probably be hard to picture your face, but I will remember you. Someday, all too soon, you won’t remember me at all. But even if that comes true, it is OK, because the prayer I really want answered is for you to know Him as Lord and Savior. I hope someday, a long time from now, you will close your eyes for the last time here and open them to take in heaven for the first time. I really really want to be there to see that. Little girl, it appears I am only a small part of God’s plan for your life, but our love for you has taught me something priceless.
When we learned that you would likely be leaving us my wife asked, “Can we really keep doing this to ourselves and the kids?” I said yes. You don’t foster children in need because it is easy, convenient, or offers emotional highs. Hey kids, pay attention here, we won’t stop doing good when it hurts. You don’t withhold love because it costs you…see Jesus on the cross. You want to follow Christ? Let His strength lead and be willing to do the hard things for His glory.
So sweet dreams Layla and thanks for the lesson of love.
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. James 3:17
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13