Our move to Arkansas from Minnesota was initially defined as for change of occupation. Tim had resigned from over 10 years in Sears retail and I was working for an insurance company in downtown St. Paul.
The dual occupation we endeavored together at this point was with a ministry focus. We were excited to begin using our energies to encourage The Family. Marriages, specifically. Since only wedded five years at this point, we were great candidates for FamilyLife staff: we were still in the magical newlywed mode, but we were also aware of its feisty reality.
Even before the moving truck had been loaded in St. Paul and unloaded in Little Rock, Tim and I knew part of our southern adventure would be prolife involvement, in the name of Bethany Christian Services.
Our hearts had already been prepared for passionate involvement. The combination of the heartbreaking discovery of our infertility and a first-time comprehension of abortion defined, created an energy within us to do something. We did not know what that would be, but it would be something .
That something was first of all Bethany Christian Services (BCS) foster care. And soon after that, adoption.
BCS foster care and adoption process was a wonderful experience for Tim and me. We were privileged to work with the finest of social workers. As counselors to the infertile couples and the birthmoms, they brought comfort. As advocates for the the unborn, they were resolved to see the end of abortion.
Wading through paperwork was a necessary discomfort in the application process. But truly strengthened our resolve in the pursuit. For both foster care and adoption.
The foster care program for us meant caring for each newborn baby only until the adoption process was legally completed and the baby could be delivered into the arms of the adopting parents.
We were preparing to keep each baby in our home for an average of two weeks. “That is how long it usually takes,” our BCS social worker shared with us.
After we were approved, we began to create the baby room in our little apartment home, for each and every short term love affair with each and every sweet newborn foster baby assigned to us. In the end, we had all that any baby would need! Crib. Changing table. Rocking chair. Drawers full of newborn sleepers. Onesies. Clothes in hues of pink, blue, yellow, green, purple and all the colors of the rainbow.
Also, I found – in one volume book – a library of baby information! In this large resource we had all the answers for any question regarding our babies to come!
We were ready!
At first, there was no foster care needed. More waiting. Something Tim and I had already grown accustom to. Then, the phone rang! We were to receive our first baby! We were to go directly to the hospital, and bring her home.
“Bring an outfit. She will be in a hospital gown,” our social worker informed us.
She was so tiny. “5 1/2 pounds,” the hospital staff claimed, as they laid her in our arms.
Tim and I placed her in the car seat, and cautiously drove home. Her crib awaited her. Diapers galore. Drawers of clothes…
But the rocking chair was my favorite. I rocked her, and rocked her. And then I rocked her some more. Praying for her and singing to her as the rocking chair ruts grew deep into the carpet.
“Only temporarily in my arms, sweet baby. You will be with your Forever Family soon.” I lovingly reminded both her and me. “I will give you all of my Mommy’s love until then.” And then, I followed with a silent warning to myself, “Only two weeks, Debbie.”
Two weeks turned into more. “There was a legality. It will take a bit longer. Will you continue caring for her?”
“Oh, my! I get to hold you in my arms a little longer,” I silently whispered to her. I loved her. I prayed for her. And her Forever Family. “All is in God’s Sovereign hands.”
After many, many weeks and after all legal issues were ironed out, this precious foster baby’s Adoption Ceremony was held in the BCS office, a special adoption suite. We lovingly referred to this suite as the Adoption Hospital.
“No less joy-filled pain in delivery here, than the other hospital delivery room,” Tim and I decided.
The simultaneous joy and pain in this adoption hospital was not the usual physical pain of childbirth, followed by the joy of a baby’s cry of the first breath of life outside the womb.
But it was the emotional joy and pain, mixed into one pot, which ultimately brings to a baby a loving plan of life. Somehow the birth parent, the adoptive parent, the foster parent and the social workers have been straining through a kind of labor pain, to bring this life plan to birth. And this all happened in the adoption hospital.
Tim and I were happy for the adoptive couple. And sad for the baby’s difficult transition. But happy for the baby’s ultimate Forever Family. Happy for the BCS staff for the adoptive plan fulfilled. Sad for the same staff that walked through the grief with the birthmother. Sad for the grieving we were about to experience as long term foster parents.
All in all, how very helpful to observe all the love given for the sake of one baby. And we knew all this was soon to happen again to us. With one difference: we would be acting a different role. We would be the adoptive parents.
Yes, our own adoption file had recently been activated!
One question required in the adoption application process for Tim and me to answer was, “Would you want a girl or a boy?”
No hesitation in our response! After the agony of infertility. After comprehending the injustice of abortion, the answer was simply, “Either, and/or both!
With a smile under my breath, my unstated desire was twins. I had their names picked out. But how did we know what would be best for us? “That is something only God knows.” A learning curve learned through our infertily struggle.
We knew now that any life was perfect for us! Boy! Girl! Twin boys! Twin girls! Twin boy and girl! And beyond!
And so how blessed Tim and I were to receive our own adoption call only a few months after our foster baby and her adoptive parents had received theirs!
On that wonderful day, emotional overflow, once again! Of course, exceedingly happy for ourselves! But grieving for another. Our baby boy had also been in short term foster care , and as foster parents, we knew there would be a sense of loss for them.
Most certainly we knew of grieving loss felt by the precious birthmom. And my our hearts broke for her.
This scenerio has been played out in Tim’s and my life even three more times. Exuding joy beyond imagination. But also the grieving loss felt by their birthmoms. Grief and joy, simultaneously. Bittersweet. But good.
Good, because life is always good. It’s an easy choice, really. Life. It is good.
Now for the grand finale: “Boy or girl?” asked the Bethany staff each and every time. “Either, and/or both,” our answer each time remained.
Yes, God’s choice for Tim and me, “Boy!” “Boy!” “Boy!””Boy!”
A Male Delivery each time! And yours truly has been living as Queen, in a House of Males!
Life is Lovelier with Lace. . .
How do you exist in an all – male environment? For a time, I thought I should make myself fit more into their mold. Male stuff ruled! Even in decorating my livingroom!
But I began to rethink, “No! these young men need to see the girliness of life too!”
So, I brought out my lace… and made more!
With the loveliness of lace all around them, each one has proven to man-euver quite well!
Still man-euvering through my lace,
The Ludvigson Lace Lady
LUDVIGSON LACE ♡ Aftcra
My Shop: http://www.aftcra.com/ludvigsonlace
My Website: http://ludvigsonlace.simdif.com
My Blog: https://ludvigsonlace.wordpress.com