I can still remember when we received our referral for Ruthie. I remember the picture they sent us and the description of her. A lot of it felt like more of a medical report than a child as if to say this is what you are agreeing to take on, instead of this is the person who will soon be your daughter. Bonding with a piece of paper is not easy but neither is bonding with a brand new person. I still remember when the my heart made the leap from being Ruthie’s referral to being her mom. Trent and I were sitting in bed reading and this picture came across my email.
The Lord used that image to move my mind from focusing on numbers and plans to a very real child who I could now call mine. In that moment I felt Ruthie in my heart and not just my mind.
I share this because those memories have come flooding back since the placement of our foster child. When they handed me that sweet boy, they also went over a packet of paper that felt more like buying a car than loving a child. I was given a bag of meds with a strict schedule and a list of upcoming doctors appointments for a person who was still a bit of a mystery to me. For 3 weeks, I have been bonding with him and trying to just build trust while discerning who he really is. I asked some friends to pray for the bonding process and then came time for us to leave for a week of camp and had to leave him behind in respite care. I knew this was going to be a huge interruption to the bonding process but we were given no other option. When I dropped him off at my friends, he asked if he could have a necklace that I was wearing that Ruthie had made earlier in the day. I told him of course but not to sleep in it so he wouldn’t choke. The next morning, my friend sent me this picture of him clutching my necklace as he fell asleep.
Oh the power of an image to take your heart from a concept to a connection. I don’t know what the Lord has planned for his future, but for now, he is clearly mine.