Today Elise* turns 4. She arrived three months before turning 2, so this is the 3rd time we’ve celebrated her birthday together. I had about 1wk to prepare for her arrival, which is unusual in fostering. I carefully decorated the nursery in birds, praying Psalm 124:7-8.
We have escaped like a bird
from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Her older sister, Sloane*, had been with me three months when the social worker decided to move Elise to my home – against doctor and supervisor’s recommendations. I do believe everyone has been pleasantly surprised by the success of that decision – me most of all. I’ve seen my little one transform from frightened and fragile (for more info see Only Prayer) into a confident ray of sunshine.
I must admit she still sleeps in a crib – by her own choice. Up until a few months ago she still needed a bottle to fall asleep. Going without she struggles to lull herself to sleep. And she still needs a diaper for bed. Those are the biggest challenges. The fact that she continually wants to be picked up and carried is something I’m willing to indulge. As I put her to bed on the eve of her birthday, despite being nearly 4 and attending school, Elise still insisted I call her a baby. “I’ll always be a baby!” she’s decided. Not so. But I’m happy to pretend – holding her close and kissing her a million times.
As a single mom, I’ve told my girls Jesus is their dad. He’s the one who birthed them in my heart long ago. He also moved heaven and earth so I could keep them (see Adoption). He’s the one who provides for us in so many unexpected ways. When Sloane started wondering about a dad (she remembers her birth father), I casually informed her she had Jesus. It wasn’t something I went out of my way to tell Elise because she didn’t ask. But she’s got it. Recently when Sloane commented, “I don’t have a dad.” Elise piped up in sincere conviction, “Yes! We have Jesus!!!” Praying she always knows His love and protection as she grows.