A Spark of Courage

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy husband and I do not have biological kids of our own. We were going to try but then I got very sick and by the time I was cleared with a clean bill of health our chances had  vanished.We marched on and carved our way into a different life from others. We were the couple that had a lot pets and lots of DIY projects…and we were happy with that.

I never really felt the clock ticking and truly accepted the idea of no children in our lives and I was fine with that. However I did feel a pull to help children

I believe in signs and look for signs to validate my intuitive side. So as the pull grew stronger I looked around in my life. In the next month I picked up clients that were foster parents,

social workers or had adopted a baby in need. I began to meet people and as our conversation began it eventually lead to discovering that they were foster parents.

I took these signs as encouragement and began to research agencies and after interviewing several found one that felt right. I then had a conversation with my husband this was my

last sign I was waiting for if he was not on board I knew that the time may not be right and I should put it aside until the right time presented itself.

My first conversation with my husband his response was “no” and so I knew the time was not right and filed my paperwork away in my file named “to consider”.

After a week my husband said he changed his mind and wanted to begin the process.

We trained and readied ourselves for the new adventure initially we thought a 3 or 4 year old child but after our training and much to our surprise we began our journey with a newborn baby.

There are many memorable moments in each of our lives and one of the most special event is our beginning state on planet earth. The arrival of a newborn baby brings delightful joy,

sleepless nights and a constant state of delirious bliss.  As our first placement arrived everything changed, we awake in the early morning hours finding this little bundle of joy eager to eat and we are slightly startled by the new day for it will be a different day and we welcome the newness with anticipation and a bit of nervousness.

We care for this sweet newborn cherishing each moment, you see we live in a different state of presence. As our placement thrives and grow so does our love for them.

But we must remind ourselves that each day is a gift for we have no idea if this baby will stay or this baby’s  journey continues elsewhere.

Placement one is short lived and she is reunited with her family and all is well. We pass this tiny bundle back into the arms of her family we wish for her BIG things in her life and we wish her well.

We return home with an empty car seat when we walk into the nursery it seems so quiet and calm. I sit in the rocking chair and allow myself one big sob and I dry my tears and quietly put things away.

The baby girl clothes are pulled and I organize the nursery to a gender neutral state.


Placement two arrives 10 days old and full of life. His tiny hands wrap around my finger and I am amazed. How incredibly small and light he feels I am cautious

I move him delicately and I marvel at the miracle of life.

We spend many a sleepless nights with Placement two the days are exciting and filled with many lessons. We are getting to know him and he is figuring things out. 

I greet Placement two each morning with the phrase “ We get to spend another day together!” I smile and I gently pick him up there is a moment we look into each other’s eyes and I tell this little peanut that he is special and he is loved and all will be well.

During the course of several months my husband and I lives become busy and hectic as newborns can be a lot of work. We gather each experience

with placement two: the first laugh, lifting head, discovering  hands, discovery of toys and eating yummy puree carrots.

We begin to feel like a family and we are happy and grateful to share these wonderful moments with him.

Then one day we get the call Placement Two journey continues on…we know this change will be good for placement two he has his family waiting for him but still our hearts are heavy.

This hand off is more challenging we have had more time, more experiences more love….

I ready myself for the next morning we move through our routine and every now and then a tear seems to ease itself out and I sigh this is hard it weighs on me

I think to myself,  can I bear this? We both want to do what seemed to be the normal average routine but tonight it will be the last, the last play time, the last bath, the last feed.

We move thru each stage slowly and deliberately trying to remember each nuance his smell, his giggle, his everything.

My husband keeps Placement two up longer than the normal sleep hour and I begin to gather his things. I write down his schedule, providing every detail of his day,

I go over it again and then again. I want his transition to be smooth as possible and I want his family to know how he spends his day in detail.

He sleeps well and we do not sleep a wink.  I sit in bed listening to his breathing trying to store it in my memory. We awake with weary eyes and

I walk into the nursery to greet placement two and today my greeting changes to “ it’s our last day together”  I smile thru tears kiss him and tell him he is kind, beautiful baby and we love him so much. 

The social worker arrives and we wave good bye as the car leaves we turn and walk back into our home the moment we step into our home it already feels empty.

I walk into the nursery and sit in the rocker and allow myself one big sob but this time I need more.

I crawl into bed and cry, cry, cry this is really hard. I stay in bed one day and the following morning I ready myself and go thru the nursery.

I cry as I organize, I cry as I find that missing sock we were looking for, I cry as I clean his last bottle, I cry till my eyes feel dry.

I carry a heavy heart and I think about that precious little baby all the time.

It’s so difficult to put into words what this process feels like. We try to share our feelings but it is so difficult to describe. The process allows you to live in the

present moment, sure you can think about the future but it does not change the present moment. You show up for this little soul with no expectations but to love and be present with each baby.

We know we are meant to do this and so we march on…the next call will come soon enough and a new placement will arrive  and  we think to ourselves here is a new chance to expand our love even more.


“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live in every experience, painful
or joyous, to live in gratitude for every moment, to live abundantly.”
~Dorothy Thompson


Planting Peace…Shelley

{images by Jon Ovington and  Storyvillegirl}