How an Empty Bedroom Becomes a Nursery
We were lying side by side on the floor in the empty bedroom when Rich whispered, “I want to submit our home study for the baby.”
The entire week of June belonged to us. Josiah was at Boy Scout camp. Ben was in Colorado with his youth group. Peter was working at his internship in the city. Grandpa was visiting other family. It was a week we planned to go out to dinner nightly. To go to movies. To take long walks and leisure picnics. To celebrate life just the two of us alone.
But night after night we found ourselves in the sparse bedroom. The room we had cleared for a new child. There were decisions to make. Would we foster only? Or adopt only? Or did we want this life of quiet together to come sooner rather than later?
Simple homemade salads replaced the celebratory dinners out. Gift certificates to the movie theater sat unused. We talked about the life we wanted when everyone but Jesus and us left home.
“You want a baby?” I asked, hardly audible; my own heart yearning to hold fresh life. I tried to envision the room with blue paint. And a crib. And diapers. And medical equipment. And rattles and toys. And a rocking chair. And this fifty-three year old man pacing the creaky bedroom floor late into the night with a new son in his arms.
"God is asking us to take one step in faith. I don’t know what life will look like. But I know if we follow, He will meet us. And it will be the same every step of the journey. If we want to spend our lives loving people and we believe God is who He says He is, why not a baby?”
We had already decided we couldn’t adopt the little girl. We had already decided to take a legal risk placement. We had already decided to lower the children's age parameters on our license. Three weighty decisions made in May. Our social worker had sent his photo and his story. A medically complex, legal risk placement seven-month-old baby boy. Children's Division was seeking a foster family who would also become his adoptive family if necessary.
“I want to submit our home study for the baby and trust in God’s faithfulness. Despite our age. Despite what is typical for our culture. Despite all the obstacles we could use as excuses.” When a man trusts his God so boldly, his woman cries in his arms.
Ten days after that decision there was a long interview with fourteen people holding the responsibility to pick the child’s new family. There was a long afternoon of waiting. There was a phone call to let us know we were parents of a baby boy.
And not too many days later, there was a check for a thousand dollars from a friend in our mailbox. For the blue paint. And the diapers. And medical equipment. And clothes. And the rattles and toys. There was a car loaded full with baby clothes brought home from another friend. A rocking chair squeezed on top. There was an evening when our home was crowded with prayers and gifts and friends who have the audacity to believe their hands and feet and wallets are the way God provides for orphans.
And late last night there was a fifty-three year old man pacing the creaky bedroom floor with a new son in his arms.