Elijah was still sleeping in the crib at almost two years old so we would need to move him out of his nursery and into a bed in his brother's room. Toddler bed? Twin bed with rails? He was just a baby, wasn't he? My mother-in-law had just bought an antique toddler bed from auction so we set him up in that Wednesday night..... nope. Although the mattress size was the same, it was too small and apparently in his mind, just a trampoline. So the next day my Gram (who lives in the basement with us) offered us her twin bed. We had the double wrought iron guest bed that we needed to move out of Mason's room in order to make room for Elijah, so it made sense to give that to her in exchange for her twin size. Add a few rails and it was a great fit. Elijah loved it. I couldn't decide if it made him seem bigger, or smaller to me. Either way, baby #3 was moving out of the crib to make room for baby #4.
|Mason and Elijah|
Still today, I remember so clearly the days we bought, and set up, that crib (spring break 2009) with not a baby in sight, praying for God to fill it as we passed by the room each day. Indeed, this prayer He has answered as only He can. Since September of 2009, it has never been empty.
So, we readied the nursery, bought a few pink blankets, pulled the infant car seats out of the storage closet, rearranged the van to hold all four, washed bottles, stocked up on tiny diapers and attempted to prepare the boys for a baby girl to join the ranks. On Thursday, after work, Scott sneaked in a stop at Target to buy her first outfit from him. At the register, he felt the eyes of the checkout clerk on him. He admitted later he felt pretty sure she was checking him out, when finally she asked, "Would you like a gift receipt for this, sir?" as she held up the sweet pink outfit. His spirit was crushed.....did she think he was papaw to a baby girl? A friend? Uncle? So, he answered, "No, it's for my daughter" and smiled on his way out the door, excited, and perhaps a little nervous, at what life may be like with a girl in the house.
Meanwhile, I was organizing the pink bomb that had gone off at the house! As our friends have done every time a child has entered our home, we had hand-me-downs galore that gave the appearance she had already been with us for months. What love and support that comes out of a bag of clothes we've seen our friends daughters wear, as they pass them on to a baby they've never met.
It would appear, by Friday afternoon, that we were ready for her. I got the boys down for a nap, excited as they were, and collapsed into a heap of a mess. Tears of excitement and fear. Prayers, that we have always prayed, "Lord, bind our hearts with hers." Realizations that now I'll have hair to fix, periods to teach about, attitude that only a girl can dish out. Concerns that it will be too much, that her needs will be too great, that maybe we should have closed our home when we had the chance. Failure to thrive.....would we be able to help her thrive? More teeth to cut, potty training to get through, formula to mix at 1:00am.....
But then I looked again at the picture the current foster mom had sent me of the largest, bluest eyes I had ever seen on a tiny five month old baby girl and pulled myself together. She needs a home and a family to love her. We can do love. It might not always be perfect, it's often very loud and circus like, but always, we do love.