Just a half hour earlier, he had been dodging my kisses in a mix of wrestling and tickling and I love yous and I love you mores.
When I snuck from his bed several minutes after he had started breathing heavy, I was sure he was asleep. His tiny 5-year-old body wiggled under the covers as his sleepy voice told me that I'd forgotten something.
"What did I forget baby?"
"You forgot to give me night-night kisses."
His tiny voice, his desire for my love....it was almost more than my heart could contain.
"Oh baby, I would never forget to kiss you goodnight."
What a simple thing. A goodnight kiss.
In the midst of us re-applying for foster care, I have many times wondered what on earth would provoke me to do it again. The paperwork seems to be never ending. The classes. The waiting. The unknown.
And then there is the opening of your home and your heart to a tiny person who will ultimately change you in the best kind of way.
Sometimes I think the chaos of my life, with our business and our kids and everything we have on our plate, is enough. Why would we add someone else's mess to ours?
Honestly? It's all about a goodnight kiss.
It's been 2 years (almost to the day) since we said goodbye to the 2 foster babies we had in our hearts and our home for 6 months. They became a part of us. They changed us.
And tonight, I sit in front of this computer sobbing because their story is so beautiful. The way the Lord carried them and protected them is unfathomable. I never could have written a better ending to a story.
But in the same breath, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. They will forever be a part of me, and almost 2 years ago, we had to say goodbye to them. It was this weekend 2 years ago that we spent as our last weekend as a family of 6.
And exactly 2 years ago, on this night, I wrote these words, "This really is quite the process. It's not normal, not natural, but oh, so necessary. They had to be loved. Had to be cared for. And the Lord picked us to do it."
I find so much encouragement in those words....words the Lord placed on my heart. When those babies first showed up on our porch just 6 months earlier, they had been in a shelter for 7 days.
And that's where I lose it. That's where I know that we are called and commission to care for those who are orphaned and alone. We are called to give "night-night kisses" to babies who won't get them anywhere else. There is no child who doesn't deserve a goodnight kiss from someone who loves them.
There are more than 1100 children in the foster care system in Oklahoma and over 397,000 in the system across the United States on any given day.
If not us, then who?
Just a little preaching to myself tonight.....and remembering where we've been and how much love we felt while we were there.
Sweet dreams baby. Thanks for reminding your momma what it looks like to be brave.