This privilege: Baby days


Foster care / Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

when i first met her

all i could think was that i didn’t know anyone came in a size that tiny.

– five and a half pounds –

i saw one picture of her beforehand

but pictures lie.

she is far more petite (and robust) and darling than I expected.

– shopping quick for preemie supplies, with my mom and girls –

we prepared in a hurry, with less than a day’s notice

for “medically fragile” –

a baby born weeks ahead of due date, with prenatal challenges

but in the hours before my arrival she weaned herself off the accessories

and when i met her she was eating and breathing and warming herself

all independently.

strong girl.

i was permitted a joy i never anticipated – not only the care of a newborn

but the precious new-mommy days

sharing a room in the hospital where she was born.

– maybe i feel a little bit bad about the sugar cheating? just not nearly bad enough –

they gave me private quarters and brought me my meals and taught me

her tiny-baby-care, how to pace her eating and read her cues.

i spent two days and a night there doing nothing but love on her full-time

(their word for it is “nesting mom”)

and they released her to us, two weeks old.

– this kiddo is so delighted not to be “the youngest” for a while –

she is the cutest thing we’ve ever seen

and we treasure the days and all the times until

she can transition to a birth family member, sooner rather than later.

we know what we are setting ourselves up for

(no illusions left that it won’t hurt like dying)

but we also know she’s here by divine appointment for this time, an

utter gift

and i forgot how sweet baby days could be

especially when my body feels so good

not hormonal or sore or postpartum.

she smells like all the angels of heaven –

and the miracle of being allowed to be the ones

to love on this child until her time of need is spent

to love her like our own

while the life-giving cord from another mother falls into my hand

this is a cost

and a privilege

i cannot measure.

– snuggles at home –

i love her.

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Wendy
4 months ago

Aww! Those little preemie days are amazing! Blessings as you love and then let go. 💖

4 months ago

What a sweet baby.😍

Grace Lapp
4 months ago

This touches really close home…I was utterly captivated to finally have a new born to love on but at the same time my heart broke for her birth mommy. Baby girl is now almost 3 and we’re forever grateful, our 3rd dau. The love you’re pouring into this baby gives me hope and courage to keep going. God keeps loving. Can I not? ❤️

Emily
4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful, the heart and love in this post. Thank you for sharing!

4 months ago

Wow. Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us. I love these lines: to love her like our own – while the life-giving cord from another mother falls into my hand. Joy and pain. So often connected.

Kim
4 months ago

She’s beautiful. Wish I could visit & hold her. Bless you for loving on her & letting go when the time comes.

cabincreeklogging
4 months ago

This is the third time I’ve tried to post a comment. Somehow it keeps going away. But I read choking back the tears. Recently I gave a testimony at church saying that I wanted to live my life asking myself the question like that verse, “Shall I tender to the Lord that which cost me nothing?” I was tested on it the very next week when our 13 year old grandson moved in. I especially got choked up when I read your statement that you know what you’re setting yourselves up for. You DO know because you’ve done it before and you’ve survived. We know too because we’ve done this before with a grandchild. But the raw pain and a tremendous joy is still there not knowing which one is the strongest but both are needed.
Prayers!
Mary Yoder

Wanna B. Writer
4 months ago

Awwww…..💓 Instant case of baby fever going on over here❣️😍

4 months ago

Tears came to my eyes, Shari. She is so privileged to have you in this “Sacred dance of grief and joy.”

Sylvia Eby
4 months ago

My heart aches because of the brokenness of our world that causes a mother to give up her baby, and the beauty of a family willingly filling a baby’s heart with love while knowing their own will break at the inevitable parting. “while the life-giving cord from another mother falls into my hand” is so breathtaking I have no words. Blessings and more blessings to you and the little one.

Julie Nolt
4 months ago

Naww!! 🥰 As we wait, Lord willing, to hold our little one this month. The longing for that day becomes stronger. Such adorable little one and blessings to you and your family!!

Doris Martin
4 months ago

Tears…. Another link of redemption in the raw pain of brokenness… Restoration in the journey of pain and struggle to renewal… Hope in this little bundle of helplessness… Blessings on you and yours, Shari!

Erika
4 months ago

So precious!❤️

4 months ago

💔

Bethany Heatwole
4 months ago

To me this baby represents so many other children who desperately need this kind of love and nurture in their life. What you are doing changes the world and that’s not hyperbole.🙂 I’m so glad you get to experience the sweetness of a newborn right now.

Shaunda Stoltzfus
4 months ago

Divine appointment. Immeasurable cost and privilege.
Thank you for showing me how to love no matter the cost.
She is the sweetest little miracle ever.