You know that thing where you settle into sorta normal after a period of craziness. And then you decide you want to stay there for a while? That is precisely the moment God initiates project Stir It Up.
We were finally hitting our stride in this family. We had been doing foster care for 12 months and I felt like maybe I was getting a grip. The New Chick had decided that at 11.5 months old he would try out the whole “sleep through the night” thing. So hallelujah amen I was too.
Even with all the new normal we were experiencing, Nate came home from work one day to find me crazy eyed and *slightly* high strung. It had been one of those days with the kids and I had HAD IT UP TO HERE.
No more children! I told him.
He just cocked his head to the side and grinned so that his dimple showed. Really? Because I always thought four might be nice. You know…maybe two boys and two girls.
I shot laser beams at his forehead.
I wanted to ask if he was going to stay home in his four kid scenario while I went to a nice quiet office that has a door and enjoyed conversation with adult types whenever the mood might strike.
But I refrained.
Something about his response had an impact on me, though. And by the time we won the nightly war of supper, baths, and bedtime, I was considering what it would be like to add another chick to this nest. I casually said as much while we sat on the couch and played Word Crack on our phones. I’m not sure I’m ready for another newborn, though. Maybe if we took one between Anna and Bruiser (our nickname for The New Chick). About two years old, or so.
I knew that was a vague possibility even when I said it. When it comes to foster care, you don’t exactly place your age request like ordering fries at BK.
Commence normal life again. I mentioned that conversation to my mother. And to a couple of close friends. Even though I didn’t give much thought to adding a fourth child, it’s as if that little act was my way of preparing them. Or more likely, God’s little way of preparing me.
Two weeks later.
It was Thursday afternoon and social workers had been calling me all day. I needed to turn in this, and don’t forget about meeting that. Will you be able to la-ti-da and so on and so on. At the end of one of those calls, Felecia said I promise I’m not going to call you again today.
One hour later the phone rang.
Beth. It’s me again. There’s a little girl we just picked up. She’s about two. We’re not even sure of her name.
Time stood still just like it did the day they asked me about The New Chick. And in a moment one thousand questions flood my mind. The unknowns are endless and I’m tempted to say I can’t go further into the deep. But there’s no time to scrutinize questions. There’s no time to fast and solicit prayers. There’s just me staring at a fork in the road, knowing one of them leads to less work and fewer tears. While the other leads to a no-name little girl who needs love to take her in.
So, I call Nathan. Hey Honey. Do you want to turn our life upside down?
Know what I love about that man? He says yes. Yes to the vulnerable. Yes to the broken. Yes to the fatherless.
And he said yes to her.
Less than 40 minutes later I opened my front door and brought in my second new chick. She was completely sacked out, filthy from head to toe, and wearing too big clothes on her too tiny frame. I still didn’t know her name.
Since then, that no-name little girl has quietly slipped right into our fold. She came without fuss or fanfare, as if her arrival in our nest was no arrival at all. She’s dainty and meek, passive and sweet.
And if I could tell you her story, you would wonder at this world and marvel at a God who snatches his sheep out of the wolf’s snare just in time.
You should know we did find out her name.
It means little lamb.