First Week

It all began much like the other two. A professional placed a 7-pound human being into my outstretched arms, fully trusting I was up to the challenge.

My heart burst into a million pieces, and in ways I don’t comprehend, a rush of warmth spread through my body.

All the prayers, classes, pages of documents, inspections and preparation of our home and hearts culminated in this moment.

Within a couple hours, Grandparents, Aunt, and Uncle were over with food and diapers. And after eight years of rest, John and I initiated Night One of zero REM sleep.


Feeding, changing, rocking, gazing into one another’s eyes, attachment, sleep deprivation – it is all very familiar. But. Instead of postpartum hormonal weeping, it is a different kind of emotional maelstrom.


It’s inexplicably loving this baby like he is my flesh, knowing he is most definitely not my flesh, and not even mine. It’s knowing he needs to be loved and held and nourished like a son, but understanding he is another woman’s son who would be holding and nourishing him if she could. It’s grieving for her and him, truly wanting their brokenness to mend and reunite, yet all the while greedily inhaling his sweet scent and kissing his smooth skin. It’s splitting the night shift with John (because bottles), big sister and brother snuggles (already anticipating their grief), and writing in a first-year calendar (that may never be complete).

I’m starting to understand. Foster care is a gift and a knife.




5 thoughts on “First Week

  1. Aunt Debby says:

    Your love & reality-infused words bring so much insight. My thoughts went to the words of Simeon to Mary as she held baby Jesus, “. . . and a sword will pierce your very soul.” Luke 2: 35 Love doesn’t avoid pain if that pain is part of healing, growth . . . if that pain is a window into the compassion of God. Maybe the image of Grandma & Grandpa is a loving allegory of Simeon & Anna.

    • Jenae says:

      Thank you, Aunt Debby! I love that image of Simeon and Anna and Grandpa and Grandma. You are another wise woman who speaks truth and love into our lives. Love you!

  2. mary says:

    So nice to see him and you tonight and then see this:) Congratulations! Mary

    • Mary Dryden says:

      Jenae, After reading your blog I thought about this comment I read lately. “Your most meaningful work in the Kingdom of God may not be the big things that you do but the one little person you love” Well, you are loving 3 these days & just know you are being prayed for & loved very much. Hugs

  3. Dayna says:

    Praying for you all, Jenae.

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