One year ago we found out that a little boy we loved dearly, who had been part of our family for three months, had passed away. It was a shock to our family in some ways since we had lost touch with this boy and his mom after he left our home, but we also were aware that his little body was fighting a hard battle and wasn’t strong enough to fight anymore.
We met Baby N in July 2014 when he was eight months old. His mom was homeless, jobless and alone in caring for Baby N who required lots of extra care. She asked for a three month placement so she could secure a place to live, a job, and just breath for a moment. It’s hard being a parent, but add on the stress of walking that road alone, then add on top of that therapies, doctor appointments and multiple seizures a day; it’s not wonder this mom was reaching out for help.
We loved Baby N from the first day. Our three kids were great helpers; our oldest had the special touch it took to get him to fall asleep. Our girls moved in to a bedroom together so Baby N could have his own room and be close to the master bedroom for when he woke in the night. Just as with any placement, it took time to get used to having a new member of the family. But soon it became apparent that weekly doctor appointments and therapy sessions would require lots of planning and rescheduling. That’s where our community stepped up to the plate and helped us out. Many people walked this journey with us by watching our children so I could take Baby N to the hospital for hours-long appointments. We also had people take Baby N for us when we went on vacation and to a family funeral. Through this journey we met many people that we would not have otherwise met-therapists, doctors, social workers, and of course Baby N’s mom and her sisters. Each time we met someone new there was an opportunity to share why we opened our home to Baby N, why we chose to be inconvenienced, why we chose to love even though there was no guarantee that love would be reciprocated. The gospel, that’s the answer to all those whys. Jesus’ love for us is undeserved and his love working through us is why we willingly rearrange our lives for others.
Baby N’s story is a hard one. He only lived on this earth for just over a year and during that time he faced many physical challenges, to say the least. However, through the platform of Safe Families he had the chance to feel God’s love and be part of a family. His mom had the chance to experience unconditional love and a family atmosphere. We miss Baby N and as the anniversary of his death approaches I get sad again. However, that doesn’t last long because I am quickly reminded that he is in heaven with a new body, able to dance and run. As my son said through tears after he found out about Baby N’s death, “Now he’s in heaven with Jesus and can run and play just like Max” (his young cousin). Yes, that’s the truth and that’s the eternal hope we have. No matter the challenges we face here on earth, and they are many, we know that we will spend eternity with God in heaven if we accept his gift of life and follow him.