“The arc of the story can be one of hope even though each part of the story may have had its share of hopelessness. The story arc can be one of faith even though the characters may have shaken fists and asked hard questions and yelled at the top of their lungs. The story arc is joyful even when the people are broken. “

Emily p. Freeman

This passage perfectly illustrates the life we’ve lived the last 14 months.

Our journey with baby Z ends here. He has moved on with his forever family. It’s an amazing God-story that tells of God’s great love for his people, how He works even the smallest details for our good. It was like Jesus took us by the hand when we were seeking answers and gave us an arrow leading directly to what was next.

Last June, his birth momma placed him in my arms at the dirty visitation office. I remember thinking how out of place he looked there. Just this tiny seven pound, perfect peanut bundled in a striped blue blanket. We cried and hugged and I vowed to support her until she could get her son back.

It’s easy to demonize birth parents from afar, but when I see their faces and learn pieces of what brought them to these places, I’m moved toward mercy and compassion. I’m grateful the Lord has given me that gift.

So much life and so many memories have been packed in this last year. We learned to navigate a world of specialists, the aftermath of prenatal drug exposure, therapists and insurance battles. Then we stood back and watched him shine in the brightest of ways. Baby Z has had an entire entourage of big siblings cheering him on for every milestone. His smile wins hearts wherever he goes. You can’t help but love him, he’s precious like that.

My heart is a tornado of celebration and deep grief. But that’s the undercurrent of foster care-beauty and sadness, wholeness and fragments.

To the village who has walked alongside us, THANK YOU!

💛Words by Jess Routh, foster mom to 37