Please enjoy this great post by my husband! He will be popping on here regularly every month, so stay tuned!
Do men who love kids go around talking about how much they love kids? …
Probably not. That’s probably creepy.
Not like that time I sported a bad moustache, aviator sun glasses and a t-shirt with the confederate flag on it kind of creepy, but close.
I’ve never really thought, “You know, I just really have a heart for children”. But I guess the years spent teaching, coaching, and volunteering in children’s ministry, oh, and the four kids I’ve got at home say otherwise.
When my wife and I talked about fostering, that seemed ok. I mean 9 weeks of date nights, rather, pre-fostering classes in which someone else was watching the kids. We met a number of great couples with the same heart for family and for making a difference for little people from hard places. When you talk about being a foster parent you are bestowed some type of blue ribbon of virtue. They tell you how wonderful that is and share stories of how foster parents made a difference for someone close to them.
He’s tiny. Really tiny. And he didn’t read the email….. All my kids took soothers, slept through the night, and looked like me. This baby didn’t check any of those boxes. It’s ok, we’ll love him so much that it’ll be a cinch.
Well, I’m no caveman. I’m a modern dad, I contribute. Right?
So, helping meant allowing my wife to get to bed at a decent time while Baby and I hung out in the evening. Pre-baby …….– I love that hour or two after the kids are in bed and I get to chill out—take in a game, read the news, do important Dad puttering. But now….. that’s Baby’s unhappy time. As in, I’m gonna cry as loud as I can for two hours and there’s not much that you can do about time!
Holy cow. I’m not good with that. I’m not that good with a lot less sleep. And your mind saunters off to some dark places. Like…
This is my wife’s passion, this is my life for like…ever.
Why am I dealing with someone else’s problem. Yeah, I thought that.
Why am I exchanging my time for a screaming child. He doesn’t even have the really big lips that all MY babies had.
What is God doing here?
I was reminded that I was grafted into God’s family, not born into it. He chose me, adopted me, and gave me all the rights and privileges of His family.
Would I continue to view this awesome little man as the invader of my space? Or, would I allow the same heart that embraced me to change me and love him. I’m pretty sure that I’ve been the cause of inconvenience to Him. Maybe cried too much about too little. Were there times that I didn’t perfectly reflect his image? Certainly, my lips have not always been the Father’s.
In contemplating Divine fatherhood and love, it occurred to me that I also needed to be the recipient of that love. That comfort and strength were and are always accessible, would I just let it happen. Well, Baby needed to learn to receive love, strength and comfort from me.
And then one night, it happened…
I’m rocking baby to sleep (out of ear shot from my wife, of course) He fussed for bit, but he’s not screaming. Not crying. He’s looking . FOR ME.
He meets my eyes, and just ….. laughs.
He had learned to take in some fatherly love.
And so, we fell asleep.
Now, it’s not easy all the time. But I’m not really keeping score anymore.
Until next time. . .