I just picked up our baby boy, Dre, from the Zuniga's house.
He was there for two weeks.
Allie and I went to school together back in the day.
I always loved her. She was the girl that everyone loved. The boys loved her and the girls loved her.
(I was also super jealous of her because of this.)
Anyways, we weren't really close friends, but we were friends.
She eventually left the school I was at, and we didn't really see each other anymore.
A few years ago, before we left for Guatemala, I was able to reconnect with her and some other friends from high school, and we started having play dates with our kids.
We stayed in touch, via Facebook, while we were in Guatemala, but that was it.
When we got our twins, Allie was the friend who offered to take their newborn pictures at no cost to us.
(She is a fantastic photographer who can charge and arm and a leg, so it was beyond generous of her.)
Seriously, if you need any pictures of your family taken, she is the lady. Check out her site HERE
We got to talking while she was taking the twins photographs. She told me how interested she was in doing foster care, and the next thing I know they were in training at the same agency we signed up with.
(I think this is one of the many reasons I love her. She makes up her mind, prays about it, and does it.)
The twins eventually left, and we got baby Dre at 3 days old.
He was and is a fantastic baby, but about 2 1/2 weeks ago my back started hurting like crazy. I couldn't walk. I would cry out in pain at each step. I am not a cryer, but I would cry at night in bed because it hurt so bad.
That's when I asked Allie if she could possibly do respite care for two weeks.
Someone els's baby.
That is a long time.
That is a lot of diapers to change.
A lot of spit up to clean up.
A lot of sleepless nights.
A lot of time that you lose to take care of your own family.
Foster care is awesome, but it is hard.
Respite care, when it isn't even your foster baby, is even harder.
Allie and I texted over the two weeks that she had Dre.
We texted back and forth.
She sent pictures.
She bought him clothes, towels, wash cloths, more clothes, diapers, wipes, formula, new baby bottles, blankets and more.
She sent videos of her singing to him.
(This part really got to me because in the video she was singing Oceans by Hillsong. This has been the song that I listen to when I want to give up on foster care.)
She sent the scripture that she was praying over him.
She loved him well.
Her family loved him SOOOOOO well.
I knew he was going to be in heaven at their house.
I wasn't worried about him for one second.
They loved him like no baby has ever been loved.
But, you know what.
I just read a blog post written by her where she talked about her heart and how ugly it was while taking care of him.
She felt like she had an ugly heart because she would think about all of the other things she could be getting done if she wasn't taking care of him.
Who doesn't think that?
I can't tell you how many times I have been frustrated with him, tired and wanting to sleep instead of feed him, thinking about the pedicures I could get while Jackson was with his grandparents.
I can't tell you how many times I wished he wasn't with us so that we could go on a date, just the two of us.
I love this little boy so much, but my heart is not always 100% in it, and I am his foster mom.
I adore him.
Allie and her family were doing respite care for him.
They were basically babysitting my kid for me for two weeks, and anytime I asked if she was losing her mind, she told me to be quiet and that this is what God was calling her to do.
I believe that the spirit convicts us of different things, and I think that it's fine if she was convicted about this stuff.
BUT, I just can't even begin to explain to you how much she and her family were the feet of Christ for Dre and for me and my family. They were the hands of Christ. And they were the heart of Christ.
They were the feet as they walked to pick him up out of his bed when he was crying. They were the feet as they trudged out to the kitchen to make him yet another bottle. They were the feet as they carried him in his car seat to the car (talk about freaking heavy). They were the feet as they stood by his bed rocking him to sleep.
They were the hands of Christ as they made those bottles and then washed them. They were the hands as they combed through Dre's hair. They were the hands as they washed him at night before bed. They were the hands as they held him up in their arms to calm him down. They were Christ's hands as the burped him, and they were the hands as they cleaned up his constant spit up.
They were the heart of Christ every single second that they decided to keep taking care of him. They were the heart of Christ as they spoke kind and positive words to him. They were the heart as they sang scriptural music over him. They were the heart of Christ when they held him even though they had something else to do. They were the heart of Christ when they read scripture over him. They were the heart of Christ when they were exhausted and weary and continued to take care of him.
Allie and her family were and are the feet, hands, and heart of Christ.
I have never seen it portrayed in such a beautiful way as I did these last two weeks.
Thank you Zuniga family. You showed me what true sacrifice looks like. You showed me exactly what the body of Christ should be. You have been an amazing example to John and I, and we will forever be grateful.