This last week has been a roller coaster of sorts for the Yerton family. In all honesty, we jumped on the roller coaster in Kansas City, and it hasn’t really stopped. But, this last week was one of those sections of track that is crazy, fun, scary, and exhilarating all at once.
On Wednesday of last week, we took in a 5-week-old baby through the foster care system. We got the call at 4. We had the baby at 5:15. Parents…again.
Many of you know that we started this journey because we wanted to add to our family. Neither of us felt like we were done at two kids, and adoption was our best option. But because of the influence and inspiration of some dear friends who took in 3 boys under the age of 3 (yeah…yikes!) and later adopted them, we opted for the foster care side. Our hope is to eventually adopt…but in the meantime, we can provide respite and care for “the least of these.” Win–win.
So, Macy came to us—this beautiful, sleepy, wonderful little baby girl. From the moment she came through the door, I just felt the undeniable urge to pray for this child. To pray for her life—that it would turn out better than it started. I prayed for her faith—that she would grow up to know Jesus and experience God’s unconditional love for her. I prayed for her heart—that it would be strong and bold and courageous and undamaged by all this. And I prayed against the very straightforward plan of the enemy of her soul.
We got Macy on Wednesday of last week. On Wednesday of this week, we gave her to her grandparents—wonderful people who gave us confidence that she would be in good hands. And it was hard. Really hard. Selfishly, Jen and I both looked forward to a good night’s sleep. Our family is back to “normal” again…whatever that means. Several days later, life is marching on. Macy’s time with us has left a mark on the Yerton family that will not quickly go away.
Here’s the thing that has stuck with me: we talk a lot about living a good story and how following Jesus is an adventure. But, we don’t often talk about how that adventure can be tragic and hopeful, heartbreaking and heartwarming. This life of following Jesus is all those…and more. And it can be hard. But it is the only way to experience that life Jesus promises…that full and abundant life. See, because in the midst of tragedy, God gives strength. The heartwarming stuff gives peace in the middle of a sleepless night. And heartbreaking things turn to compassion and grace.
There’s a great passage in the OT where a man named Joshua states his conviction for leading his family:
“…if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I grew up seeing this on a plaque in our kitchen. I pray it will continue to be true for my family. If this last week is any indication, we are in for even more tragic and hopeful and heartbreaking and heartwarming twists and turns ahead. We certainly don’t have all this figured out. Not even close. But Macy has been an amazing part of our story…maybe even a part that comes back a chapter or two down the road.