It’s Friday. On Monday our family will celebrate the arrival of our sweet baby girl.

But we didn’t have nine months to prepare. We have the weekend. Foster care is like that. One day you’re a family of three and the next you are a family of four.

Beautifully quick, but painstakingly slow. The day cannot come soon enough.

Today I probably should be preparing some part of the house to make our lives a little easier for the coming weeks, but instead, I’m in a local coffee shop reflecting on the past, dreaming about the future, and full of anticipation of meeting our baby girl.

My baby girl. I haven’t even met her yet and I’m already madly in love with her.  It’s a choice we made a long time ago. A choice to love those God brings to us. No strings attached. Regardless of their story,  behavior, medical condition, or time in our family… Love has always been the plan.

It’s ironic that 2 years ago, almost to the day, we were placed with our first foster child. It was six months later that we lost her.

I don’t want to say lost because she’s very much alive, doing well, and with an awesome family whom we love. We even still get to see her praise the Lord.

But there is no other way to adequately describe what happens when someone you love so deeply is no longer in your family. You experience loss. Deep loss that wounds the core of your being. It hurts more than I can adequately put into words.

It feels like a weight being placed on your heart. The weight is always there. It never leaves. Over time you learn to deal with its presence and some moments it feels a little heavier than normal. Finding a lost toy, a ribbon you used to put in her hair, or just seeing another child can produce heavy emotions.

But… Love has always been the plan. The pain of loving another and potentially losing them doesn’t change the plan. Love has always been messy, broken, unbelievably painful, and yet completely worth it.

Your heart can handle the pain of loving and losing, but cannot endure the absence of never trying. We were created to love. We were created to give ourselves to another. We were created to need others and be needed by them in return.

If God is love and we are His image bearers, we were created to be love to this world.

We all have different convictions regarding how we are called to love others. Some visit the elderly, others the immigrant, and for us the orphan.

Today I know, loving my future daughter may result in pain and loss, but I have a choice when she does not. She cannot bring love to herself. She is waiting for it to be lavished on her.

I cannot guarantee someone else will love this child, but I can make sure I do.

Never been more excited for a Monday.