Tummy Time, Africa, & the 1,500

Well, as we speak little dude has been maneuvering with surprising agility around his little play mat, on his tummy, for like 20 minutes. He’s just talking up a storm. Sometimes he kinda starts to hand it to the play mat, like hollering at it, but he’s still smiling, so I leave it be. I kinda want to see how long he’ll do it! I feel like a lot of people have said their babies only want to do like 5 minutes of tummy time at a time, but this dude will just kill it all day long if you let him. Then I turn him over and he has ANIMATED discussions with the little birdie toy and the rattle and the mirror that hang down, until all the sudden it’s quiet, and he’s just passed out flat on the mat. Insta-naptime!


So yes, Dane is in Africa at the moment. In case you are a creeper reading this blog and wanting to take advantage of a young lady and a baby at home alone, I might remind you that of all the people who reside at this house, I am the one who has belted in karate and taken boxing classes. (Ok, we did boxing classes together.)

You might have heard, but while Dane did actually manage to successfully arrive at his destination, I think even on time, which is kind of a miracle given our recent flight record, his suitcase didn’t have quite the same luck. But because of our Jonah-esque travel history, he had packed 3 extra shirts and undies in his carry-on, along with some bare essentials like deodorant and toothbrush, so he’s just kinda roughing it. Apparently it arrived in the city they flew to just a little bit after they left there, but they are a 9-hr drive from the city so he was like “guess I’ll get it on the way back home” (aka the 12th of February, he gets here on Valentine’s Day).

He is pretty remote so I haven’t really heard from him since Thursday morning, when they left the city. Some might see that as hard, but I’m kind of weird in that I see it as kind of romantic and adventurous. We’re reduced to writing each other letters and missing each other for a few days while I take care of a precious baby and he films a Bible dedication in an extremely remote village in Africa. The tragedy!

There was a little bit of a scare that our little man would be taken away Friday, but that’s not gonna happen. And I was at least able to communicate that to Dane so he’s not worried about coming back to find him gone. It looks like he’ll be with us definitely through the end of this month, at least. At most: who knows!

Basically, I am having so much fun. He is the sweetest little nugget who smiles and talks to me all day long, falls asleep so easily, and loves to just sit and snuggle for a while. I’m not sure how long that will last, but I’ll enjoy it as long as it does. I am good at getting him to eat when he wants to play and squirm around, and at getting him to sleep or in other ways to calm down, but I have still not yet been able to make him laugh nearly as much as Dane does. Although, come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve laughed as much since Dane left either. Hmmm…

That sounded depressing. I didn’t mean depressing. I am totally content.

But Dane is fun.

I heard a statistic the other day. Statistics schmatistics. But apparently there are 1,500 children that age out of the foster care system each year. IN TEXAS. Just in Texas. As a friend pointed out, that’s about 4 per day. Four kids every day turn 18 and have never found someone to take them in as a permanent part of their families.

I don’t like that. At all. And you know what a lot of these kids do – who have never been taken into a family and shown permanence, acceptance, unconditional love? You know what they do? Often, they end up making babies, and they’ve never come to understand how to care for them, or what it means to love someone else more than yourself, and the babies end up in the foster system, where 1,500 of them stay until they age out….

To me, it’s like this: each kid adopted out of care is like one branch of this root/tree/structure thing of on-going rejection, loneliness, and brokenness that you’re interrupting and grafting onto your own loving (flawed and human, but loving) family tree.

In my HUMBLE opinion, this is how the rehab centers and the homeless shelters and the jails slowly start to empty out… Republicans don’t do it, Democrats don’t do it. The body of Christ does it. By involving people in our lives. In long-term, small-scale (individual), messy ways.

Have you ever thought about fostering or adopting from foster care? I would seriously love nothing more than to answer any questions that I could, or introduce you to some great people I know that have been at this a lot longer than we have… If you’ve thought about what a great idea it is and how wonderful it is etc., but have thought “I could never,” or have some particular major obstacle, let me know some time. The picture I had of fostering before we started this process was, frankly, extremely incomplete and chock full of misconceptions.

Let me know… (thefamilydaniels[at]gmail.com).

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One comment on “Tummy Time, Africa, & the 1,500
  1. Joanie says:

    I’ve left a few comments on your blogs. I just discovered your blog yesterday and have been reading through them in long sittings at a time. You have said so much of what I’ve thought, wondered, and worried about. I heard your interview with parentingreimagined, which led me to your blog. Could not have come at a more timely time for me/us. I got the impression, that you and your husband tried to get pregnant and for some reason couldn’t. That is our story, my husband, Trevor and I have tried for three years. We’ve been on a crazy journey of treatments and doctors etc. and just recently shut that door for good. We are now seriously considering being foster parents (not signing up only for fos-adopt but totally open/hoping to adopt from the system). Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate and am thankful to have come across your blog and story. You and I are about the same age (I’m 31) and the first person my age I’ve come across who has such a similar story as me. and I’m just coming to see some of the things God is doing despite the disappointment of no bio kids (and perhaps I should say no bio kids yet). You have either said things I’ve said or talked about things I’ve feared and worried about when thinking about being foster parents. You have given me courage, knowing there are others my age doing this, being smart about it, and being willing to risk heart break for the sake of the kids that need parents.

    I would love any advice, wisdom etc. you have. We are very new to this, have gone to one info. meeting but that’s it. Did you guys go through the county directly or through a private agency that works as a middle man? How did you decide what age to start with? Do you work full time? If so, how do you do that, is your little guy in day care? I work full time and am a very part time grad student. One of the things I’m concerned about is time. Do I need to scale anything back to make this work? I’ve thought several times that if it were bio kids, we would be less worried about having a sitter while I worked but I wonder if I should think of foster kids the same or recognize they need more time and attention. Probably my two big things are time and how to know what age/type/situations to accept and not accept. I think I’ll be tempted to say yes to any child but know it doesn’t work well like that. How did you figure out what the right child and situations are? did you say no before you got your little guy or was he your first placement?

    O.k. I’ve now completely bombarded you! I’ll end here, thanks again for sharing and if you have time, I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of the concerns I mentioned.



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