Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Washing Baby Feet

I sat on the floor in front of baby Mia, ready to stick her tiny heel to check her blood sugar. She’d come to our family as a foster child via my middle daughter and her husband who’d taken her in when she was three months old. Abused with medical issues. 

Now, at ten months, Mia seemed right on target developmentally. Smiles, gurgles, letter sounds, tracking, pulling up—she could do it all. 

As she quietly submitted to my early morning ministrations, she lifted her foot, willingly, as she typically did. Conditioned after so many daily testings. I held the monitor to her heel and clicked. Not even a flinch. I gently slipped the test strip through the drop of blood, triggering the small device to reflect a reading.

Normal. Good. I sighed relief and paused to rub her heel. It occurred to me that in all the times I’d stuck her, I’d never lingered to massage her baby feet. I smiled; she smiled back. I chose to savor the moment, run a warm wet wipe over her heel, then over her entire foot/toes. I gently rubbed them. Her satisfied expression revealed she enjoyed receiving the therapy as much as I enjoyed applying it.

In those brief moments, my mind drifted to John, chapter 13—the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, demonstrating to them and to us a model of servanthood. I thought about how my daughter and her family had shown servants’ hearts in taking in two foster children. Of how their action had enlarged our hearts. Of how they desired to adopt baby Mia if circumstances did not improve with the single teen mom, pregnant once again. 

They had opened their hearts and their home, chosen to lovingly sacrifice, and the rest of our family was deeply moved, joining them in the care and support of this little one. 

The biggest test for us all—willingness to care, to love, to wash baby feet, to risk increased attachment, knowing we may have to give her back. 

Thus, the saga continues as one court hearing leads to another in six months. Will her mother prove fit to take her back after a year and a half in foster care? Or will the judge rule in favor of my daughter and family adopting her? 

We’re all torn, as we’ve willingly sacrificed our hearts to this little girl. We are the family she knows and loves. The thought of her going back to a less than optimal environment and to a mom she really isn’t attached to is very difficult.

The challenge to surrender her into God’s arms, knowing we may have to give her up, is great. Still, His loving arms are the best place she can be. 

Please join our family in prayer for Mia’s safekeeping, well-being, and ultimate salvation. Pray too for her mom who is attending TeenMops and showing signs of wanting to grow in Christ and raise her children in the Lord. 


Eileen Rife speaks to women’s groups, encouraging them to discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His story! All three of her daughters, along with their families, serve as missionaries around the world. www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com, www.guardyourmarriage.com.

Eileen's novel, Masquerade (formerly Laughing with Lily), addresses the issue of foster care and adoption in a "gripping tale of love and suspense " (Liz Phelps, author of Mirror Images). 

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  1. Dear Readers, Has there been a time in your life when God asked you to risk loving? How did that turn out?

  2. Oh, this made me cry. I'm praying with you. Adoption is so very complicated. I pray for the best for Mia and all involved.

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  4. Thanks, Carole! Our family is on a roller coaster ride of emotion during this "on-the-edge-of-our-seat" time. Father knows best, and I choose to trust Him.