A Foster Baby and the Creating God

by Jacob Juncker

As many of you may know Chandra and I have been placed with a two week old foster child.  We got the call last Thursday and have been visiting with her in the hospital up until Tuesday when she was released to come home with us.  Needless to say, our lives have changed quite a bit now that she’s home at our house.  We are now on a 3 to 3.5 hour feed/sleep cycle.  We now have someone to look after other than ourselves.  We’re mixing formula, changing diapers, singing lullabies, washing bottles, having “kangaroo time”, swaddling, and listening for (and anticipating) faint cries of discomfort and hunger.

We have had to make room for this child.  Room in our schedule to provide the attention she needs.  Extra room in our home for all the diapers, food, and “stuff” that comes with having a premie, newborn baby in the house.  Extra room in our hearts to nurture and love this child as much as we possibly can for as long as she is with us.

As I think about the changes in Chandra and I’s life these past few days, I am reminded of the creation account; and, in particular the thoughts of Jürgen Moltmann.  Moltmann believed that God created everything that is, much like a mother creates in her womb.  God, being infinite, had to create “the void” (mentioned in Genesis 1) within Godself.  In other words, being that God is infinite, God had to create a place within Godself for the world.  God had to make room for us to live and have our being.

As Chandra and I care for this newborn foster child, we will inevitably have to continue to “make room.”  Like God, we will have to sacrifice a part of ourselves in order to make it all work.  We will, undoubtedly, have to sacrifice our “neat” and “orderly” schedules, our restful nights, and more.  And, like God, in our sacrifice, we make room for life: a place where this child can grow, gain strength and be healthy.

We don’t know how long this placement will last, but it is my prayer that this child might know God through the love we share with her for

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

1 John 4:16b

I think God might be a little like foster parents.  A community of persons (the Trinity) who care for another with their whole being: making room for the other to not just survive, but to have life abundant (cf. John 10:10).

To understand Moltmann’s entire understanding of the Creation, see his book entitled The Trinity and the Kingdom.