Early on in our six-year old’s life we began a tradition called ‘snuggle time’. Essentially, it is the time right before going to sleep where we lay in bed and snuggle her. It was something that quickly became a favorite of hers and she would often tell us, ‘I’ll always be your nuggle-bug’. Yes, nuggle, instead of snuggle. This tradition has carried over to our second child and she appears to like it as much as her older sister. We also started night-time devotionals and prayer with our daughters at an early age. Something they are still quick to remind us of if we ever forget, especially on the nights they are avoiding sleep!
Since coming to our home in October our four foster children have been exposed to devotional, prayer, and snuggle time. And, while we do not ‘snuggle’ them. We do make a point to do devotionals and pray together. Then we give each of them big hugs, tell them how much we love them, how proud of them we are and then we tuck them in to their beds. And, if we ever forget, much like our biological daughters they are quick to let us know.
Funny thing is, these practices are just habit for us as parents. And yet, tonight our 9 yr. old foster son asked Staci, “why do y’all give snuggles?’ Staci explained it is our way of showing love to our girls and then proceeded to ask him, “Didn’t you’re mom and dad snuggle you when you lived at home?” He thought about it for a long time and then said, “No, but when I get home I’m going to teach my dad to tuck me in and read the Bible.”
His statement is humbling and reminds us that they are watching how we love and how we parent. It reminds us that our love will extend back into their home. That our actions as parents now, will be reflected by these children when they are reunited with their biological parents.
These are the nights and statements that make what we do worth it, while also breaking our heart for the children we have grown to love.
If and when these children get to go home;
We hope their parents understand how precious these little ones really are.
We hope their parents learn to tuck them in and read the Bible.
And, we hope these children remember what it is like to have a mom and dad make them feel important every night before bed.
In this life we never know how our love will impact others. But, this we do know…..Our love has already begun to create change beyond the present!