I think I have developed the foster care version of baby fever. I've been referring to it as "toddler fever", and by toddler I generally mean any small child, including babies I suppose.
You see, when all you know and all you have planned is to get pregnant and give birth to a child someday, of course actual baby fever is the ailment from which you suffer. The obvious and only product of that plan is indeed a baby, an infant, a newborn. So when you see glowing pregnant women or sweet babies, it causes a baby fever attack. I've been there.
But when the plan is not to create a new child but instead open your home to some that are already a part of this world and are in need, there is no guarantee whatsoever of what age child will come into your life. In fact, I'm sure there's a greater chance that it will not be a newborn or infant. Baby fever can't easily thrive in that scenario and if it does, the host of said fever may be headed for shortsighted disappointment, aka not a baby.
But I've got a fever alright.
It's not baby fever. Not at all. It's not brought on by sight of sweet babies or cute pregnant women.
It's brought on by the small girl who dutifully walks next to her mom around our neighborhood, headed who knows where, her little legs moving in double time compared to the adult stride she is keeping up with.
It was brought on by a sweet little girl who needed someone to hold her hand on the way out of the church sanctuary and take her to the potty. Oh her sweet little hand in mine brought it on.
It was brought on by an adorable little girl at Bush's Chicken who ran back to her table hollering "Yaaaay! Yaaaaay! Yaaay!" when her sister got a trinket out of the quarter machine.
It's brought on by the 4 or 5 year old who just can't seem to navigate his scooter on the cracked sidewalk in front of our house and is often seen flopped in our yard, scooter flopped on the other side of the offending crack.
These sweet little children stir my heart and make me wonder about the little children that will come into our home. I look forward to meeting them and taking care of them, showing them love. Until then, I'll just keep burning up with toddler fever.