Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Because You Can.

With so much going on in this season of life (wedding planning, trip to Hong Kong, Christmas), I haven't been able to blog in a while. While I have many things to share (Hong Kong pics soon, promise!) today I wanted to share something extra special. It has to do with three little words:

Because you can.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Jordan posted a video in which a police officer stumbled upon a man and woman living on the streets, about to shoot heroin. As if that is not tragic enough, the police officer realized that the woman was very pregnant as well. At first he said things to her like, "Why are you going to do that to your child?" but then he realized that what this woman desperately needed was for someone to take her baby.

The police officer said to the journalist:

“I just felt God telling me ‘tell her that you will do it ... BECAUSE YOU CAN.’”

Those words just hit me in the gut.


Was it convenient for this man and his wife to adopt this drug-exposed baby? No. Was it easy? No. Would their lives have been far less complicated had they just said no? Definitely.

But they decided to open their hearts and their home to this baby. Because they could.

As you all know, Baby Snicks, the love of my life, died in May. Even now, I can't speak or type his name without immediately tearing up. I miss his soft fur, his floppy ears, the way he moved. His loss was so profound that it changed me, and I won't ever get over it.

This past Saturday evening, the anniversary of the birth of my girl, Jane Austen, I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across the photo of a little black and white dog who was at the shelter and needed to be adopted. Something about her just pulled at my heart, and a name even popped into my head. Before I knew what I was doing, I was asking about her to see if she was still available.

She was. But not for long, they said. She was so sweet that she was sure to get scooped up.

All day Sunday, I thought about this dog. I thought of all the reasons that it was not a good idea to look into adopting her. (Getting married soon, Joe has a dog, out of town a lot, expensive, not the right time of my life, I have no idea how to have a dog, etc.) But then I also realized it was the 17th of the month. Baby Snicks died on the 17th of May. And those three words kept coming back to me.

Because you can.

I consulted Joe. I consulted my mom, whose help I would need when I would be out of town. They were both encouraging, especially knowing what I had been through losing Baby S and being so lonely these past months without him.

I called the shelter yesterday morning at 9:59.

They couldn't figure out which dog I was talking about. She didn't have a name or an ID number. Her photo wasn't on the shelter's page; it had been posted by a volunteer. Just when I was ready to give up because I was so frustrated, the person on the phone told me to hold on. There was a woman in the shelter holding my dog at that moment. This woman confirmed this was the dog I was talking about: black and white, two years old, about 10-15 lbs., some sort of terrier. She was interested in the dog too. I told the woman on the phone that I understood. The woman on the phone told me that the other interested person said the dog might not be 100% right for their family, but she wanted to know what kind of home I'd provide because if I didn't commit to her, she'd take the dog home. I told the woman on the phone that I am a teacher, I live alone, and, most importantly, my beloved boy died in May ... cue immediate sobbing.

After committing to her and paying her fee over the phone I FREAKED OUT. I immediately was like WHAT HAVE I DONE?! And I said as much to Joe. But what he said back was

It's going to be just fine! Relax, you've done a great thing. You've saved a life and we are going to give her a great home!

Because we can.

Would it be easier to just watch TV or read and not have to worry about training a dog that's lived on the streets and in a shelter? Yes. But I have the space for this dog. So why would I leave her in the shelter? Now I've given her a home and made room for another dog to hopefully find his or her new home too.

Joe has trained a dog and knows what he's doing. He'll be here later this week to help. He told me exactly what to get and do today to start off strong. Snicks has a great vet staff, and they will help me. (Also, I'm so happy to be able to see them all again!) My contribution was that I dusted and vacuumed because I did not want this dog to think we lived in squalor.

One thing last night was very hard though. Joe told me, kindly, that it would be best for this new dog if I were to pick up all of Snicks's things from the floor. His towels were still out, as was his bed and stuffed animals. I hadn't been able to bring myself to pick them up. But Joe told me that having his scent on these items on the floor would not help our new little one. So, while sobbing, I picked up that precious boy's things for the very last time.

The thing is, this dog has Snicks to thank for her new life. Because there's no way that this dog would be here had Snickers not been here first. I didn't rescue the dog, Baby Snicks did.

So, everyone, say hello to Jane Austen Lafferre-Kraft.

Joe now has not one, not two, but THREE Kraft girls to deal with.

Please pray that I do the right things with her. Please pray that we are a good fit for each other. And please pray that my heart will in no way compare her to Baby Snicks, but instead will make room for both of them. I'm not going to lie, this first day with her has been hard. But I'm trying. And I know she is too.

In loving memory of Baby Snickers. You are loved so much, sweet boy. Thank you for everything. You will never be forgotten. 

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