I was watching two kiddos, someone was here working on our cable and phone and another was here working on our garage door and in the middle of it all, I got a call from Safe Families and MOM was demanding her children back right now. I ask them to try to calm her and tell her we have been more than willing for eight months to work with her to get her children back and we still are if she wants to do this in a way that is best for them. Trying not to panic, I call Trevor, I call our attorney and I say a prayer to myself. I pray for the kids that they be protected and that this is not a time for lessons but that I need you, God to love them and care for them and keep them safe and I need you, God, to work a miracle in this situation today.
In the meantime my friend has come to pick up her child and I fill her in and she puts her hands on my shoulders and prays for the kids, MOM and us. I wipe my tears and try to look normal for the kids and dish out chicken nuggets and mac and cheese all the while in awe of the fact that life is happening around me and the garage door guy has questions and the children are fighting and playing and laughing and my world feels like it is collapsing in on me!
I realize we have no legal right to keep the children.
Another friend drops Ava off from pre-school gives me a hug when I tell her and is immediately calling friends for me and asking for prayers. As the kids eat, I am thinking what would I pack for them, how will I tell our children, how will I tell them......how will I be without them...P says something sweet about our family and her plan for the day for us and it makes me want to curl into the fetal position and cry. I have to appear normal for them. I don't want them to be scared or know anything is happening.
About an hour goes by and Safe Families calls to tell me that they were able to calm her a bit and she realized she didn't have any plans in place for them and needs to get that done first. She wants them back. She said it. She wants to transition them back into her home. We are not exactly sure what it will look like yet but DCS will be involved and MOM will have to acquire child care vouchers and food stamps before they are allowed back into her care. She will start visitations with them each week and they will transition back into her home in about a month or so.
I am trying not to be a complete mess. This entire experience has shown me, if nothing else, you never know what might happen. I read back over my journal/blog since the time they've been with us and I am reminded of a MOM that loves them. It doesn't look like a love I'm used to but she loves them all the same. I feel like I have to say that this MOM did not abuse or neglect her children. She did a responsible thing by getting the help of Safe Families to care for her children while she got on her feet. Has she acted how I think she should have the past eight months, no but I have to recognize what she's done. She is the one who put the adoption thing out there, yes but she also has not been able to go through with it. I don't know if she can do it. I honestly don't. I don't know if she'll go through with the transition. I cannot spend the next month or so in reaction to what she may or may not do. I have to love these children with all I've got and cover them in prayer. I have to prepare my family and myself for what life might bring us or take from us.
I don't know if we still file the adoption paperwork in case she doesn't follow through.....I don't know. After we talk to our attorney and Safe families and DCS, we'll know more. I do know that God has been with us through all of this and He will continue to hold my family in His ever watchful gaze. I do know that yesterday at church a friend asked if she could bring dinner for us this evening and I told her we were fine but she insisted and I know God was not surprised by my day. I know God sent my friend to pick up her child right at the perfect time so she could pray with me and He sent another one to give me a hug and spread the prayer word..... Today, just today I changed the little tag on my emails to this.....“Peace is the divine gift of the ability to remain faithful, calm and patient in spite of the panic of unfulfilled dreams, unpleasant circumstances and unavoidable uncertainty.” ~Pastor Chuck Swindoll. I am hanging on those words.
We said just this week that filing for the adoption will either make her finally step up and be their mother or make them finally forever ours.....this is not the answer I was hoping for but we set out on this journey to be parents to a child that needed some, not to take children away from a mother that was struggling because we could do better.....where do you draw the line on that way of thinking?! I just don't know.
My entire family is head over heels in love with P and L. They seem like they have been with us forever. I don't really remember life before them. We have friends and family who I know will feel this to their core. We have so much support and love from so many people that I know these two little lives have affected more people in this short amount of time than they will ever know. I hope we have had the same affect on MOM's life.
I am not throwing in the towel. I know that these situations can turn on a dime and this roller coaster ride isn't finished with me yet but today has been one of those days when you are face to the ground pleading with your Savior and fists pumping in the air at the world we live in. It's been a day of indiscribable sorrow and grief and a day of relief and anticipation and worry. It's been a day of trusting and praying and believing that our God has us.
So for now, I guess I'm going to be preparing these beautiful babies for life without us, for life with MOM. I am going to be preparing the originals and Trevor and I for the next journey of our lives and just trying to remain obedient to what He is calling us to do. But all the while, I will be on my toes for the next curve that comes our way.
God knew how my day would be. He knew I would want it all about me. He knew I would feel an instant rip from my chest when I heard 'she wants them back now' over the phone. He put people in place to love me. He put His words on my heart to sustain me and He put himself on the cross to cover me when I shout out in anger at the hurt this causes me. He knew I would love these children to the tips of my toes and the tops of my highlights. He knew I would think I was a better mom and we were a better family. He knew it would be hard. I think He also knew that we were going to praise Him anyhow and offer a mother that hasn't had any love in her life, a chance at it. He knew we would smother these children with love and affection and show them a community of believers that love them and believe in them and will root for them.
I do not know what the next few weeks will bring. Heck, last night I was naming my babies....and now, now....I'm weeping as they rest upstairs wondering how many more naps they will have here. I am going to try my hardest to stay in a place of peace with our Father. I am going to try to stay open to His calling for P and L and just be obedient to it.
I know you all want to fight with me. It is why I love you all so. I know it is your gut reaction to meet me at the courthouse with batons in hand and fight for these two babies but it is my hope that you will pray for this mother who through very difficult circumstances was able to love them for three years and keep a roof over their head and food in their bellies......it is my hope that you will pray that if she wants her children back that she is again able to do that.....no matter how much we all have fallen in love.