“And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:22
Well, dear friends. It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I think it’s safe to say that I’m not blogging to gain a readership and eventually make money. I blog simply when the Lord lays something on my heart.
I have almost written several things. So many things have happened over the last couple of months in relation to politics, faith, school, family, whatever was on my mind at the time, but I just didn’t have the gumption to really do it.
But now I feel is the time to let you all in on what going on in our lives. Not because we’re interesting or exciting or any of that, but to testify to the awesomeness of God and the magnificence of His plan.
At the end of October I got a call from DHS. That is nothing new. It’s a common occurrence. But I had to let it go to voicemail. I can’t even remember why now. Probably changing a pull-up or making lunch or rocking a sleepy toddler. Before I could return the call, I got an email following up. Little Miss is being returned to her birth mom.
The news was particularly surprising because the plan had finally moved from foster care to adoption in the courts in August and we were identified as one potential resource.
For those of you who don’t know me personally, or maybe we’re new friends, Little Miss is our foster daughter. She is the biological half-sister to our two adopted sons. We got the call when she was three days old that she graced the world with her sweet little presence. Through a series of circumstances, she was placed with another foster family for a few weeks. However, in June 2013, when she was nine weeks old, she became part of our family. We knew it was just to foster and that the plan was to return her home, but twelve and a half long months passed and with each minute of it, we became more bonded, attached, and fell in love.
Then we got that first call that she was going back home. It was May of 2014 when we got that news and I was devastated. I was driving to DHS for a visit and by the time I got to the parking lot, the caseworker met me to hold me while I wept.
I won’t re-hash those last weeks we had her, but we were all a mess. The boys were in a tail spin. Shane was distant and more emotional than I had ever seen him. A dark cloud hovered over our home and I wondered if we would ever recover.
The day before she was returned to her birth mother, Shane and I woke up, looked at her in her crib beside our bed and held each other weeping mournfully, trying to choke back the sobs so as not to wake her. As we stood over her, still asleep peacefully and completely unaware of our grief.
On June 30, our precious 14-month old Little Miss gave us sloppy kisses goodbye, which we we adored, and waved happily to us as the DHS car took her away, presumably forever. At that moment we had no intention of fostering again. Of course, we would do anything for her and would hold out hope. But we weren’t holding our breath.
Our sweet Little Miss the day before she went home, 6/29/14
But the Lord began a work in my heart just over one year ago. In November 2014, the Lord blessed me with a beautiful and healing weekend at a retreat for Christian adoptive and foster mamas called, “Called to Love.”
In one of my very first blog entries last year, I talked about what the Lord was doing to my heart. But looking back over this year, I had no idea just how much He had planned. Suffice it to say, I began to truly love my kids’ birth mom. I thought I already did. But the Lord was whispering to my heart that I held much resentment toward her in my heart and that He wanted to teach me how to love her as He does.
I began reading the boys’ adoption file to read about her this time, not them. My heart broke over the abuse she experienced. Pieces started to fit together and I began to understand… not excuse… but understand her behaviors. Although I had prayed for every day up to that point, I began to pray very specifically for the LORD to speak to her heart, to show her His Abba Father love, to be very near to her and send people her way who would mentor her. And I continued to pray protection over “our” little girl every day.
Very long story short, eight long months later, we had finally healed enough to foster again and on February 3, 2015, we got a house-full. Two little fellas joined our home and just like that, we had four boys. FOUR. BOYS.
And then just 20 days later, we got another call. Little Miss was back in care and could we take her in one or two hours? Uh….YESSSSSS!!!!! I was shaking and bittersweet tears were streaming down my face.
Our certifier, whom we love very much, knows us enough to have already answered for us and THEN called us.
The day she came back, 2/23/15
Fast forward to tonight and it’s been over a month since we got that second call that she would be transitioning home. We have been told that we will have a shared Christmas with her birth mom, and by the time that rolls around, we will have had her 10 months.
I can’t explain it, but the grief is much different this time around. It’s not better, but it is very different. I still weep often. I still try to memorize little looks she makes, how she says certain things, how she smells, how she feels in my arms when I am rocking her.
But God is faithful, Friends. Beyond words. Beyond comprehension.
We have been able to experience the incredible miracle of actually meeting with her mom. We didn’t think that would ever happen. She had been very resistant to us in the past. So to hear that she wanted to meet with us was exciting! Our meeting with her was personal, but I will just say that we got to talk, got to listen and were able to share our hearts with her. We were able to tell her personally how much we love her, how much we want her to succeed, how much we want to help her however she wants that to look.
This story is still unfolding and I have no idea how it will end. I’ve tried to imagine it, but the LORD keeps surprising me with plot twists and new characters being introduced into this story. Truly, I am merely one of many characters in this story. I’m not the Author. But I have the privilege of knowing Him intimately. And I can trust Him to write the very best story with the perfect ending.
When you look at your story, are you trying to write it yourself? The world tells us to. That we can decide our own story, that we can choose our own ending. And the truth is, we can. The LORD loves us so much that He created us with feelings, intelligence and choice. But like a character in a story, we can only see our own point of view. We can’t see the needs of the other characters in the story. We can’t see inside their heads and hearts. We don’t know their back story. But the Author does. When we yield to the Author of all things and allow Him to write our story, we can trust that He cares for all involved. And His creativity, wisdom and attention to detail far exceeds the most creative, wise and detail-oriented mind in this world.
When Jesus walked this earth, He blew people away with His authority when speaking of doctrine. Think about it. He had the AUTHORity. He wrote it. He wasn’t just repeating what He had heard or learned. He was the Word made flesh.
My dear Friends, You can trust Him. I can trust Him. We can trust Him. He writes the best stories!
Blessings and much love,