I was talking with a friend at lunch a few weeks ago and realized something terrible. I had become one of “those” people that I didn’t ever want to be! The purpose of this blog was to first glorify The Lord through our experiences with fostering and adoption but also to show the ugly, truthful side as well as the happy with a side of rainbows. We were discussing the issue of women feeling like they have to have it all together all the time. The kids have to be perfect, love your husband more than life, and your house better be spotless! We all know this isn’t true but it’s what we usually post on social media. I told her the truth about a picture I posted recently and felt terrible about it after our conversation. It looked like a perfect dinner with my husband and Selah but in reality it had been a dinner with Andy on the phone dealing with an issue and Selah screaming her head off and acting crazy. Then that one little moment of peace after the phone drama and the screaming I snapped a “perfect” picture. We only want to celebrate the “perfect” but we all have those days, those screaming fits, and the drama on the phone? So why are we all ACTING so perfect? Well, I was convicted and told my friend that I had really let myself down with this blog. I haven’t posted since S & J moved out! So you may think everything’s been smooth and calm since then with no craziness. NOT TRUE! I have so much TRUTH to tell and I’ve been praying the past few days of the best way to go about updating you all through the past six months because it’s been quite the rollercoaster.
The last blog post I wrote ended with I can’t wait to see what God has planned for us next. When I typed that and thought it out in my head I thought surely he would give us a good rest; and by good I meant a couple of months. But, just as I had gotten comfortable with our “new” life of date nights, cooking dinner and yoga classes God gave us our new surprise. I told you previously how much a phone call could change your world when you foster. I remember the time, and place as well as what I was doing as soon as the phone rang that day. The conversation started with “Mrs. Williams, we have a new baby here in custody and we’re looking for someone to take her.” Oh. My. Word. My heart started racing and thoughts of “What is Andy going to say?” “How is this going to work out?” “Is my heart ready for this again?” and a million other things start going through my head. As soon as I got off the phone I went to go call Andy and he walked through the front door with a smile on his face. I told him I just got off the phone with the Social Worker and he said “Me too!” I looked at him and said, “What are we going to do?” and he said, “I guess we’re gonna have a baby tomorrow.” It seriously blows my mind when I think about the time frame and how quickly life can change forever. We got a phone call around 5 o’clock on Thursday night, we had court at 9am on Friday morning and we picked up Selah from the hospital at 7pm that night.
February 5th was the day that S & J left; it was just as terrible as I thought it would be. That entire day and the next were filled with an emptiness that I had never felt before and tons of tears. I knew I couldn’t stay like this forever and prayed for peace; I woke up that Friday, February 7th and honestly felt a peace in me that I hadn’t felt in a long time. It was like God was literally telling me it’s going to be fine and I have great plans for you. I picked myself up and we decided to make the best of our time. We went on date’s almost every night, we cooked dinner together, and I finally started going back to yoga class. We actually were able to sit and enjoy each other again and it was fun just having time together without interruptions.
February 7th was a special day; it was the day our sweet Selah was born. The day that my heart felt peace and had no idea why, two days after “our” kids left God brought a new blessing into the world. This wasn’t a peaceful day at all for her though, born to a cocaine addict and born into a world of terrible withdraw. Selah is such a blessing and a miracle in so many ways. Her mother did cocaine three hours before delivery (as well as throughout the pregnancy), which was an emergency C-Section. She was born a month early (originally due on Andy’s birthday, March 7th) and weighed only 3lbs and 7oz. She stayed in the hospital for two weeks before coming home to us on February 21st. The first few weeks were hard. It was hard to see a baby so small and be born into such great struggles. When we brought her home she was 4lbs and 8oz and still having terrible withdraw symptoms. There were times when she would quit breathing, she would have seizures and seemed so lifeless most of the time. I tear up thinking back to those times because they were so hard and seem so long ago compared to the happy, energetic baby we have now.
To be honest, this time around the situation has been a little easier just because there was no emotional baggage from a terrible past filled with abuse and neglect. Things were terrible for Selah at birth but nothing that has emotionally scarred her today. She came home from the hospital straight to us so it made things a little bit easier with the adjustment period instead of working through the years of struggle that most kids in foster care come with. I have to be completely honest and say that I use to struggle with loving Selah’s mom. How could you do that to a child? Why do people act like that? But in the recent weeks God has strongly convicted me about this and I now pray for her daily. How can I be so in love with this child and not love the woman that she came from? It’s a hard pill to swallow but once The Lord made this clear in my heart it’s hard to think any differently. We have monthly visits with her family and they started pretty easy. She was really small so she slept most of the time, they would take pictures, and I would put my happy face on and everything was fine. The last visit I went to, her mom picked her up and immediately she started screaming. Her mom started talking to her saying things like “Momma missed you” or “Don’t you know momma loves you?” These things are so terribly hard for me to hear. All my fleshly thoughts arise and I want to scream things like, “You didn’t love her all those times you were doing drugs!” or “You haven’t called to check on her in over a month.” How terrible are those thoughts but they are so honest and real. It’s so hard to go to visits and be called “Mrs. Williams” instead of “Mom.” I wash the bottles, I get up during the night, I change the diapers and helped her through withdraw and she still gets to be called “Mom?” Those are my thoughts and I feel terrible but I’m human and this is a hard place to be in that seems so unnatural at times and others it feels like I couldn’t picture my life any differently. The hardest part of all was watching Selah reaching and crying for me while her mother held her. She has no idea who she is and it’s such a hard reality. But it also brought a peace in knowing that she wanted me to comfort her because she was scared; it was a little boost of hope in what seemed like a terrible situation.
Selah is the most beautiful little girl I think I’ve ever seen. Everybody says she looks like a doll and she needs to be a model. She is the light of my life and I will love her forever no matter what. The love between the three of us makes me smile just thinking about it. Things aren’t easy but it seems so worth it just getting to love on her everyday. I have tons of people ask me “What’s wrong with her?” and “Is she gonna be normal?” (Seriously, these are common questions asked due to the drugs during pregnancy.) So to answer the question we really have no idea. But, WHO CARES? She’s so perfect to us. She has been growing well and is a little behind on some developmental milestones so we are starting physical therapy next week. The doctor thinks she looks great and is developing well, she’s just a little behind due to being born so early. We are seriously so obsessed with her and I long for the day that I can post her pictures everywhere!
August 21st was six months that she has been in state custody. After six months the judge makes a decision of terminating the rights of the parent or giving the mother six more months to get herself together. The long awaited day is tomorrow, August 25th. I have prayed for this day and this judge and everyone involved. Tomorrow could be such a big day for us. When I was praying through this blog post I thought “Maybe I should wait until after court to post/write because then I’ll know the outcome” then I was quietly reminded that it would be the easy way out without showing my true feelings which is what I’m intending to do. It’s a vulnerable situation to be in. I have zero control of my life right now. Tomorrow could mean six more long months or it could mean we can immediately start the adoption process to make Selah a “Williams.” I have complete faith that The Lord’s plan is still perfect and no matter the outcome I will love her with all of my heart. I am so anxious and trying to be patient knowing that everything will work out for our good and His glory. There is a battle in my heart tonight, picking out what to wear and practicing using her legal name so I don’t mess up tomorrow. It could be such a happy day or such a sad one but nothing can change the love in my heart for her, our sweet Selah Jane.