This year has been exactly how I always pray my life will be. I don't ever want to just live life, day to day, no real emotion or passion with a 'lets just get by' attitude. It has been the deepest hurt followed by God restoring and bringing me back to such a peaceful place and then the next day full of laughter because J did something way too cute. It may sound bipolar but what I'm trying to say is our emotions have been at one extreme or the other and thinking back on it I've learned so much. Mostly, how to trust the Lord through all of it sometimes because it's my only choice, and I pray I will always live with that faith.
So when you're fostering or adopting the phone ringing is a huge deal; sometimes annoying, sometimes exciting, and other times devastating. Well we finally got that devastating call this past week, the one where they tell you they're coming to get your children for further placement. Now, if you're around us at all you know these are OUR kids. As in, S calls us mom and dad and J lights up when he hears our voices. These are the kids that I've loved with my whole heart since I heard of them and you're going to just take both of them away?? We all know that with fostering this is a normal occurrence but for me these are the thoughts running through my head. To be completely honest, S has had some really bad times lately and I know a more therapeutic setting is honestly in her best interest. We love her more than words can say but you have to know when it's time and what is really best for her. J on the other hand, he has felt like "ours" from day 1. He didn't come from a different culture and want to go back to his "old home" and he never tells us "I just want my family back" These are all expected behaviors from S and we still love her through it but we are the only family that J knows. And it kills me to think that I won't be there when he's crying for us. When S comes to me and says "J wants you, you're the only one that can make him stop crying" or "J has been crying since you left but now he's fine" I can hardly handle these thoughts, that my baby might be crying for me and the Lord only knows if we'll ever see him again.
Like I said, S has had some really hard times lately and they've told her that she has one more chance and if things don't change they're putting J in state custody. This would hopefully mean that if this happened he would come back into our home as a foster child. Our number one prayer is that God's will is done and
Our greatest prayer is that hurting hearts will be healed because we are all pretty upset right now. It truly feels like someone is coming in your home and just taking YOUR kids and there is nothing you can do about it. It's frustrating that I feel like the 'system' is failing because the plan is that they will go back to the same horrible situation they came from. But after a lot of tears and asking "why" I have come to realize that I am crazy for worrying. God MADE us, and it's not my job to decide what He should do with us!
In my heart I know that God has the most perfect children picked out for us and wherever they come from it will be in His timing. But to be very honest it still isn't easy these last few days to put J down or to put him to bed when I just want to rock him and hold him tight all night long. I'll miss S sitting in the bathroom watching me get ready even though it use to drive me crazy along with comments like "Mom I ain't tryin to be gay or nothing but you is really pretty" lol. I have loved every minute of my crazy life this past year and these will always be my first two children and hold a special place in my heart forever.
God can teach us amazing things through hard circumstances. These past few days I have seen my husband step up and try to make me as happy as he can. He has helped do everything with the kids because he knows I'm struggling. I've learned that Andy is not going to settle for me being upset. He will not stop until I'm smiling and what a good quality to have in a husband.
I've also learned that we have two sides of amazing grandparents for our 'kids' whoever they may be. Our parents have loved these two like they are their own children. And we also have a church family who has gone above and beyond to help us and we will forever be grateful.
The truth is that God has a plan very different from ours, we just have to have the faith to let Him. And yes He will give us much more than we can handle (I'm not sure who came up with that silly saying that he won't) because we need Him, and He wants us! I pray that our journey has helped someone is some way to bring awareness to the issue of foster care or just to have faith and let God take control. I've heard "you and Andy are just amazing people for doing this" one too many times. I HATE hearing that. I don't want the glory, God does. And I could not have survived this without Him.
Wednesday February 5th is the day. There will be ugly crying and smiles and I'm sure a lot of hugs. I dread this day but I know I'll get through it and so will the kids. God isn't finished with us yet and they can always say that Andy and Kristin love me but God loves me more. And in that, I feel that I've done my job.
Be still my heart..
"Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise." --Andy Stanley