First Court Hearing

Our first court hearing for baby girl happens tomorrow afternoon. All weekend long I dreaded Tuesday with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I tried my hardest not to think of it, but I couldn’t avoid the fear that came with any reminder of what’s going to happen on Tuesday. She has family members that want her…Family that’s already state approved with an active homestudy. That pretty much seals the deal. Sure, there are some circumstances surrounding the situation that could change the judge’s mind and keep her in our home a bit longer, but since I have no idea what will happen, I have to prepare my heart like she could leave tomorrow.

If you had asked me yesterday {as many at church did} how I was doing, my response would have been quite bitter. I spent the past week feeling very confused and angry towards God. Why did he bring this precious baby girl into our home, the very newborn baby girl I had dreamed of and prayed for for so long, only to take her away after a few days? It made no sense. But God isn’t really in the business of making sense. He’s in the business of making us into his own image. Again, this truth made me mad. The bitterness in my heart, the area that ached deeply for a forever child, grew angry with others would remind me that God was near and that he loves me and wants what’s best for me.

However, something’s shifted in my heart today. I don’t have any idea what happened. I know that Travis and I fell asleep last night watching the movie “Fireproof” {if you haven’t seen it, it’s a goodie} and the concept of the main character taking a Biblical 40 days to try and woo his wife back and save his marriage appealed to me. The 40 day concept is one you’ll see throughout God’s word. Travis started a Bible study yesterday with other members of the church staff that takes a 40 day walk through scripture and challenges readers to die to themselves in order to live more fully for Christ. So I prayed and told God I’d give this fostering thing 40 days. 40 days for my heart to be transformed. 40 days to know whether I’m actually called to this. 40 days for him to show up and help me in this struggle.

I was feeling so incredibly alone. I visited with my uncle, who is an Episcopalian priest at Thanksgiving and cried to him, “Why do I not feel any closer to God right now if I’m supposedly answering his call to serve in this ministry?? Shouldn’t I feel on fire for him or closer to him, or something!?” He just wisely responded, “Sometimes no. Sometimes you serve and you don’t feel close to him, and you don’t feel effective, and you don’t feel on fire or joyful. But God can use and appreciates your service just as much. True love is serving and acting even when we don’t feel like it, because love is an action…not an emotion.”

So I let that marinate in my head for a few days and then made my promise. I will give this thing 40 days before I decide I can’t do it anymore. Why was such a commitment necessary? Because on Saturday evening I tearfully told Travis I was done. I told him that if/when they move baby girl from our home, I’m not cut out for this. And I lamented loudly that if God wasn’t gonna join me in this fight and be there for me when I need him to carry me through this pain, then I wasn’t going to show up either. But, I fully believe he’s called us to this ministry. I have no idea why… And like Jeremiah, I’m not loving my ministry right now. I’m not feeling effective. I’m not feeling alive. I had someone say, “Your heart is so big to be diving into foster care…” and I just rolled my eyes and thought, “No, I was just duped into it because that’s where God called me.”

I know, my attitude isn’t super inspiring. Just stay with me here.

I keep reading books about people who suffered in their ministries in all kinds of ways, and they were still full of joy to be serving the Lord. I wanted that feeling. I was so frustrated reading these testimonies written by people in circumstances just as heartbreaking {and sometimes more so} as my own who still felt a great amount of joy and somehow dealt with the pain. I had just about decided that the difference between them and me was God. To put it bluntly, I was furious with him because I was convinced he had shown up for them and not me. In Jeremiah 20:7-10, Jeremiah cries out to God and basically calls him to the floor for what he believes was an injustice done to him. He yells, “You deceived me, Lord and I was deceived! You overpowered me and prevailed.” Last night I found myself crying this out to God as well. I felt like the prophet Jeremiah, overpowered by the voice of the Lord to go into a ministry I had no interest in, and I felt as though he did not give me the emotional tools necessary to handle this journey. I was angry and I felt betrayed. My attitude has always been that if the Lord calls me to do something, he’ll give me the tools to do it and the strength to survive it. However, my heart was absolutely breaking this week and I felt nothing but silence from the Lord.

However, just like Jeremiah a few verses later in chapter 20, I also had a change of heart. Somewhere between me yelling at God a couple of nights ago and telling my husband that I will never ever foster again and today, something changed. Maybe it was my forty day commitment. Maybe it was just a little perspective. When I was faced with the reality that baby girl might leave me and there’s nothing I can do about it, I suddenly saw what a blessing she has been in my life and how much her presence has healed my broken heart. Instead of dwelling on all I won’t get to do with her as she gets bigger, I was flooded by a feeling of gratitude for having this opportunity to love on her at all. I feel an odd amount of peace about tomorrow. If the judge rules that she leaves our home, of course I’ll be sad… But I’m grateful for the opportunity to prepare my heart and prepare Buggy for her leaving. We’ve talked about it off and on all week and I think he’s going to be okay if she goes.

I also found hope and peace in a cliche. A sweet foster mom posted on my Facebook wall today, “Just have faith and remember when he closes a door, he’ll open a window.” That open window filled my heart with hope. My mind thought, “Think of the joy we’ve had with this tiny girl in just the past twelve days! Imagine what joy lays ahead of us if we keep pushing forward…” And suddenly, instead of fear and dread I actually felt hope and perseverance. I felt the tiniest spark of hope that eventually a child will enter my home and never have to leave. Eventually a child will take our last name and be ours forever. We just have to keep saying yes to whatever God leads us to say yes to. And I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he led us to say yes to baby girl. We needed her so much. My heart needed her sweet cuddles and quiet newborn sounds. I’m going to miss the dickens out of her if she leaves, but I’ll never forget her and the joy she brought to our broken and heartsick home this Thanksgiving.

Shockingly, I’m honestly not mad at God today. Not sure why. I mean, I was really really mad at God yesterday. Like…really. I was saying and thinking some ugly and bitter things. But today, I guess I just feel that closeness I’ve been begging for. He brought me peace when I needed it most. I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I genuinely don’t feel anxious about it. I genuinely believe God is in control and I don’t need to take on the spirit of fear. I’m taking pictures like crazy today and loving on her as much as I can. Tonight I’ll make a special Christmas ornament for our tree out of her tiny handprint. I’m saying goodbye in my own way just in case she does leave us. I think that’s how you have to handle the goodbyes in foster care. No, they aren’t easy…But somehow I feel like I can handle this with the Lord’s help.

God has this incredible way of sending me reminders that he really is with me right when I need it most. I was feeling sentimental and sad this morning and I was thinking that I wished I had something that was just hers that I could send with her if she does move to another home soon. I just couldn’t think of anything that I could send with her. I didn’t want to send her clothes. I wanted it to be something like a lovie or a blanket or something that she could keep forever as a symbol of the love she received in her absolute earliest days of life. Literally just moments after I was thinking how much I wished I had something special to give her, there was a knock on our door. I opened the door, and there was a sweet lady from church with tears in her eyes holding a gift in her hand. She said, “I want to give this to baby girl whether she stays with you or not. It’s hers to move with her wherever she goes next.” Then she embraced me with the biggest hug and I just cried and cried. In the gift bag was the biggest, fluffiest pink blanket ever. It was the perfect thing for her. Something to remember forever the love we gave her and the love of our family, our sweet church, and our incredible community. And it was a message from God. I suddenly felt peace and I knew that no matter what happens, no matter where she goes, she’s going to be fine. The Lord will protect her. And we will continue to pray for her and love her.

I also felt that little blip of hope. Hope that if she leaves, we will love another one, and hope that God will help my heart heal. I also feel hopeful that God will bring me the desires of my heart. I feel hopeful that if we lose baby girl, it won’t create deeper wounds than we had before. I think she was sent to us to heal our broken hearts from everything we endured this summer, and she has done a marvelous job at that. I hope she stays longer, and if I had my way, she’d be with us forever. But even if she’s not with us forever, I will be okay. There will be more babies in and out of our home to love on, and somehow we will be okay.

Please remember our family and baby girl in your prayers as we face our first foster hearing tomorrow. I may crater if the news is bad, but hopefully God will guard and protect my heart and prepare me for whatever the judge’s decision might be. For now at least, I really am doing okay.





Filed under Adoption General, Faith and Adoption, Fostering, Personal Posts

3 responses to “First Court Hearing

  1. Pingback: Everywhere I Turn… « Instant Mama

  2. Nanny

    I am praying for the future of this precious baby. I am praying for your heart to heal from it’s brokeness. I’m praying for Travis and little boy. I am heartsick over this decision. I hurt all over tonight because I am in so much pain for all of you. And yes, for myself too, because I love her so much. I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I do know who holds that future and he is good. We are supposed to always praise him. But tonight my praise would not be from my heart. Tonight I just want to grieve. I love all of you.

  3. Pingback: Saying Goodbye to Baby Girl | Love Makes A Family

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