Saying Goodbye to Baby Girl

In my previous post, I shared with you my thoughts and fears surrounding baby girl’s first court hearing. Fortunately, the judge ruled in the favor of the state and she stayed with us. We were told by her case worker that she would stay with us until a hearing on January 3rd, and at that time she might be moved to a relative’s home. However, I was caught off guard on Friday of this past week when I received a call from a new case worker stating that she would be moved to the relative’s home on December 19th. I was in shock and my heart broke. I thought for sure we would have her at the very least through Christmas. My family had purchased her Christmas gifts and lovingly decorated stockings for her. I ordered her a beautiful hand made doll from an Etsy artist as her very special gift from us. All of these thoughts rushed through my head and I was crushed.

Immediately, I called our case worker at Buckner’s, who was just as shocked as I was. She kept apologizing and insisted no one had told them that baby girl even had been assigned a new case worker. She made some calls to try and figure out who it was that called me and to confirm the news. Sadly, her case had passed into the hands of a case worker who had absolutely no desire to try and keep her in our home, so she immediately made the decision to place her with a relative without even arranging a hearing with the judge to decide. We were deeply rocked by this situation because it was our first exposure to how unfair and dishonest CPS can be. The lack of communication and sneaky decision-making tactics absolutely baffle me. Our decision to work with Buckner’s in this journey was made in part to protect ourselves from the dishonesty and poor communication of CPS, but unfortunately they weren’t honest or forthcoming with Buckner’s either. I can’t say enough good things about Buckner’s though. Our case worker was just as heartbroken for us as our family and friends were, and that evening I received text messages from other Buckner’s social workers who were former foster parents themselves offering comfort and encouragement.

So tomorrow is our last day with our sweet girl. It’s been an incredible blessing having her in our home for the past month. Her first month on earth was spent with us, and I’m honored to have been her caregiver during those precious first weeks. No one else can say they have the memory of her first smile or her earliest grunts and coos. Those special firsts will be tucked away in my heart forever. What upsets me the most is the fear that she’s going into a home that doesn’t know Jesus. I pray earnestly that the Lord will place someone in her life to teach her about Jesus’ love and God’s amazing plan for her life. I pray she has a bright future and that returning to the same atmosphere she came from does not bring her emotional or physical harm as she grows older. It’s so hard to hand over a baby I’ve loved as my own into the arms of people with questionable standards, morals, and ethics. I have to trust in the Lord that He is her ultimate protector and He will shelter in the shadow of His wings.

Two days ago, I was deeply doubting God. My faith was terribly shaken by this. I know foster kids come and go, but I really fully believed that this baby was the fulfillment of the desire of my heart. We’ve sought God’s will, trusted his guidance, and obediently followed his command in this adoption journey. I wanted to believe that baby girl was the forever baby we’ve prayed for and dreamed of for so long. I wanted her to be the reward at the end of a long and exhausting journey. Two days ago, I was so angry with God. I was certain He didn’t care about us, didn’t listen to my pleas, and didn’t want us to experience any joy. I was positive we’d never have another child of our own, and that this desire in my heart was just a tease. I’m still hurting and not all of those feelings are completely gone. I’m not gonna lie. But I’m in a different place today.

While I’m still hurting, still confused, and still angry, the tiniest glimmer of hope remains in my heart. On Friday night after I got the call, I screamed at God. I told Him how angry I was that He didn’t prepare my heart for this, and how hurt I was that He still hadn’t brought us the child I ached for. Mostly though, I hurt because in my time of pain, I didn’t feel the comfort of His spirit. However, on Sunday, as the word spread throughout the church that we would be losing baby girl, I was covered in love by our incredible church family. I couldn’t make it more than a few feet down the hall without someone coming over to hug me and cry with me. I realized how good it felt to just cry openly with people who genuinely cared. I also realized that through these people, God was answering my heartfelt pleas for comfort. I begged God to comfort me and help my heart heal from this, and He used His people to do that.

Family and friends encouraged me to not give up over the past few days, but I was absolutely done with it. I was done with fostering, done with foster to adopt, and nearly done with adoption all together. I stayed up late on Saturday night doing research about surrogacy and Hyperemesis prevention. Neither option sounded great. And then there’s the fact that I have felt called to adopt since I was a little girl. I couldn’t explain that if I just quit. We’ve been preparing Little for baby girl to leave by gently explaining to him that she’s going back to her family. He’s taken it well, and I have plans to go out to one of his favorite restaurants after she leaves tomorrow so we can have a fun evening together as a family and hopefully detract from the sadness of her absence.

In anger and frustration, I ignored the suggestions from others to not give up, but yesterday God changed that too. Baby girl had one last visitation with her mother before her reunification with relatives tomorrow, so we had to make the 30 mile drive to the social services office. On the way back, Little asked if she was leaving for good. I explained that on Wednesday, she would. I told him, “It’s okay to be sad when she leaves. Mama is sad too.” He didn’t say anything for a little while, and then, with wisdom far beyond even my years, my three year old said, “But what if we can be happy for her?” I asked him what he meant, and he said, “I will be happy for baby girl to go. I will be sad that she’s gone, but I’m happy for her.” Instantly, I felt as though the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “You can be happy that she’s going with Me. I’ll take care of her. And I’ll take care of you too.” I nearly had to pull the car over.

Then a moment later, while I was still ruminating on the words of my toddler, he spoke up again and said excitedly, “What will the other baby be?” I asked him what he was talking about, and as I peeked at him from the rearview mirror, he said with a smile, “Will the other baby be a boy? What will the other baby be?” It hit me, he was asking about our NEXT baby. “Do you want to keep fostering babies in our home? To keep bringing in babies like Baby Girl?” I asked. He excitedly nodded. “Yes!” he said. And again, he asked what the next baby would be like. I had to laugh because here it was. I had given up on fostering, thrown in the towel, and declared to my husband, God, friends, family, and church that I was DONE. “God didn’t protect me in this, and I’m not ever doing it again!” But then God used my own child to change my mind. I can’t disappoint Little. If he’s expecting another baby to come into the home after Baby Girl leaves, I can’t say no. His words nudged my heart reluctantly back into the foster world.

I’m 99% convinced I’m insane to go back into this. But there’s 1% of me that wouldn’t disappoint my little boy for anything in the world, and that 1% thinks it makes perfect sense to bring another child into our home and keep trying. It’s kind of like gambling {which I hate to do because I’m such a penny-pincher}… you roll the dice enough times and eventually you’re going to land on the right number. I have to believe if we stay open, eventually we will land on our forever baby. The one we get to keep forever and always. I worried so much about how fostering my hurt my son, it never occurred to me he would actually LIKE it.

Two days ago, I was furious with God. I felt abandoned by Him. Last night, however, after the deepest conversation I’ve ever had with my three year old, I turned to His word for guidance and comfort. Galations 6:9 will become the theme verse for our fostering journey: Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. I laughed and cried when I re-read this verse in light of our situation. “Okay,” I said. “I won’t give up…”

Psalm 27:13-14 offers this piece of encouragement: I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. “Okay,” I thought after reading this verse, “I will wait. I will trust that there is goodness out there and I will find it in others if I trust in you…And I can wait for this child you have laid on my heart, because I believe you won’t forsake me.”

And in light of the recent events hitting our nation, I’m humbled by the smallness of my own problems. This verse spoke to my heart regarding all who are hurting since the events of Friday {big and small}:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:1-7

Please pray for us this week as we prepare our hearts to say goodbye to our sweet girl. Please pray for God’s protection over Little Bug, that his heart is not broken by her leaving but rather he is strengthened and sees the Lord in this situation. And please pray for Baby Girl. Pray for her protection and well being and please pray that God places people in her life to teach her about His beauty, love, and salvation.






Filed under Adoption General, Faith and Adoption, Fostering

3 responses to “Saying Goodbye to Baby Girl

  1. Kristi Long

    That is so touching, and it is amazing how strong the little ones are. Shaleigh used to ask Aunt Kristie do you get them from Wal-Mart. She has always accepted every child that has come into our lives and given them her love freely. God bless you and your family.

  2. I hate that you have to say goodbye, but I love this post. Ps 27 is so real to me too – wait, don’t lose heart (and I most certainly would have without God’s promises). Blessings on you, your family, and on your girl.

  3. Nanny

    So happy to hear that you are going to continue in foster care. Those babies need you and Trav. And Little too.

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