Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coming out of a fog

Always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
 Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.    1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

This has been a hard few months, but we are at the end of it, and at the end of the yearIt's time for a new start, and we are back where we were before this whole effort began:  A dad, a mom, and their ten children.  Not twelve.  Ten.

We did the best we could.  CPS called us and asked us to adopt Luke's sisters, and we said yes.  They pointed us to an adoption agency, and we went.  The agency started us on classes, and we did them.  They had many other requirements and we met every. single. one.  We spent a few hundred dollars in the process, getting fingerprinted, take CPR classes, getting TB tests, and buying things for our house that we needed to be relicensed to adopt.
We met and spent time with the girls, had them over for days at a time, and enjoyed it all and bonded so completely.  It was hard, because their lifestyle and behavior is different from ours, and little sister has some issues.  But we were willing, and we did it happily.

And in the end, we were turned down.  Because we weren't fit?  No.  We were turned down because we are "too religious".  We live in a house without a TV.  We homeschool.  We wear dresses and headcoverings.  So they decided the 15 year old sister would not adapt, and we might end up sending her back.   So they made the decision to keep her from us, even though she wanted to be here with us and the brother she had not had a chance to know until now, and send her to strangers.  Somehow, in their minds, that was the better choice...

Taking them back after they had spent Christmas and most of the next week with us was really hard.  I broke down and cried in front of them when I told them I had gotten the call to meet the caseworker.  I tried not too, but I couldn't help it.  And I'm not sure it was wrong that they knew how much I loved them, and that it was hard to bear to see them leave.  They cried too, hard.  My children cried.  And as we cried, we packed, loaded the car, met the caseworker, and we parted.

After they left, while we were in town anyway, we went to buy groceries.  It was the BIG shopping trip.  In the middle, Angel-Leah and I went in search of the restroom.  As I held her hand and we talked, I looked down at her big blue eyes looking up at me, and I thought, "They can't take her.  She's mine.  I got her.  She belongs to me."  And the thought comforted me.

That night, Mary Susannah commented that the rings under my eyes had rings under them.  Yeah, I was pretty devastated by all that had happened.  I looked in the mirror at a face, already getting old, that looked like it had aged a few more years.  This isn't going to do, I thought...

The next day, we went to pick up Mary Susannah's contacts and make a quick trip to Walmart.  Mary Susannah was grumpy, which is VERY unusual for her.  I knew she was stressed, too, so I tried to give her some space.  I even offered Starbucks, but she just grunted instead of jumping at the idea like she usually does.  Finally she told me, "I am feeling very discontent, and I don't want to hear a lecture."  :o)
Yeah, I knew how she felt.

Coming home, I saw that Beau was back, although he was supposed to be working out of town for another day.  I went into his room and found him in bed with the flu, something that had been bringing us down one by one for the past week.  One of the first things he asked was "Are they gone?"  "Yes, CPS took them back."  I replied.  He made a sad face.

In the wee hours of that night, Tommy came down with flu.  He woke me up once because he couldn't breath.  I helped him blow his nose and he went back to sleep.  Then later, I heard him clumping down the stairs, crying.  "Luke's gone and I'm scared!"  he cried.  I knew Luke wasn't gone, but I was too tired to deal with the whole thing, so I told him to crawl in with me.  When he did, I felt a burning hot little body, and knew that now the last of us had the flu.
He curled into my body and I held his hand.  A restless sleeper, he kept me awake for the few hours that were left of the night.  And as I lay there in the dark, I was able to sort things out.

I did all I could for the girls.  Everything CPS and the agency asked me to do.  But most important, I had prayed, and I had fasted.  If I had gotten the girls, I would have said God had given them to us.  So is it not right to believe that since we did not get them, God had said no?  And if God had said no, should I accept that less than I would have accepted a yes?

Today, I keep thinking about this scripture above in 1 Thessalonians.  I did as much good as I could for the girls.  When I knew they weren't going to get to stay, I did all I could to help them accept it, too. When the older girl told me she was going to fight this, I reminded her that it was not her new foster mom's fault, and that she should be really nice to her.  That if she wanted to let people know what she thought, it should be caseworkers, CASA, and her attorney.  I said she might ask to speak to the judge, because I believe she has a right to do that.  But the new lady giving her a home was not to blame, so please try to get along.
I was polite to the few caseworkers I was in contact with.  I don't believe it's God's will that I should fight and berate them.  If God wants to overturn this, he can and will.  In the meantime, I need to act in a manner worthy of a child of God.

I will rejoice.  I still have ten children.  They are healthy, happy, and every one of them are doing well.  I have plenty of everything.  I even got that big laundry room I've been wanting for years, and an extra bathroom and bedroom (which I don't need now) as a direct result of trying to adopt the girls.

I will pray without ceasing.  But lately, all my prayers have been centered on Luke's sisters.  It's time now to remember other people in my prayers.  I have a son half way across the world.  I have a daughter who wants a baby really bad.  All of my ten children have things I could pray about.  I will continue to pray for Luke's sisters every time I think about them, which right now is still most of the time.  But it's time to focus on what I DO still have here with me, and that's a lot.

And I will give thanks.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I will not sink into despair and squander the blessings I have here before me.  If God chooses to bring the girls back, we will welcome them with all we have in us.  But I know he loves them more than I do, and that his hand is still on them.   I'm not the only choice in the world.  My prayer now is that God has given them a better place than here would have been.

Tomorrow is a whole new year.  God is with us.  It's going to be alright, even if it was not what we wanted, as long as we are faithful.

1 comment:

  1. Praying for peace and joy for your family in the coming year. God is good!


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