I’ve been praying for years… years I’ve been praying. My heart is for the children that I believe God will bring into our lives to minister to through foster care and so when we got military orders to move, my heart broke. It broke because we are foster parents and for years we have fostered precious little souls that each have a piece of my heart. Little Man, Baby Girl, Sad Eyes, T, and The Baby all have a piece of me. Baby Girl’s adoption last year was one of the greatest days of my life! Being her forever mommy is one of my happiest joys! My heart still feels there are little loves that need a mommy to take care of them and that I am that mommy. So, when we got orders I was devastated. We are not scheduled to move until next June, but still I called our agency to let them know the military’s plans to move our family. All parties agreed that we should put our home on hold except for respite. I grieved. I grieved not being able to do what I truly believe God has called me to do. But, I started packing away my baby things, my foster care items went into labeled boxes to be put into storage.
Then, tonight at 8:30 pm we got “THE CALL!” Everyone in the foster care community knows this call. It starts with looking down at your caller ID and seeing your social worker’s phone number. Your heart starts to beat fast. You get really excited! Tonight was no different. Two little boys need us, twin three year old boys. We should get to welcome them into our home this Monday if all goes as planned. We will have them for a short time, probably two months. Their mother is working her case plan and is seeming to be doing really well, so this should be a short placement, but we are still very excited. I can’t wait to meet the two little boys who will be part of our family for a short time. I can’t wait til Monday!
Last night as I tucked my middle three kiddos into bed, I asked them if they had anything they would like me to pray and talk to God about for them. My daughter wanted kids to be nice at school, my son wants his dad to come home safe from work and T asked me to pray for his mom. He wants her to “get the house fixed” and he told me she had a runny nose at the visit he had with her yesterday. I said, “of course I will honey! I have been and I will continue to pray for your mom.” And so as they closed their eyes and bowed their heads, I prayed with the kids and I thanked God for each one of them, I thanked Him for our house and our warm beds to sleep in and our school and then I lifted up each of my children’s prayer requests to the Father. And with T listening I prayed for his mom. I felt so honored that he trusted me enough to ask me to pray for the desires of his heart with him.
Here I sit at the bedside of my precious elderly neighbor. He is dying. Doctors found the horrible cancer only a week ago and it is already taking his life. He is hardly able to breathe. His chest is heaving and falling with force. Only two days ago I sat in the living room with my friend talking about family, t.v. shows, and the military. Now, he cannot speak. His eyes barely opening as I speak gently to him. He is dying. All I can do for him now is pray over his sick body. Lord Jesus let there be no pain! Let YOUR will be done. And I will pray.
The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Okay, so yea, I can’t exactly give up my cell phone right now. I’m a military wife, with a husband serving overseas, I am NOT going to miss his calls. But, I am going to give up the IPAD and any non-essential digital device applications for the rest of this month. I had the idea when I realized that when I am stressed, worried, or panicked even (I’m a foster mom, this happens daily) I reach for the device. I post on Facebook asking for prayer before I even pray for the situation myself. Something is really very wrong with that! I’m not doing it anymore! I KNOW that our situation with our foster babies needs prayer! I KNOW that the ONLY answer to my worry and frustration with their case is to bring it to God and to lay it at the feet of Jesus.
So, instead of posting, texting or messaging for the rest of this month, I’m going “old fashioned” and journalling my “conversations with God.” I’m going to keep track of my thoughts and prayers and give them to Jesus. I’m going to create a notebook where I can keep track of my prayers and witness the answers that God gives me. Even if those answers are not the ones I’m expecting or anticipating, I want to keep track of them.
I want an amazing testimony when this is all said and done and I can’t have that if I don’t MOVE MY BEHIND over and give God room to work! I absolutely HAVE TO LET GO. So, here it goes! I’m gonna try! Wish me luck!
Tonight I sit and rock my baby to sleep. I whisper prayers to my Heavenly Father as we rock back and forth, back and forth. Prayers for blessings to shower over Baby Girl for her entire life. Prayers for peace and comfort for me.
I tell Baby Girl I love her and that I always will. Moments like this I don’t take for granted. She could be taken back in the blink of an eye and I am all too aware of that reality. Fifteen months of being her mommy. Fifteen glorious months. I am so thankful!
Two years ago around this time of year our family was on a very different journey. We were attempting to navigate the muddy waters of international adoption. We had scaled back financially, spending NO money putting it all towards our hopeful adoption. We worked constantly, filled out endless amounts of documents, cried anxiously, and prayed daily. I was so nervous it just wasn’t going to happen because around every curve seemed to be another door slamming shut in our faces. In April/May 2013 we realized that our dream of adopting from the African nation we had signed on for just wasn’t going to happen. The country was near closing to international adoption and I cried for days, thinking our adoption dream was over! It wasn’t until my husband said calmly to me one night, “well, what about foster care?” We had talked about it multiple times over the years, but we had always come to the conclusion that it might not be right for us. Turns out, it was! And you know what? At the exact time that I was begging God not to let the African country close to international adoption, my foster daughter was being born. Little did I know that as I pleaded with God to allow me to be mommy to a child from another country that He was preparing me to be mommy to a child being born right here in my own. So, as I look back at my life these past two years, I am PRAISING God for that unanswered prayer! Because if he had answered that one the way that I wanted, I would never have met Little Man and Baby Girl and I would never have gotten to experience the great joy of being their mommy!
Today, I’m thanking God for unanswered prayers!!!
In two days, I will take Little Man two hours away from home to go and visit with his father. He has not seen him since January, so I am a bit apprehensive as to how the visit will go. Little Man isn’t good with change. He’s not what you would call an “easy going” child. He is strict and rigid with how he likes things done. He doesn’t like “new people.” But, to Little Man this man (who in all legal aspects is his father) is “new.” I’ve shown Little Man photos of his father and asked him, “who is this?” He stares at me blankly. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to confuse him more. I don’t want to prepare him too much for this visit because his father has cancelled so many visits in the past and there is no sense in getting Little Man all worked up for nothing. It is such a balancing act. I never know how much to do or how much not to do. It’s just so up in the air.
So, I will pray. I will ask that God prepare his little heart for whatever that day and this visit holds for him.
Today… this morning… it was the moment that I had been dreading. Eleven and a half months have gone by since we became foster parents to Little Man and Baby Girl and all of that time, I felt had been leading up to this very moment. The permanency hearing for our precious foster babies.
I couldn’t fall asleep until 1:00 a.m. the night before and then awoke back up at 4:30 a.m. the next morning before my alarm even went off. I got on my knees, my face to the floor of my bedroom and I began to pray. Every fear that I had inside of me, I cried out to The Lord. I begged for His mercy and His grace and His peace that passes all understanding. I drank my coffee, woke the babies and dressed them. We drove the 2 hours to the courthouse. A fellow foster mom sat with the babies as I sat alone with our social worker in a courtroom that was empty for 30 agonizing minutes. Court was supposed to start, but it didn’t and all I could hear were lawyers talking loudly in the hallway. Every few moments, I would ask our social worker, “Where is the judge?” or “What time is it?” I was restless and nervous, “let’s get this over with,” I thought.
After what seemed like forever, a uniformed officer entered the courtroom announcing the judges presence. He walked into the courtroom in his long black robe followed by four lawyers and the supervisor of DHR and that is when I realized it… they didn’t show. The biological family was not here. Not one family member from our precious foster babies’ birth family was present. This was the permanency hearing to decide the future of their lives and not one family member was present. Not one of them showed up. The judge asked, “are the parents here today?” and I wanted to stand, I wanted to say, “I am here! Me… I am here!” But, I sat tight and didn’t say a word. Even though these babies are my world. Even though they are as important to me as my three biological children at home, I didn’t say a word. My social worker had warned me not to speak unless spoken to. I sat still and calm and prayed, “Jesus, be with me, be in this room.”
At the end of the hearing it was decided that our precious ones would return home with me today. They would stay with our family. We get to keep them! Maybe not forever, but at least for now and my heart was filled with JOY! There was joy and there was sadness. My thoughts went to the biological family. What is going on in their lives that they couldn’t be here today? They were given plenty of notice, their lawyers were present, but where were they? Why didn’t they come? I may never know. They did not show.
Being so far away… it’s hard. My soldier is really struggling being thousands of miles away while I am getting ready to take “our babies” to court next week for the permanency hearing.
He can’t be here to hold them and rock them to sleep this last week before (possibly) all of our lives change. He has been there for everything this past year, just like me. He has changed the diapers, fed the bottles, cuddled the crying toddler after a fall, all of it! He is the most amazing dad! And, now he has to sit over there in a foreign country, away from all of us as I deal with getting things in order and take them to court alone. The call logs, the medical forms, the notes that I’ve taken, every “i” must be dotted, every “t” must be crossed. We must show that over the course of this past year that every available opportunity has been given to this other family… this first family. Every time they called, every chance they had for a visit, it all was documented.
Do I wish my soldier was here with me right now? That is an understatement! In one week, I will sit in a courtroom and the future of “our babies” will be decided by a judge. There are many possible outcomes. None of these outcomes will make everyone happy. My highest hope and my constant prayer is that God will provide us a just and caring judge, one that observes the law, but who still has a side of warmth and compassion. A judge with wisdom like King Solomon.
And, my other prayer is that God will grant me the grace and peace that I need to accept what He has for “our” babies whether I understand it or not.
Eleven months ago, I was a mess. We had been “approved” to be foster parents for like A WHOLE MONTH AND A HALF and we had not yet gotten “the call.” I cried at the drop of a hat. I sat and questioned why, why, why we didn’t have foster children yet. Were we not “good enough?” I cried out to God begging for, “today to be the day,” yet those days were never the days… I was sad, I was worried, I was anxious. We were ready! We had been ready! We had done everything that the government had asked us to do, TWICE! You see, we had already completed an international adoption home study and then again completed a foster care home study, so in reality we had been through everything TWICE! How much longer must we wait?
I am here to tell you this, those of you out there who are still waiting… YOUR TIME WILL COME! Our’s did! We were chosen on this day eleven months ago to receive the two most precious little angels into our home. These two came with hurts, they came with trust issues, but I can say this without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, that they were meant to come and live with us. God had such a perfect plan!
And, as I sat on my deck this morning taking pictures of my three youngest holding hands and going on a “treasure hunt” in our backyard, I realized something. I am SO GLAD we didn’t get the call sooner, I am so happy we had to wait. Because, the two we have in our lives right now are the ones God meant for us and we were meant for them.
Thank you, Lord Jesus for making me wait. YOU HAVE A PERFECT PLAN!