Oct 2018. One week before the trial. My personal deadline to make, yet again, the most difficult decision of my life. Nearly 6 months prior I decided I would not adopt J and X. I truly felt I was making the best decision for them. They were supposed to move to a foster-adopt home within a couple weeks….they didn’t. They were supposed to move after a couple months….they didn’t. This was an epically difficult season. Pushing through exhaustion to continue loving and parenting two kids that love you like a mom but you decided not to keep. I kept trying to guess at when they might leave and each time I prepared myself, I was let down again. You simply cannot predict anything in foster care (a lesson I learned much too late!). I finally decided to shift my thinking from “when are they leaving” and guessing at when my life would return to “normal” to “they are NOT leaving” and started making decisions and changes as if they were staying forever. This helped me tremendously. I made daycare changes, restarted those Amazon subscriptions for diapers, wipes, etc., and signed them up for things in the future.
After I decided not to adopt, Mother’s Day came and went uncomfortably. Summer arrived. I saw X through minor surgery to have tubes put in his ears. Our 1-year anniversary arrived on July 3 with a “farewell” party to the boys. An entire community was saying goodbye after all. I tried to get away to Colorado for a reprieve but then last-minute decided to bring J along, leaving X for an entire week. This was the first time I’d been away that long from my chubby, adorable 1.5yo. And guess what happened when I returned?
The next morning I was dropping X off at daycare. Have you ever had a baby cling to you for DEAR LIFE?! As if there’s burning hot lava underneath him and he’s TERRIFIED of you letting him go. I could NOT peel him off of me. He cried and clung. And, of course, I lost it. I sat down on the floor with him stuck to me just sobbing. Both of us sobbing. All this, after just one week away from each other? What happens when I’m gone forever? 😢
Trial was scheduled for September. The trial is when the legal rights of both parents are going to be terminated. This is a necessary step before a child is legally ready for adoption. This would be the end of the conservatorship case (before it becomes an adoption case). But thanks to more unpredictable events (Grandma suddenly wants them or Bio Mom returns and wants to work services again), the trial is cancelled. I cannot describe to you the frustration I felt during these months. It’s the ultimate test of how much you really trust God. Absolutely everything was out of my control. My future (and the boys’) hung in the balance with some CPS workers, lawyers, and a judge.
Oct 15, trial is set and it seems the date will stick this time. Meanwhile, I’d been pondering over the last couple months what it would be like to be their Forever Mom. I had to be ok with potentially being a single mom forever. Years ago I realized that my life wasn’t my own. God was in charge and I was going to sacrifice everything for Him, even if that means my life as I thought it should be. No husband. No house with the picket fence. Just me, my cute urban, yard-less townhouse, and two squishy, cute little boys. Could I do it? Is God wanting me to SAY YES?! “His will be done, not mine,” was on repeat in my head.
Bio Mom and Dad had nearly vanished from the picture so for the last few months we felt like a “normal” family. I caught a glimpse of what life would really be like as their Forever Mom (i.e. no visits, no stressing over bio parents, etc.). Normal felt nice. Maybe I could say yes?? More prayer, more pastoral counsel, more therapy, and more talking to ANY SINGLE MOM I knew to get perspective, guidance, and advice.
I called out to God day and night for weeks. I enacted my FMLA and took 6 weeks leave from work so I actually had time and space to rest, think, and pray. I made a quick trip to Banff, Canada with a couple girlfriends to help reset.
Lord Jesus, WHAT do you want me to do? Do you have another family for them? Or is it me?
I asked Jesus to bring me a dream nightly. God speaks in dreams, speaks through people, He speaks in many forms. Now, I am someone that never remembers my dreams. Maybe once a year I will remember that I had a dream but then I wouldn’t be able to recall anything. Then one morning I awoke to the loudest voice in my own head. I literally heard myself saying “They are going to be adopted!!!” but I wasn’t actually speaking. Ok, yes, it was strange! I even looked around because I was so confused! Who said that?! The image in my head was of myself standing up on a stage with my arms outstretched making this joyful announcement. The feeling behind it was that I was adopting them. But immediately my over-analytical brain kicked in…..WAIT….I didn’t say “I” was going to adopt them I said, “they were going to be adopted!” 🤦🏻♀️
I waited it out….continuing to ask God for super clear clarity. Did I get it? Not exactly how I would’ve wanted it but isn’t that how God usually works? He doesn’t always make it super clear. Sometimes he doesn’t answer or speak at all. We just have to be good stewards of his Word and be sure our actions align with Him. I stepped out in faith, again. I had enough certainty for me to know that this is where God had led us. He wanted me to be their forever mom. They were supposed to leave three times after all! He designed this wild story to redeem these two boys. And so….I…SAID…YES!!!
Therefore, one week before the trial I emailed the lawyers, CPS worker, and my case manager to inform them of the news. THEY. WERE. STOKED.
#nationaladoptionmonth #mamalisafosters #thisisfostercare #fosterlove #wonthedoit #jesusforthewin