Tag Archives: babies

Baby H

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John 11:35 Jesus wept

Last summer, on my way home from target, I answered the phone.  It was our licensing counselor.  There was a baby girl, born five days before, that needed a place to go.  We said yes.  Three hours later I drove to the back of the office building to meet a case worker holding a tiny little baby wrapped in a hospital blanket wearing only a onesie that looked to be two sizes too big.  She handed her to me. Then Kaitlyn and I put her into a car seat. I signed papers and grabbed the hospital bag and a suitcase and we left.  Just like that our world changed forever again.

I don’t think that you ever get used to the feeling when a new child is handed over to you. The weight of the world is placed in your hands wrapped in a beautiful human gift.  You are excited and terrified.  Falling in love is easy. The case will have you feeling raw and like your insides are hanging outside your body with no protection.  You will fight hard for the child who can’t fight for themselves.  You love them as your own even knowing they aren’t. It’s how it goes. Every time it is the same, every time it is immensely different.  

This time we had it on good authority that this baby wouldn’t be with us much longer than six weeks. She was supposed to go to her paternal grandmother and then very quickly back to the parents who loved her, wanted her, and were going to fight hard to be able to bring her home.Through the course of the next few months we soon realized that none of that would  happen.

Meanwhile she grew and developed and got fatter and fatter and cuter and cuter! We loved her and she loved us.  It was so much fun to dress her up and I carried her everywhere wrapped to my body. She was safe and warm and loved beyond measure on our side. On the other side of the case was feelings of abandonment and frustration with the way everything was being handled. We had very little say in any of it.  Being home and in our every day world was a sanctuary to bury ourselves in to rest after venturing over to the other side fighting hard for the protection and rights of this child we loved. 

Three months in we began to believe that she would eventually be able to be ours forever.  Even though we knew things could change at any moment. They did.

We learned that her maternal grandparents had been searching for her, begging anyone that would listen to help them connect with her.  They would complete their home study and we would see what would happen. 

We were encouraged to get to know them and to keep in contact with them during the process.  I was petrified.  As we began to get to know them, their love and care for her was glaringly evident.   We began falling in love with them too, just like we did with our Baby H.  We sent pictures and updates and facilitated visitations.  We formed quite a bond with them. Soon we were fighting for all of us not just the baby. Fighting for a chance to know she was safe. We knew she would be safe with them and loved and she would have everything she could possibly need.  

She was seven months old the day I packed all the little things for her that she would be taking to her new forever home.  She looked up at me and smiled as I changed and dressed her.  For all she knew it was just another day.  I knew better. I fought tears all morning. I didn’t want to upset her. I was glad for the preparations that needed to be made. At least there was work to focus on.  Every snuggle and kiss meant more than ever before that morning.  My world was shattering, there would be no more sanctuary.  I dreaded coming home knowing she wouldn’t be there. 

John asked to feed her before work that day. We just wanted to savor every precious moment we had left.  I’ll never forget him sitting there silent tears stealthily inching down his face as she reached up and grabbed his finger while he held her bottle for her.  

Two hours later I handed her to her grandparents. After hugging all together and kissing her good bye I walked out of the DCF office empty handed. I sobbed all the way to the car and all the way home.  Memories flooding my mind from the past seven months. Pushing back the fear that she would feel abandoned by me and that she would need me and I wouldn’t be there for her. That I would never see her again.  

“You signed up for this Rach….you have no right to hurt like this…suck it up and move on….you knew she wasn’t yours…this is your job…no one is going to feel sorry for you…you chose the foster parent life.”

Then I read John 11:35 Jesus wept. In that passage we learn about Jesus finally going to where Lazerous had lived and been sick. He came knowing Lazerous was dead.  He stood at the tomb and prepared to perform a miracle. Before he did so, he wept.  He wept for the pain of loosing a friend. He wept for the pain that his friends felt who had been left behind. He wept for the betrayal his inaction had caused Lazerous’ sisters to feel.  He wept.  HE WEPT? He knew that Lazerous’ death was temporary.  He knew it because he was God and he would be the one to raise him from the dead.  But in his love for his friends and in his humanness, he felt the pain that death caused and he didn’t want that for anyone, including himself.   When I read that I realized: we all make choices in life out of love for others and love for ourselves.  Just because I signed up to be a foster parent doesn’t take away the pain of saying goodbye. I didn’t weep because of the injustice of it all or out of surprise that my baby was taken from me.  I wept because I miss her. I wept because I would have given anything to be with her. I wept because of the pain I saw in her grandparents eyes as they watched their family be torn apart and the joy when she was brought home to them safely. I wept because she was mine and because she wasn’t. I wept for the pain in my husbands eyes when he held her that last time and for my children who would miss her too.  I wept. And it is ok because Jesus wept too.  

Since then we have gotten updates and pictures from her grandparents. They let us know how she is. She is doing great!! Growing and so loved.  It is such a blessing!! 

#beafosterparent #youcantdoit #icantdoit #Godcan

Beating the odds

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I am the kind of person who tends to be rebellious.  I don’t buck the system in the typical ways though.  I like order. I love organization, though you would never know it to look into ANY of my spaces at the moment. I appreciate rules and regulations if for no other reason then it keeps others in line while I dance across the line and do what I want.  I like to know where my boundaries are so I can push them as much as is comfortable for me, then run back to safety whenever I want.  One of my biggest motivations in life is prooving someone wrong when they warn me not to do something, or tell me I can’t.  I like to be the one that beat the odds.

This can be a matter, usually is, of pride with me.  I tend to think I can take something that I view as a mess and fix it like no one else has been able to fix it.  I like to be prepared when no one else is, in ways that no one else thought of.  I don’t like needing help,but I want to be surrounded by people who will help me.  My pride says “You can do it better. You can delegate this and this and orchestrate this.  Everyone will see that you did it good” those are the times I end up hurting others and looking up at those I looked down on, before I fell.

Sometimes this is a matter of believing in something and wanting it to succeed.  Sometimes it is about believing in someone that no one else believes in.  Sometimes it is about caring and trying and hope.  Sometimes it is about wanting to be used by God in a unique way in someone’s life.  Those are the times I risk getting hurt. 

Being teachable is an important life skill. When others, more qualified, or in a position of authority tell me what I should do, I usually listen.  The times I don’t are when I feel like I have a vision for where I want to go, and I don’t see how doing it their way can get me there.  I realize that if I do it my way and it succeeds then I have beaten the odds.  It is a temptation too great.  

One example I experienced in the last few months is my journey with Owen’s birth mother.  She is the woman who gave him life. This is not to be taken lightly. SHE.CHOSE.LIFE.  In the world in which we live the choice to abort or sustain a pregnancy is so freely given.  In her situation she could have easily chosen not to continue.  Instead she chose to give her best shot at parenting him.  Although the circumstances and choices that followed resulted in him being removed from her custody, the fact that she tried is a monumental thing.  I will be forever grateful to her for that.  

Since the day that I met her we have been in regular contact.  There have been ups and downs and times when I wanted to pull my hair out and times when I am sure she did too.

Through it all the recommendation across the board from the people in charge of this case was: cut all contact.  However, my personal dealings with her were pleasant and I felt I could give her a chance.  I had a fantasy of us growing old still texting away. I knew there were hard decisions to be made and boundaries put into place.  I just felt that even if all her bridges were burned with everyone else, I could be the one to build something special with her.  Truth is, it meant a lot to me to have her in our lives.  I just wanted it to be on my terms. 

It doesn’t work that way. You cannot control other people.  You can reach out to them, set boundaries in your relationships, but you cannot control what they can and cannot do or will or will not do.  In the end all you have left is a partnership or nothing.

I’m not sure what we will end up with at the end, but I do know this is a situation where I need to put aside all pride, put aside my desire to beat the odds and prove the authority wrong.  I have to take into consideration they could be right.  I have to decide where my boundaries are and take the responsibly to guard them. If the choice is made by the other person to breach them, there needs to be a plan B.  This is where we are.  Some things are cut and dried, others have to have the flexibility to change, expand, and shrink over time to accommodate needs of all parties.  “Do your best to be at peace with all men!” “Pride goes before a fall” be yea kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake as forgiven you”.  Sometimes we have to do things for the sake of others.  My son takes priority and should be my only motivation outside of Christ. Now I need to figure out how to do that.  Maybe God will beat the odds through me! Maybe I will discover that the odds I thought needed to be beat are different from the ones God is going to beat with me. I may never know.  So here I go, pursuing a dream.  We will see where God directs the chase.