Can you really start a post with how long it has been since your last post, if you haven't really consistently blogged in forever? No?
Well, regardless of the rules....it has been a very long time since I blogged but rest assured I am still here. A lot has happened since my last post. I now work very part time at our church, I am taking some online classes at seminary, I still have 5 kids, I still try to run (some), for some reason people still expect to be clothed, fed, and cleaned but that's another post for another day. So in short, once again I have added things to my plate without taking anything away. Well, that is a complete lie. My Christmas tree has 3 ornaments on it. Certain things have gone by the wayside.
This morning I got up super early (for me) to start on a paper that is due Friday. It's long and confusing and I still don't understand the concept. Fortunately as a communication major in college that was not a problem. I could add fancy words, make a 5 word sentence turn into 15 and get glowing remarks. Seminary is not like this. These people genuinely use words I have no clue what they mean, and they are serious about their writing. So far my sentence of..."God's word is super, awesome, amazing, and I super duper love it..." is not thought of as highly as when I wrote in college. Whatevs....
I say all of that to say this...I am learning a lot and I am not as smart as I thought. There. I said it. Only, deep down I just secretly think these people live in all brown houses, with brown paint on their walls, brown bedspreads, all brown clothing, and no bright lipstick. They are really dying for someone like me in their class who will bring a little fun to their otherwise super serious conversations.
Which somehow leads me to our sweet toddler C. Some of you know the story of her, but for those who don't let me give you a little background. Last December, the 22nd to be exact, I received a call from DHS asking me if we could take a 1, 3, or 4 YO. They were sisters and they all needed a spot. I said we would take the 3 YO and then instantly changed my mind. I called back and said actually we would take the 1 YO and then I started scrambling for Christmas presents. Christie Erwin showed up at my house within hours and dropped off tons of new clothes and presents and DHS pulled in shortly after. They dropped off a scared little girl who screamed when I laid her down at night. We spent the first month with a pack n play next to our bed and I "slept" with one arm in her bed so she could wake up and feel me. This lasted for awhile until she gradually made it to her crib and only needed to come to our room in the middle of the night. This lasted until she was comfortable enough to sleep all night in her crib and feel safe.
Fast forward to April and we received word that the foster parents who had her other 2 siblings, had an opening to take C. You may remember this blog post about me never crying, but that I bawled as I drove away from dropping her off. Then fast forward to end of July and we received word that all 3 girls were being moved again. We were at the beach and I got a message asking if we were willing to take her back. I showed the phone to J. O. and I thought he was going to leave the beach right then to come get her. Everyone was so excited to see her again and have her back in our home. We fell right back in a routine and many people fell in love with C for the first time, or all over again.
I have often talked about how we have to be willing to let these babies go and that God entrusts them to us for a season, but to be honest this is our first case I am having to put my money where my mouth is. C and her sisters are set to start their first all day visit on Thursday. They will do this for a time period and then transition to weekends and eventually home. I will be honest....only the mom and dad feel good about this. Everyone else involved is very uneasy. On the inside, I have wondered what I can do, who can I complain to, who can I yell at?
Don't get me wrong, I have documented and made my feelings known to the caseworker and ad lidem. I have let it be known that I do not agree with this nor do I think it will be what's best. But, at the end of the day, I am doing what God has called me to do. Love C in this moment and pray for her family. I am not going to stomp my feet, close my home, refuse to take another child, or so many other things I may want to do. I am going to cry, hold my kids when they cry, pray for C and her siblings and parents, and re-iterate the message that this is hard. We grieve when they leave, we hurt for their families, we disagree with Judges and the system a lot, but we don't throw a temper tantrum and refuse to try. We remember these kids with pictures and videos and art they have made. We talk about them. We love them forever. But we remember why we started doing this in the first place. We hope that C will know how to love because of all the love that was shown her.
There are so many things we could quit, or never start, because it hurts too much. I wouldn't take back that day in December or July for anything. How selfish would it have been of me to miss out on C's love because of my own discomfort. Hard things happen. Things do not make sense. However, I don't need a seminary class to teach me that God loves her more. I most likely will not understand this side of Heaven the purpose behind this, but praise God I don't have to.