Sunday, October 21, 2012

Timeline of Hopeful Sadness

Well, I said to ask me how I felt after my I lost my first one... so this is how I feel.

On Monday, October 1st, he turned 5. I rejoiced.

On Wednesday, October 3rd, I found out that he would be moving in with his forever family on October 20. I wept.

On Sunday, October 7th, we picked up mom and drove up to his Aunt and Uncle's house to meet them. I was filled with hope and joy at what was to come for my Little Man. ("A Day of Family, Fellowship, & Hope")

On Friday, October 12th, I drove Little Man and brother up to meet Aunt L for Little Man's weekend visit. I felt weird in an empty house.

On Sunday, October 14th, I picked Little Man up and he told me all about his weekend. I breathed a sigh of relief.

On Friday, October 19th, I packed all of Little Man's stuff so that we could have a lazy Saturday morning together. I held it together, but knew that the cracks were starting to show.

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, I finished loading up the car and began the 2 hour drive to drop Little Man off at his new home. After unloading all of his boxes (the boy has a LOT of stuff!) and my mom got a good look at the BCS championship ring that is housed at Aunt L and Uncle P's house, we hit the road to come back home. Thankfully, my mom was able to come up and ride with us, so she drove home. Minus one little moment, I kept it together. I kept busy Saturday afternoon and I was able to keep my emotions at bay.

On Sunday, October 21st, I got to church and the waterworks started as soon as the first hug came. I knew that this would be one of my safe places to land. These people have walked through this journey with me. They know the struggles and fears that I've had throughout this process. They took the time to get to know Little Man and to LOVE him, even when the easier thing would have been to hold him at arm's length. They encouraged me and helped me to see the positive side of things when I found out when I would be losing him. They prayed for me constantly as this day drew closer.

As I sit and look back on today, I find that it wasn't as bad as I had expected. Did I cry? Oh, definitely yes. Many a tear was shed today, and I'm quite sure that I'm not finished. But I was also able to see the new testament church in action today. I was hugged by many. I was held while I wept. Some cried with me. I was prayed for. Little Man was prayed for. Beth, Jenny, Kim, Chris, Jessica, Tommy, Erin, Candace, Kelli, Paige, Bill, Amy, and so many many more... They were the hands and feet of Jesus today. They lifted me when I was weak and have poured their own strength into me. Although my heart is broken, it is also encouraged. I could not have made it through today without you guys. Thank you for being "Jesus with skin on," as my long time mentor, BD, says.

Now to look to the future. Hopefully soon, and VERY soon, I will be able to share a new addition with you. I am praying that a placement comes quickly and that I can, once again, share the love that has been poured out on me with a child who needs to be loved unconditionally.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Just a taste...

This weekend I'm getting a taste of what it will be like as of next Saturday...

No one to check in on before I turn in for the night.

No one to wake me up on the weekends when all I want to do is sleep late.

No one to get ready in the morning.

No one to record Wonder Pets or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for.


Praying that I get a new placement soon. I'm not really a fan of having an empty house!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Day of Family, Fellowship, & HOPE!

I'm not even sure I can truly describe how incredibly life-giving today was for me, but I'll give it try anyway...

After an emotional day at church (it was Little Man's last Sunday with me at church), we headed out for our great Sunday adventure. We headed downtown to pick mom up, and after getting her, we hit the road to meet Little Man's future.

During the two hour drive to Little Man's future home, it got increasingly hard to keep my eyes open and on the road. All I could think of is that I would rather turn the car around, go home, take a nap, and just ignore all of the calls from the people trying to find Little Man... maybe they would forget where I lived and that would be that. Instead, I just kept driving and changing the music to keep myself awake.

When we got to the W's house, only Aunt L, B and brother were there (brother has been spending weekends there), but they welcomed us with open arms and made us feel at home immediately.  Soon, a slew of people began arriving to celebrate Little Man... meeting him, as well as his birthday, which just passed. Aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, grandkids... there were so many people there that I had a hard time keeping everyone straight. There was one thing I could say about every person at that house, though; each and every one of them are committed to Little Man and Brother, as well as to mom. Just seeing them interact with such love spoke of a genuine desire and calling to be a light in the darkness. I believe that I may have mentioned this before, but the Ws are not new to bringing "non-biological" children into the fold. They have raised children who were not born to them, and have treated them as their own, talk of them with pride, and live and breathe of love for them.

I am excited that my Little Man gets to be a part of this family. My heart is blessed beyond measure that he will have a father figure who loves God more than anything and treats his wife like a queen. I am thrilled that this family will not only treat him and brother like their own, but will strive to foster their relationship with mom. I love that they not only want mom involved in the boys' lives, but they long for her to experience restoration and healing as well.

Never before have I truly experienced and grasped what it means for God to turn our mourning into dancing. But now I know. I now know what it means to feel my heart, breaking with dread at what is to come, change into a heart full of joy and hope for the future. I am so thankful that I can now consider the W family a part of my own. We will forever have a tie that binds us together... love for a child who may not be born to us, but will always hold a place in our hearts.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Start of one season, End of another

The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived.  Aunt L and Uncle P are now licensed and Little Man will be leaving me on October 20.  I knew this day would come, but every time someone asked when he would be leaving, I was able to say, "In the next month or so..."  It was always so ambiguous, so out there, so abstract.  Now it's real, concrete, and highly unavoidable.

When I got his social worker's message yesterday after school, I was okay for a little while, and then I went to my small group at church.  I'm in a parenting Bible study (Parenting with Scripture, great resource!) and funnily enough, the first topic that we were to discuss was change.  That's when it started.

Now, let's get something straight, I'm an ugly cryer.  My face contorts, my nose runs, my eyes swell... not  so cute.  Thank goodness it wasn't too bad and I was able to calm myself down before the true ugly crying started, but it was enough to be a forwarning of what is to come in the next few weeks.  My emotions seem to be on a merry-go-round.  I'm happy that Little Man and his brother will eventually be back together.  I'm happy that they have a family who wants them and was willing to go through all of the hoops to get them and keep them together.  I'm happy that this will likely be a forever home for both of them, but that mom will be an important part of their lives as well.  But I'm sad for me!  There are so many things that I'll miss about this child.  There will be so many ways that my life will feel empty. 

The worst part, however, is knowing how much he will miss me.  I know that sounds incredibly weird... so let me explain.  Little Man came to me from another foster family.  They are AMAZING!!  They loved him (and still do!) as if he were their own child and he loves them fiercely.  He not only cried for them when he first came to me, but he wept.  He wept tears of anguish as he missed the brother, sisters, and parents that God had placed him with for that season.  He wept for fear of the unknown.  He wept because of the finality of the realization that he would never live with them again.  I almost feel that as he goes through this process of grieving again, I may be able to feel his pain through the miles.  I know the words he will use and the way his cries will sound... as if his heart is breaking into a million pieces with no hope of repair.  I know how he will ask Aunt L and Uncle P if Sunny (my dog) can come and live with them because he misses her.  I know how he will be scared at night in his new bed and will keep himself awake as long as he can because of that fear.  I know how he will talk about things that we did together and ask to do them again.  I know how he will have to relearn family rules and expectations yet again.

The things that scare me and make me sad about this situation can quickly overwhelm me, so it is now my goal to stay positive.  I know all of the positives in this situation.  I know that this is what's best for Little Man.  I know that God's hand is not just in this, but is controlling all of this.  I know that this family has raised successful, Godly children.  Some who, despite traumatic beginnings, have reclaimed their futures and are living their best lives.  Twenty years from now, I look forward to getting a call from Little Man and hearing about where he is and what he's doing... hearing about what he's doing for the Lord and how God is using him.