We enjoyed this new baby in our family, in our home, and in our life. Caring for her and loving her was everything we had hoped it would be. She blossomed quickly with all the love and attention. We saw the light come back to her eyes and the smiles and giggles to her face. She seemed to flourish with the routine and rhythm we gave to her days.
But there is a flip side to this story. A side that was not at all what we had expected and not what we had been told. What started out as once a week appointments in town, turned into 40 minute drives each way to another office in another town. Typically, two or three times a week I'd pack up the van with all five kids to spend half the day on the road. Those were the hardest days...on the road, kids in tow, school not getting done, and waiting around in another town for two hour visits that may or may not happen depending on the circumstances of everyone involved. These visits always made baby all out of sorts and off her schedule, guaranteeing a stressful sleepless night.
Even the days at home where unpredictable. I hated to pick up the phone for fear of another, "I'm sorry, but you need to bring her here... or there... to do this...or that...and meet with so and so...and schedule this...and do that..." Drop everything and go was our new way of life. The whole situation turned into far more than we had been told it would be. It was a unique case that no one could have predicted would become so complicated. And as much as we all tried, there was no way to lighten the load.
I am not a fan of easy.
I am not afraid of hard.
I can do hard if hard is what I'm called to do.
So we did hard and we prayed hard. And as the weeks went by, I collected every possible Bible verse on perseverance, endurance, and strength. I read them, I prayed them, I posted them up on walls. God called us to this, and we would not give up on this little girl. We would not fail her as others had. We would do hard for as long as it needed doing.
We learned a whole new way to love. Loving babies is easy. Loving messy adult lives is hard. "Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." I Peter 4:8 We lived and learned that kind of love. We also lived and learned how to function as sleep deprived, weary, and stressed to the max people.
IT WAS HARD. And hard kept getting harder. The praying and the scriptures were not the healing balm they had always been. Everyday, throughout the day, I would pray and cry out and pour over those verses for encouragement and strength, but without finding the peace that normally settles into my heart.
One afternoon I sat crying,
that we would do this hard thing,
that we would do it with His power and strength.
God whispered back.
"The hard thing you need to do is to let go...to say goodbye."
The Lord had called us to this,
and the Lord was calling us out.
I lost it.
No, Lord! Not this kind of hard!
How can this be good?
How can this be right?
I will NOT bring more hurt into this little girl's world.
This was NOT the plan!!!
Long painful story made short--within days, placement was terminated.
She was placed in another mothers arms.
With confused minds and broken hearts,
we said goodbye to our first and only foster baby girl.