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Worth Fighting For

My friend Susan commented the other day that my posts lately have been so real and so raw…letting you all feel the emotions, anxiety, pain and love we’re going through. That was intentional, so I’m glad it’s coming through. (Hopefully my MCM design enthusiast readers don’t mind too much.) I discovered Chazley’s Blog the other day. She’s a foster mom and an excellent writer and I was really challenged by the transparency about her struggles. I want to be honest about how much this process we’re in sucks and at the same time why it is worth every minute of the hell we go through for these kids.

I have other things to write about, home related, exciting things, really big news, I promise. But right now all of that feels so insignificant compared to the battle we’re in. Yes, a battle. We are fighting for this little girl and what we strongly believe is her best interest. Some days are painfully discouraging, others are emotional draining as we’re reading through policies and making lots of phone calls, and other days are surprisingly encouraging.

Surprisingly encouraging. That sounds fun. Let’s hang out there for a minute. Precious had a permanency plan hearing the other day. It’s supposed to be just routine judge signing off on the department’s plan for permanency for the child (typical goals are reunification with birth family, adoption or sometimes exiting state custody with a relative.) It would have been simple in this case, too. However, at what would have been the end of the hearing, one of Precious’ advocates boldly stepped out and raised concerns about the proposed move. I really shouldn’t say too much since I don’t want to jeopardize anything but let me just say this, it seems there is a growing number of people who believe moving her to another home is not in her best interest. It’s far from over but we’re feeling really encouraged. We have not run out of options yet.

I woke up the next morning with praises in my head. It was a song we had sung on Sunday, a day when I was feeling completely deflated by all of this and my spirit was having a hard time convincing my body and mind to worship. But unlike on Sunday, that morning it filled me up with joy and hope. The chorus that was stuck in my head goes, “What joy, what joy for those whose hope is in the name of the Lord! What peace, what peace for those whose comfort is Him alone!” and the verse says this: “You made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in it. Your promises remain. You give justice to the weak. You care for the widow and orphan. Forevermore You reign.” (The song starts at 20:20 in this video recording from 11/6/11 if you want to hear it. Bonus: Jason was playing guitar on the worship team last Sunday.) I stopped in Precious’ room to say goodbye to her before I left for work and was greeted with the most gigantic smile. She is a beautiful, sweet, joyful little girl and that smile is all the fuel I need to stand up and fight for her.

I pray that someday Jason and I can sit down with our daughter and tell her about what a ruckus we caused on her behalf, how hard we fought for what we believed was best for her, how many people were involved in the battle for her, and how it was all worth it, because she is worth it.

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9 Responses to Worth Fighting For

  1. Natalie says:

    I also appreciate your honesty. I ended up on your blog because of the MCM goodness, but my husband and I have always had the desire to adopt in the future. So basically, I feel like you’ve been writing about two of my passions: adoption & MCM goodness. Didn’t think there were others out there like me. It is good to know there are.

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Awesome! I love to hear that. 🙂 I know just how you feel – there are a few blogs I read where I feel like there are other people out there who are going through really similar situations. It’s encouraging to know that we’re not alone.

  2. Christie says:

    As a former DCS worker, every time you mention permanency plan meetings or CFTMs, I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach. You see, I was supposed to advocate and promote reunification with birth parents, but most times I just did not see that to be an appropriate goal. Hardest job I ever had. So, so thankful you have people to support and speak on your behalf. That goes a long way in the juvenile court system, I believe. You guys are doing an amazing job standing up for those who have no voice. May God bless you all and guide everyone involved in each long step of this process!!!
    PS: And, I LOVE your “cloffice” by the way. Thinking about throwing my linens in the front yard and making me one of my very own 😉

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Thanks for your comment, Christie. I was getting that impression from her worker, that she couldn’t really say or do what she wanted because she was stuck behind “policy.” She was very middle of the road. I don’t envy that job one bit. We are so, so, so thankful that a few people have been willing to go above and beyond as advocates for her. We aren’t fighting alone.

      Throwing the linens in the front yard cracks me up. Im not sure if I ever wrote about the storage sacrifices that came along with losing our hall coat closet. We had to reorganize everything into the kids’ room closet, the laundry room, the attic, the shed, etc. We put coat hooks in the kitchen but it’s a bit inconvenient that half of the closet in the kids room is taken up with our coats, gloves/scarfs, etc. Considering the house is almost 60 years old I’m just thankful we had a coat closet, a linen closet in the bathroom, and decent size bedroom closets. And a wee bit of attic space.

      • Christie says:

        “Stuck behind policy”. Best way to put it. And it’s so sad. Glad we have a God bigger than all those things! So cool to find a fellow TN blogger!

  3. I’ve been reading your blog lately and I want to tell you that I join you in fighting for Precious. I will be praying fervently for your family until this is resolved. I love how you are praising God. It’s like Jehoshaphat. God gave him a seemingly impossible victory and all God required of him was to stand by and watch God’s power. He sang praises to God as God destroyed his enemies. Approach this from a position of victory because God is all powerful and cares deeply for Precious and you and your husband.

  4. Jessica says:

    I love the honesty of your words and the love and light that shines through them. I am praying for you and your family.

  5. This is the first time I have posted here. I pray you get to keep your daughter. And thank you for your raw and honest writing. I too am in a battle for my daughter, though, it’s a different kind. She is seven and she has cancer (and I write about it on my blog a lot!). I too will fight for my little girl. No matter what it takes. And I lean on my faith for strength. Peace indeed! Thanks for your words. Glad I found your blog.

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