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March 11

03/11/2014

One evening Jason and I had a tearful conversation over dinner that ended with him saying, “Make the call. Find out what we need to do to become foster parents.” I had been feeling a strong pull in the direction of foster care and potentially adoption for a while but I was praying that if God wanted us to go down that twisted, scary road that He would bring Jason on board quickly. I wanted to be completely unified in our decision and God answered my prayer—bringing Jason to equal passion to parent kids who are not ours by birth, kids who are living their worst nightmares, kids who have troubling pasts and bad behaviors.

Within hours of making that decision together, I started feeling completely inadequate for the role of foster motherhood. I tossed and turned all night, wrestling with my fears and insecurities. The next morning, on March 11, I read this passage in Jesus Calling and it changed my life forever:

march11

Walk by faith, not by sight.
As you take steps of faith, depending on Me,
I will show you how much I can do for you.
If you live your life too safely,
you will never know the thrill of seeing Me work through you.
When I gave you My spirit,
I empowered you to live beyond your natural ability and strength.
Thats why it is wrong to measure your energy level
against the challenges ahead of you.
The issue is not your strength but Mine, which is limitless.
By walking close to Me, you can accomplish My purposes in My strength.

Here we are on March 11, 2014. In the past three years since I read that passage I’ve been mama to four kids, each with a painful past and a broken heart. Three of those babies have gone on to live with their biological families. We had the great privilege of adopting one of them, our precious Alianna Mae. Today we’re going to court, pursuing a temporary custody placement of her biological baby sister who is six and a half months old. I’ve nicknamed her Trust here to maintain her confidentiality and to remind myself that I need only trust God with this situation. He is worthy of my trust. He moved a mountain for Alianna to be put into our custody 2.5 years ago and if He wants to put Trust into our custody today, He can do it. These last 6 months have been emotionally taxing as we moved from concern about her safety to concern about her long-term placement and connections with her biological family. She’s been in a safe and loving place (as far as we know) since she was two weeks old but we feel strongly that if there is any way to preserve her connection to her biological siblings—especially since she’s already separated from her biological parents—it should be pursued. And that is why we’ve been fighting for her since before she was born. Not because we deserve her or because she deserves us—we have no right to her. We love her because she is our daughter’s sister. We care deeply about her biological mother because she’s our daughter’s biological mother. If she’s lost, someday we’re going to have to answer our daughter when she asks, “Where is my little sister? Why didn’t you fight for her the way you fought for me?”

So we fight. We fight for what we believe is best for her. This afternoon we anticipate the magistrate will make the decision: will she stay where she is now or move into our home with her sister Alianna.

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Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

11/08/2011

Both of our little girls so far have adored Jason and vice versa. “Is she a daddy’s girl?” people always ask. I’ve dearly loved our girls too and they’ve loved me back, but there is just something about that father daughter relationship that’s hard to explain.

I used to come home from work and scoop Ladybug up into a big hug. More often then not, I could smell Jason’s cologne on her. I’d suck in the fragrance as I hugged our first daughter and my heart was full of joy that she had a daddy who loved her so much. I could always tell when she’d been spending time with her father because she had picked up his scent. (Picture above, from here.)

Precious is too little to give hugs but she has gigantic kissable cheeks. At her first doctor’s appointment, the pediatrician gave us a prescription for a rash on her face. We had never noticed the rash before. I actually didn’t even realize I was filling the prescription for a rash cream until the pharmacist explained what it was for. I looked back at Precious in the back seat. She didn’t have a rash on her cheeks. Later that day we realized when Jason’s scratchy beard brushes against her cheeks she gets a red dotted rash. It doesn’t last long but he must have been kissing on her cheeks right before the doctor walked into the exam room. Now, I always smile when I see a dotted patch on her cheek. She has a daddy who adores her.

We’re part of a system (as foster parents) where good dads are rare…in birth families and in foster homes. A friend just loaned Jason the book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker. He’s not much of a book reader but he dove into it immediately. I noticed as I was falling asleep that his eyes were full of tears as he read. I wasn’t sure if he was going to end up brokenhearted or fired up, ready to fight for his daughter.

As far as policies go, the department of chilren’s services doesn’t prefer a mother/father household over a single parent household. Jason feels such a heavy burden for Precious (and he also did for Ladybug) knowing that he will probably be the only daddy she ever has. There are a lot of wonderful single parents out there who are doing a great job raising their children and fostering children and I admire them for all they do on their own. But statistically, there is no question that it’s better for children to grow up with a mother AND a father. The statistics for girls who grow up without strong fathers in Meeker’s book are…repulsive.

It’s just one more thing that burdens our hearts to think of Precious being taken from our home.

Oh sweet girl, we are doing everything we can to fight for you.