Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, I’ll still be singing when the evening comes.
From “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman
Seven months and 14 days ago she was born. I had been waiting for the announcement, which came the next day. I had already contacted DCS to make sure our contact info was updated in her mom’s file…just in case. Two weeks later I heard that CPS was trying to track her down. I called DCS again. I waited for a call. No call came. A few weeks later, I found out she’d been placed with a friend of her parents, a woman who could care for her. I was relieved but still a bit concerned…what about the family preservation that we, her siblings, her grandmother and her mother all wanted? Another string of phone calls and more waiting. I wrote a letter to her mom and waited. She wrote back with her heart and gave us more numbers to call and an invitation to court. More phone calls. More waiting. We went to court in January but her mom didn’t show up. (The two littlest sisters met for the first and so-far-only time that day.) We filed a petition for custody. Waited a month. Went to our prelim hearing. Waited a month. Went to the next hearing date where the judge review the petitions and case status but didn’t have time for a custody trial with witnesses. Waited a month. Today is the day. The custody trial is this morning bright and early.
So much waiting. I hope we finally get our answer today. Baby girl has 4 people who want custody of her—it’s a good problem for a little girl. No matter what happens today, I know she is provided for, loved and wanted. These months of so many small steps with so much waiting in between have been trying. If we get temporary custody it’s only the beginning of a greater journey of many small steps and so much waiting. It’s worth it.
I will wait. I will wait for you.
It was on October 29th when we got our first call. Based on past experience, I expected the calls to continue coming every other day at least, until we got a “yes” call. But the phone hasn’t rung again. I was relieved. More time to rest. More time to prepare. More time to enjoy life as a family of three. But then the guilt started creeping in. I have a slew of foster mama friends (through social media) and many of them are in the trenches right now, doing the hard work of foster care. I started feeling guilty about all the sunshine and rainbows over here and wondering if some kid across town is suffering, waiting for a foster home to open up. On Friday, due to that guilt, I sent our FSW (family service worker) an email to make sure we are indeed on the call list and that the first call wasn’t a fluke.
On Tuesday morning, I opened up my Jesus Calling devotional to November 12. Once again, God used that little book to speak directly into my situation. In case you can’t read it in the picture above, here’s the first half:
This is a time of abundance in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment. I delight in providing it for you. Sometimes My children hesitate to receive My good gifts with open hands. Feelings of false guilt creep in, telling them they don’t deserve to be so richly blessed. This is nonsense-thinking, because no one deserves anything from Me.
If that wasn’t enough to relieve my guilt, our FSW wrote back on Tuesday afternoon to confirm that we are on the list. We’ve done nothing wrong but calls have slowed down drastically as they’ve changed the way they do removals. I suspected this already because I read this news article. In short, they’re waiting until they hold a hearing before taking kids out of their homes. I think this is mostly good. I’m not at all in favor of the government being able to come and take away a child without a valid, proven reason. On the other hand, I’m concerned about kids languishing in rotten situations longer than necessary. Calls have slowed way down. Where are all the kids? Are there that many cases that don’t justify a removal? Or are there kids who are being left in abusive situations due to lack of evidence? Not much I can do in that situation but pray.
I’m doing my best to move forward into this time of ease and refreshment guilt-free. Thankfully, God has been speaking a lot lately (or is it that I’ve been listening better?) and He keeps assuring me that He knows what He’s doing, who He is bringing to our family next and when.