Call it a confession, call it a rant, I just gotta get this off my chest. I just need a minute to processes my thoughts, my emotions, to let myself vent and ramble. Please don't read too much into this post, don't offer sympathy, don't shake your head and sigh. Please just let me write this down and be done with it.
We got word in May that Faith's biological grandparents were approved to take placement of her. It was a rough day. I called my family to warn them. I poured over her baby pictures, the little mementos of her life here with us. Nate spent most of the day feeling sick to his stomach. We explained to Lilli and Noah that Faith could soon be going to live with her Grandma and Grandpa who love her as much as She-She and Papa love them. At the end of the day I took a deep breath, re-committed my 6th month old baby girl into the Lord's hands and fell asleep at peace. I woke up at peace. Because honestly, this is what we agreed to when we became foster parents. This had been a possibility since day 1, since we brought her home from Children Services.
Three weeks later, we got an email saying that, after meeting Nate, the grandparents were going to leave Faith with us. For now. And so her little room with the Elmo decorations remains inhabited. For now. Our dishwasher remains full of bottles, our cupboard full of baby food. For now. Three carseats remain crammed in the backseat of our Jeep. For now. We remain a family of five. For now.
I've only had one real emotional breakdown over the whole thing. And of course, knowing my luck, it was in the middle of Walmart. It was in May, just after we got the intitial news about the grandparents. I was shopping for Noah's thrid birthday party. I was stressed out about getting everything ready; food, presents, decorations. I had a cart full of party supplies and was reaching for the wrapping paper when it hit me. I may never shop for birthday decorations for Faith. Never order a cake with her name on it, never see her smash her little face into that cake. I might not see her first birthday, let alone her third. I lost it, right there in the middle of the Hudson Drive Walmart. I stood in the card aisle, wrapping paper shaking in my hand and cried. It didn't matter in that moment how irrational I was acting or how ridiculous I looked. What mattered at that moment was the fact that there was a little girl who has been my daughter since the day she was born, and I might not ever get to celebrate that day with her. Might not ever watch her take her first steps. Might not ever watch Nate teach her to ride a two-wheel bike. Might not ever watch her switch her tassle to the other side. Might not ever lift her veil to kiss her cheek on her wedding day. On the drive home from the store, another reality hit me. The fact that my days with Lilli and Noah could be just as numbered as my days with Faith. You see, I'm not gaurenteed one more minute with ANY of my children. Neither are you with yours.
Speaking of your children... Last week in my 3rd - 6th grade Kid's Church class, during prayer request time, I asked, like I do every week, for prayer for Faith. For her birth-parents. For the Social Workers. For the judges and magistrates. One of your kids asked me if I would be sad if she went to live with her birth-parents. Of course I will be, I answered. Will you cry, asked one of the boys. Yes, I'm sure I will, I told him. I told them that God loves Faithie more than I do and that I want His plan for her life to be accomplished no matter what that is. no matter what. I was blatantly honest with my class that morning. More honest than I had been being with myself, truth be told. I told them that letting her go will be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do, if that is God's will for her life. I told them how sad I will be and how much I will need the people who love me to be there for me. I told them that I would need them. It is a humbling and very vulnerable experience to tell a group of ten year olds that you need them. And I was reminded of a similar morning many years ago, when that same group of kids were just preschoolers, some of them barley bigger than toddlers, that God used their tiny hands and huge prayers to move in my life, I fully believe that He can do that again.
That same morning we had sung Here I Am To Worship. If you don't know it, part of the chorus says "You're altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me." That morning it was so clear to me in that room full of students, that even if Faith leaves us, God will not be less lovely. He will not be less worthy. And He will not have been less wonderful to me.