Wednesday, August 2, 2017

To grieve the loss of a child that is very much alive

The week leading up to Z coming to live with us God had lead me to read the book of Zechariah (if I felt comfortable sharing her whole name this would be even more *woah*) Zechariah is one of the minor prophets towards the end of the Old Testament. The book of Zechariah is about grace and redemption. The day she came to us, the verse that popped out to me was:

This is what the Lord Almighty says, "Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow of the fatherless, the alien of the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other."    -Zechariah 7:9

Z came late that day. It was just before midnight on December 9th, 2015. When the working called us regarding Z, the did not say her name correctly and also told us she was a boy. When they were on their way I expected a chubby, stumbling around toddler boy, instead a worker walked into my house carrying a pumpkin seat with a pink and black felt blanket draped over her. I was completely surprised. The lady pulled the blanket off and I saw her tiny little brown face. So beautiful. She looked like an angel (don't they all when they're sleeping). I was dying to hold her.

When the lady finally pulled her out of the seat and placed her in my arms, everything I knew shattered. We've had plenty of children walk into our home. Nephews, friends kids, neighbors, respite and children who were placed in our home for protection. Every child that steps into our home is valued. I remember when the teen mom walked in, within my spirit was 'you will have to fight for her' but with Z it was different. For days while we sat in the unknown I prayed and prayed for her mama. I also had to keep reminding my heart that she wasn't staying. Because it was love at first sight --- and my heart refused to listen to reason.

Weeks later (this is foster care) we found out she would be staying for 6-12 months. With more information that came out, I started praying for her mama, for her heart, but also for justice for Z and her older siblings.

Z has a way of making peoples hard walls to come crashing down. She was causing all those around us to fall madly in love with her.

Around March-May of '16 talks about adoption started and by July we were told we would be referred to be the adoptive parents. In our hearts she was our daughter, next was just to make it legal. But, per usual, in foster care, things changed and by September, I was terrified I was losing my baby girl.

It didn't take long and by November 23rd we said our goodbye.

I tried to do the love tight, but hold on loosely.
Is that even possible?!!!

I didn't understand --- none of it made sense. I knew in my heart she was my daughter and now she was gone. I realized I had to start to grieve the loss of a child that was very much alive.

I was so mad at God and kept asking what about redemption and justice, because of course, my heart went right back to that verse from the day she came to us.

And what I came to find out ---- She did receive justice and redemption. Just not the way I wanted it to happen. Nothing can ever take away the love I felt and will always feel for that girl. But today she is with an aunt who loves her. And she will have her forever family.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Yes + Storm

I was driving home from bible study
with that Kohls bag sitting there.
I was taking the clothes back that my husband asked me to return.
Clothes that didn't fit right and one sweater that made me wonder if Douglas knows I'm not 48.
I was ready to be home, but you know that Kohls bag sitting there.
So Addie and I headed to Kohls for the very quick return.
And a possible purchase of a $4 Clifford and the $2 Clifford Goes To Kindergarten book.
As we were heading out, much quickly than I anticipated
I walked outside and it was pouring.
Addie and I ran giggling to the car.
I started driving 
thinking I wish I wasn't drenched right now and if I had just gone straight home we'd be dry.
That's when I started thinking about that dreaded submission word.
It was like a picture of submission with God.
Sometimes when God asks something of us, asking us to obey
It doesn't make the days, months or years easier.
Sometimes the storms come with a yes
But eventually the storm clouds fade away and the sun shine through
and you're able to take a long needed breathe.
You're alive, you survived.
A little tattered, a little more light shining through the broken spaces.
Yeses aren't easy. 
But the yeses God asks of us are so beyond worth the broken. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Grieving the loss of a child that is very much alive

I keep trying to see the good in this.
Knowing that God takes these things and makes us stronger or gives us new direction.
I hurt so much last night I begged God to give me a new dream or vision so I could stop thinking about her.
I try to make it seem ok.
I no longer have to buckle a child in a rear facing car seat, but my heart drops for a quick moment almost every time I'm in the car feeling like I forgot her, but she's just not here.
I no longer have a messy high chair and food thrown all over the floor and I go to bed with a clean kitchen.
I try to stop bitching to people about how much I miss her.
I'm really trying.
But how in the hell do you go on.
How do you have so much of your heart walking around without you.
Our hearts were so intertwined that I'm not longer me without her.
I'm this new, fractured, partial self of who I once was.
Sometimes the heat fills up in my eyes and I feel like my breathe is being stolen away from my lungs.
So I force myself to remember how she felt in my arms.
How she would say "mama"
How she would do her silly screaming thing running all around the house like the little wild lady she is.
My house is cleaner.
     {Disclaimer: my house will never be clean clean, because I'm just not that woman, but it's definitely cleaner than what it has been the past year}
My house is cleaner.
My arms are lighter
and I'm so much sadder.

I am walking through this life right now grieving the loss of a child that is very much alive.
So much grieving.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I was here. Where were you?

When she came to our home, tiny. Too tiny. At 13 months, still able to be in a pumpkin seat.
I was here.
When she was terrified of bath time. When she would scream and scratch me anywhere she could.
I was here.
When she didn't know how to play with toys.
I was here.
When the only way she could deal with life was by sleeping all the time.
I was here.
When she would zone out after seeing her mom and siblings.
I was here.
When she went to her first day of day care.
I was here.
When she couldn't sleep because she was so congested.
I was here.
When she busted open her mouth and needed a trip to the emergency room.
I was here.
When she found the joy in swimming.
I was here.

Where have you been?
You who now decides to swoop in and save these children you have no relationship with.
But you get rights because of blood.
You weren't available when she went into care.
But now you want to take them all from the homes they've known and grown in the past 9 months.

I don't hate you, I just wish you would have stepped into the gap sooner.
I'm just mad.
And I'm scared.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I love people watching.
So much so that I get caught. Often.
I love seeing what people look like, their eyes, hair, chin, arms, height or lack of.
I love seeing what others are wearing, particularly hippies, hipsters, and any other of the type.
I love seeing littles bounce around their mamas full of energy.
Couples in love.
Broken hearts.
All of us.
Walking around bruised, beat up, tossed out.
But we manage to find twinkles of light.
We somehow manage to keep going.
At least some of us find it deep down to keep waking up, to keep the story going.
We struggle.
We curse our being and sometimes our maker.
We don't understand why we're here.
And then the silver linings.
The kiss from your soul mate, the cuddles from a child make literally from you.
And then for a moment and sometimes longer we're reminded these are the moments worth living for. 
These are the moments that make me alive.
Rock climbing, running, painting, winning that court case.
Those moments that you live for. YOU. No one else can live those moments for you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Dear family & friends.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry that we force you to love.
To open your hearts.
To snuggle a little from a broken home.
I'm sorry that we expect you to understand.
I'm sorry that we want you to feel the fire we feel
& when you don't we feel angry.
I'm sorry about the possible heartbreak that is coming your way.
I'm sorry that you will love & then you are going to hurt.

I'm sorry.
& I'm sorry that it'll happen again.

You had no choice in us becoming foster parents.
Your feelings were not of concern.
We knew we were called and that was that.
But now my heart breaks for you.
I'm thankful that you haven't cowered in fear.
You've been scared and tiptoed around their lives easily.
You will have to answer hard questions to your own children.

We love you. We are thankful for you.
And we are sorry.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

To the man at chick fil a

To the man in chick fil a.
I know, you don't know her story.
You see a mom + a baby with lots of other mom and kids around.
When the other kids got there and tried to hug her & hold her.
She started crying.
Your reaction was "oh, it's not so bad."
I know you were just trying to be friendly.
I know you just saw a mom and her baby.

But that precious brown baby actually does have it that bad.
This precious baby's life has been turned upside down.
Those kids that she saw every day of her life she has now only seen 3 times since December 9th.
Those kids who should bring her so much joy are confusing her.
Those kids with the very odd interactions.

She does have it that bad.
But you don't know.

I just smiled and nodded but really I wanted to lay it all out for you.
I wanted to explain that not all children get to stay with their mommy + daddy and sometimes other mommys + daddys have to step in.
I wanted to explain the messiness of foster care. To explain that at times it's super hard to pray for bio mom. That some caseworkers will turn a blind eye to obvious matters. That sometimes the people who should be fighting for the children seem to be fighting for politics. That sometimes you'll have a caseworker that makes you believe in humanity again. That.....that you have no idea what you're saying sir.