I am empty, tired and feeling drained. Yet, I know that I need to pick myself up by the bootstraps and move forward – but how?
Normally my posts are about parenting tips, advice, strategies or ways to make being a mom a little easier. Well, if you are looking for that today, you can stop reading. Today’s post is more about me, my life and how to be real with my readers. I have wondered how much of myself to share with you all and I keep feeling that I am to be authentic and real, this is who I am – this is about real life and the journey – my experience I can share. I am not perfect, honestly – far from it for sure! But what I am is honest, true to myself and wanting to make an impact. So if you are looking for ‘real’, then keep reading.
I have briefly shared that our family began the process of fostering to adopt a few months ago. We finally got our license last month….well, almost 30 days ago exactly. My husband shared with me this morning the voice mail that he has saved on his phone with the phone call I gave him the day I found out we were licensed. The joy and hope in my voice was evident and it was amazing to hear that in the midst of what we are experiencing now.
When we began this journey almost two years ago I knew and felt in my heart that although I was open to be used however God needed to use our family, my heart truly wanted a baby to enter our home. I longed for this and prayed for this. I was warned though, that the chances of this happening through foster care was very slim. So we opened our heart to a much bigger age span and prayed.
Can you imagine my excitement when 6 days after getting our license we received a call looking to place a newborn baby in our home straight from the hospital? OH my GOSH! We didn’t know a lot of information, which is often the case when they are looking for immediate placement, but with the information we knew, we finally said YES! So in a matter of 4 hours we had a newborn baby boy in our home – how incredible is that? I felt God was answering my hearts desire. I cannot give a lot of details out, but the forecast for this little boy was up and down during the time we had him, whether he would eventually be free to adopt was a long way down the road, but we had indicators that led everyone to believe that it was highly likely. So we prayed, waited and nurtured this little guy – Matthew. Which by the way means, Gift of God.
As the weeks went by, the indicators were revealing more and more that Matthew would be with us for the long haul. We were getting permission to take him on our family vacation for 2 weeks and preparing for that. Then this past Tuesday evening I received a call that devastated me, the state wanted to move him to a home closer to his other siblings. Shock and disbelief were all I could display. As I tried to understand the reasoning and the process I kept coming up empty. After attending a meeting and finalizing the details of moving Matthew he left our home yesterday afternoon to go to a new foster home.
I cannot tell you the emotions that I have felt in the last 72 hours. Even though he was only with us for 3 weeks, he touched our lives deeply. To know that we could love someone so much – a complete stranger – to the depth that we did for that time is truly a gift that we needed to see happen in our lives. I struggle now to try to make sense of it all, to see what God wants me to learn here, to discover and I can’t see it yet. I know there is a much bigger picture and I may never understand or know the plan that God had in mind, but I am hoping to hear something to give me a peace. I need that peace right now, because it just doesn’t make sense.
I know Matthew is in a good home, with a couple that longs to have children but cannot. They are also a Christian couple, which gives me comfort. As I look around my home and see all this baby paraphernalia that yesterday was being used, laying empty – I wonder how I will pick myself up and move forward. I wonder why something’s have to be so hard, why when you step out and open your heart things don’t always work out like a fairytale. I wish I had some great profound answer, but I don’t.
But for now, I will try to get some much needed rest, get back some form of normal routine and get ready to “escape” on vacation. I think this vacation will be a time of healing and seeking, and it will be so good to be away from home. We are traveling to Yellowstone and Glacier, two of the most amazing places where you can see God’s hand. If I can hear Him speak at all, it will surely be in one of these glorious places. Allowing Him to heal my heart and renew it so that we can come back and make ourselves vulnerable again to open our home to another child. I know this is the plan God has for us and I know we have to be open to let him work in our lives. The only thing I can keep hearing in my mind and that I have heard this entire time is, “It is not about you, Susan.” And isn’t that so true, so much of life is not about us when we allow it to become something bigger. My heart will ache again I am sure, but the blessing I could have missed is something so much bigger. I cannot even imagine NOT having this little guy in our home for the time we did. An amazing journey for sure.
My husband asked me last night as we shared some tears, had I known this little guy would only be here for 3 weeks would I still have said yes. I said I wasn’t sure. The whole premise behind us doing foster care is to help a child a get a permanent forever home; so children coming in and out of our home for short periods is not our desire for our family. So had I known it was only going to be 3 weeks I would have probably said no, and then I would have missed the joy, self-growth and strengthening of my family. Perhaps that was God’s plan all along, to let this little guy into our lives to help us strengthen or fine tune something that needed tweaking. If that was God’s plan…..well, it was successful.
I so appreciate the prayers and support that have been sent my way during this time. It is amazing what a few words can do to lift spirits and help me feel like I am not alone. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with me and encourage me. I cannot tell you how much it means to me.