Sweet Sixteen

I don’t know you, baby girl, but I feel heavy-hearted for you. It’s not heavy-heartedness in the sense of pity because I don’t think you need or want pity. You are tough and strong; I can see it in your eyes. To pity you would be an insult to your character and courage.

This is not pity.

This is heavy-heartedness that comes with deep regret, deep disappointment, deep pain. This is the instinct that compels me to defend you because you’ve gone way too many years without a defender in this world.

This is the weight of responsibility that is, in some ways, not mine to bear. I mean, you are not in these circumstances as a result of my choices. That means this isn’t my responsibility, right?

It seems like a logical conclusion, but my heart beats out the lie of the logic.

You are carrying the weight right now, and you probably feel that you’re carrying it alone. You didn’t ask for this weight. It’s not a result of your own choices. You are burdened with loss upon loss upon loss, and you’re asked to stand beneath a weight that no human should have to bear.

I can’t save you, sweet girl. I can’t be your hero. I can’t fix all that’s broken. For goodness sake, I can’t even wrap my mind around all that is broken in and around your life.

One voice…one steady, droning voice says that can’t is the end. There’s obviously nothing more to say.

Lub dub

lub dub

lub dub lub dub lub dub lub dub

Like a strong and steady steam engine, my heart trudges on through the trauma, through the tears, through the tragedy, and the Engineer whispers into the night “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged…I am with you wherever you go…

Do you hear it, beautiful child? Do you hear the rhythm of hope that keeps time beneath the chaos?

I hear it. How then, can I entertain the lies of logic that say can’t wins and I’m not responsible anyway?

If many hands make light work, then why are so many of us standing by while the most precious among us carry it all?

I may not be able to bring a solution, but I am not called to stand by;

I am called to stand by you.

Three Years Ago Today…

Three years ago today, I paced the floor as nervous and nauseous as if I was getting ready to run a race.

Three years ago today, I fretted over what to wear to make sure I could snuggle two little strangers closely and make them feel safe and secure. I settled on a soft t-shirt and scarf.

Three years ago today, I sent my 12, 11, and 9 year old sons to school with the knowledge that they would come home to meet their baby sister and brother for the first time.

Three years ago today, I prayed and cried my anxiety to my own adoptive Father who reminded me to work WITH Him because His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt 11:28-30).

Three years ago today, our foster training, planning, and preparation was given its first test in reality.

Three years ago today, we tried to make sense of confusion for two people with little to no ability to communicate.

Three years ago today, we watched the body of Christ in action as our family and friends rallied to offer help and support in the form of prayer, visits, texts and calls, offering rides for our kids, and bringing meals for our family during our adjustment time.

Three years ago today, I marveled at how a piece of paper and a very short visit from a caseworker could somehow dub us “qualified” to care for little humans we did not know.

Three years ago today, I learned to mix formula and got back in the saddle of parenting babies when I thought I had retired those reigns.

Three years ago today, I willingly conceded a nap-time battle, and a mealtime battle, and who-knows-how-many other battles to try to settle a little girl’s anxiety.

Three years ago today, I took selfies with our “new kids” and texted them to an anxious Daddy to say: “They’re here!”

Three years ago today, I read a letter from a heartbroken aunt who worried about where her niece and nephew would end up and who wanted to make sure I had all of the info about them that I would need to make a smooth transition.

Three years ago today, we began our commitment to love and to pray daily for the parents who gave these babies life.

Three years ago today, I watched my boys step into their big brother roles as if they were MADE for it.

Three years ago today, God used two sweet children to bust through our hearts, our lives, and our plans and to make us more willing to follow Him wherever He leads.

Three years ago today, we met our daughter and our son for the first time, but we did not know they would truly become “ours”. We did not know the rollercoaster of heartache and pain and joy that was ahead. We did not know their parents, their grandparents, their aunts and uncles. We did not know their CASA, their GAL, their DJO, their future Caseworkers, the judge. We did not know how to meet their needs, heal their hurts, or guide their hearts. We did not know. There was far more unknown to us than known at that point in time, but what we DID know surpassed it all: The Lord said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2Cor 12:9)

Three years ago today, He met us in our weakness and we can say without question, we have witnessed HIS power.

Three years ago today, our babies came home and our lives were changed forever: to God be the glory!