Thursday, November 10, 2016

Building a Family: Part 8

November 2013: Our hearts have healed.  We find ourselves awaiting another phone call.

Mr. Apple Jack

He came to us late one night.  Beautiful curls.  Almost two years old.  With a heartbreaking story.

Having witnessed much and suffered even more, our first goal was to make him feel safe and loved.  He fell into our family so naturally.  Like he was always supposed to be there.  His laughs.  His smiles.  It was like music in our home.  So easy to forget that he is not truly our child.

Reality strikes the morning of his first parent visit.

I slowly pack up the kids.  Every fiber of my being screams against this.  On the drive there, my mind is racing.  What is he going to think when we send him back to his dragons?

She is waiting as we pull up.  All excited.  My girls openly stare.  I know the questions are welling up in them.  He hesitantly walks to her.  Seemingly unsure if he is supposed to go with her or stay with us.

We have to drive away and leave him.  With her.

My oldest spoke my fears:

"Mommy, isn't that the lady...?"

"Yes, baby.  We think so."

"Then why are we leaving him with her?"

My heart is so heavy I can hardly speak to answer.  I force myself not to cry.

"Because we have to baby.  The CPS lady will be with them the whole time.  And so will God."

We pray together.  There in the car.  For this new love of our heart.  Facing his dragons.

The song that keeps swirling in my head is "In My Arms" by Plumb:
Clouds will rage and,
Storms will race in.
But you will be safe in my arms.
Rains will pour down.
Waves will crash around.
But you will be safe in my arms.
For a while I felt this was my song to Mr. Apple Jack.  I didn't know what would happen to him tomorrow or the next week or month or year, but I knew while he was with us, he was safe.
But the more I look, the more I see.  He is not safe when he is in my arms.  He is safe when he is in God's arms.  He loves him more deeply and truly than I will ever be capable of.
Foster parenting is no-joke-hard.  And the hardest part is learning to trust God.  It is easy to pray for God's will to be done in the life of a child.  It is harder to mean it.

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