Saturday, July 26, 2014

And just like that he's not my son anymore...

The handoff was uneventful yesterday (Friday) morning around 10:00.  We drove to the library like we had many times before for visitations with Baby X's aunt.  This time, a quiet, solemn air encompassed the space inside the van.  The only one who didn't feel it was Baby X.  He had no idea what was going on.

We waited at the fountains with the dolphin statue until his aunt texted to let me know she had arrived.  That's when the tears began.  She greeted me as usual with a cheek kiss and off we went to the cars to unload most of Baby X's belongings.  We still didn't know if it would be merely a weekend visit with a gradual transition or an immediate placement.  She told me in her broken English to not be sad, that I am her friend and that we could visit him any time.  Do you know how grateful I felt to hear those words?  Praise God for her kindness and willingness to keep in touch!  In the past 6 years, we've only been able to keep in touch with one foster child's family.

Later that evening after Zumba, I saw that I had a missed call and a voicemail.  Dancing and exercising had lifted my spirits, but when I listened to my social worker's voice message as I sat in the car, my heart dropped and a lump appeared in my throat once again.  The judge had decided that it would be considered a placement and that I would not need to pick him up again.

In order to have closure, my sweet neighbor Roscio helped me speak to Baby X's aunt this morning in Spanish.  We will be having a quick open house tomorrow night (Sunday) to say goodbye.  His new family will be bringing him over.  If you are reading this and would like to join us, please let me know and I will get you the details.

Our family will need to heal a bit before welcoming another little one into our home.  Maybe we'll provide respite for a couple of months.  The boys were sobbing in bed on Wednesday night as the news sank in.  I had sat down on the floor in front of their bookshelf looking for books to pack up and give to Baby X and heard Josiah sniffling on his top bunk.  I asked him why he was sniffling and he murmured, "I don't know."  A few moments later, he confessed that he thinks he's sniffling because he's sad that Baby X has to leave.  I started to pray with them and then heard sobs coming from Jadon in the bottom bunk.  Their tender hearts are so broken.

Baby X will always be my son of my heart.  We have other heart daughters and sons out there who we may never see again this side of heaven.  I pray that they will know Jesus one day, repent, realize that He is the only giver of true life, and live for Him with joy all of their days.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Official news: our Baby X will be leaving...

But we don't know when exactly.  Our social worker called this afternoon to inform us that his aunt has been approved to take him.  Tentatively, he will spend the weekend with her.  There is a court hearing this Friday morning, after which we should receive a clearer picture of what will happen - if he will transition immediately or gradually.  And there is the slight chance that he might stay longer.

So how do I feel?  SO, SO SAD.  Ok the floodgates have opened and the tears are freely flowing out now.  Yet I am happy he is going to be with his family - his tia, tio, prima, and primo.

"The Lord gives and takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

God gives us our foster children to love for an indefinite amount of time.  Days, weeks, even years.  During that time, He keeps changing our hearts to say yes in all sorts of situations.

Yes to foster care instead of adopting from China.
Yes to a teenager instead of a baby or toddler.
Yes to cross-cultural adoption instead of just fostering.

Each time we don't know where it will lead, but God allowed us to experience depths of His love that we never would have known had we not loved and parented these precious children.  We've grown so much, made a gazillion mistakes, and will make a gazillion more mistakes in the future.

Baby X came to us a week out of the hospital and now he is 19 months old.  Seeing all those baby and toddler milestones really imprints this little life even more into our hearts.  He knows a few signs - more, all done, and please.  It's so much fun because he is really wanting to communicate these days.

It's a good time for Baby X to transition since his language skills are still lacking.  He'll learn a new language - Spanish - and will hopefully become fluent.

More later...