Friday, August 12, 2011

Moments of Silence

It has been months since I have taken the time to write and share the events of our lives as they relate to our journey of faith. I would like to say that there have been major mountains climbed, but we find the slow continual hills are the terrain of our lives right now.

Emma and Jordon:
We have celebrated the one year mark of Emma and Jordon being a part of our family's story. July 14, 2011 was their anniversary as pseudo-Joneses. To say it has been an easy year would not be truthful. Honestly there have been many times I have doubted we were doing the right thing. On particular days, I would be ready to throw in the towel. But a quick dose of perspective and the mercy and grace of God has kept us going. Jordon will be celebrating his 3rd birthday with us in a couple of weeks. He had just been with us a month when he celebrated his 2nd. In this year he has changed so much. He is such a charming little boy with an acute sense of humor and a sweet and loving disposition. He is a bit selfish, as 3 year olds tend to be, and it could be said he was spoiled with the attention of three older siblings. Lucky for his long term character, Emma keeps him inline and humble. Today, the children had visitation with their parents. Jordon did not want to go. I fear he sees them as the people who give him Coke and treats every couple of weeks, and not as parents. Nathan and I took some time away and put Emma and Jordon into Respite Care, short term relief care for foster parents. When we brought them back to our house, they both said at different times, "It is so good to be back home." What a conflicting statement that is. My heart scarcely can think of the impact of this being home for these children. There is still so much uncertainty as to where they will finally be at home.

Emma is four and she has come such a long way in the past year. She is as sassy as they come and her desire to win approval often leads her into making less than desirable choices. It is hard to remember some days that this childs life has been turned upside down. It is hard to remember some days that this child has known more abuse, pain, trauma, and conflict than Nate and I have known in all our years combined. It is so easy to forget her past and just have her be ours, the little girl who lives with us, who is our daughter, who is loved and knows peace. Maybe somedays we expect too much of her, too much normalcy, too much appropriate behavior. It is far easier to think of her in terms of her life from July 15, 2010 until today than the three years preceding. But it is her history and the long term effects of those three years need to be appreciated and addressed. Emma, through counseling and a stable environment has and is overcoming many things. We are so proud of her and strive to remember to meet her where she is. My hearts desire is if you meet her you will not know of her troubled past, not because she is not facing it head on, but because she is growing comfortable in her personal history and not allowing it to define who she is and how she conducts her life. This is my prayer for her.

Having Emma and Jordon in our lives has been by far the most difficult part of mine. The children themselves, while bringing with them special challenges and issues, have been the least of the difficulties we have faced. More than anything, I am often riddled with doubt, self-pity, weariness, and frustration. How is it you mother children who have a mother? How is it you love a child as if they are your own, yet keep a comfortable distance to protect your heart? It can't be done. For to try is frustration and heartache daily. I proclaim to the world that it is a most un-natural thing to mother a child who has a mother living and involved with them. I have come to realize you have to just be their mother, come what may, because that little buffer that instinctively you place around your heart leaves just enough room for doubt, for bitterness. It leaves just enought room for statements like, "These are not my kids, I don't have to put up with this" and "I am over this!" In that buffer there is room for fear and resentment to grow. And the pain, the guilt, the aggravation of that day in and day out is much more painful than the possibility of the child being taken away. So I have reached the point where I am praying for my own selfish boundaries to be removed and where that fear has resided be run out with unconditional love.

The hardest mental burden of this has revolved around the Jones children. Through our decision to parent Emma and Jordon, they have been exposed to many things we hoped would be reserved for never or much later than now. Their own personal stories are effected by the time and energy we must devote to Emma and Jordon. Are we asking them to sacrifice too much? Are we meeting all of their needs? To count the nights I have laid awake with their best interest on my mind and sleep a stranger would require more digits than Nathan and I have combined. But then conversations happen like one tonight with Macy where she asked if I thought Emma and Jordon would go back to live with their mother. When I shared with her I was not sure, she said, "I don't want Emma and Jordon to go back, but sometimes I think they should go back because I think Emma is still so sad she cannot live with her Mommy. Maybe she would be much happier if she could just go back home." Oh that precious child. She inspires me to be more loving.

So what IS the long term prediction of how this story will play out? God knows. In July the children's official goal with the state of Kentucky was changed from "reunification with parents" to "permanent adoption". Sounds simple enough. This really means nothing in practical matters save the biological mother is being given one last chance to show large strides to regain custody of the children. The court will reassess the situation in October. It is our understanding that in October or in December (depending on the leniency of the courts to the Bio Mom), if these strides are not made, then the state of Kentucky will begin the process of removing the parental rights of the parents. We are not sure how long that could take but we have been told six months by more than one person. How it will all play out is still unpredictable. We have our opinions and we hear the opinions of those who may or may not be telling us what we want to hear to placate us.

I have become very self aware in this process. I am seeing my true nature and in many ways it has been humiliating and disappointing. I have prided myself in the past on my strength and energy, and I have come to realize they are very faulty. I have had more "doubting Thomas" moments on this journey than I care to admit, but I can testify to you with great faith that in each moment of doubt, God revealed Himself to me so clearly that I might believe. Mainly I have learned that I arrogantly thought that my willingness to take this journey of faith would give me a pass to an easy, peaceful journey. Who do I think I am? This journey is a journey of discipleship. Discipleship is looking like your leader and my leader is Jesus Christ. Who am I to think that I would not know pain, know rejection, be disappointed, feel enormous anguish. Who was I to want the benefits of discipleship without bearing the cross? While my faith has been tested and at times disbelief has been the battle winner, I find comfort in the realization that my God is victorious and has promised that on the other end of this journey is celebration and peace.

I have traditionally closed these entries with a prayer and the prayer of my heart at this point continues to be, "Your Will be Done."


  1. Thank you Sarah.Prayers for Gods peace in all asepects of your life.Thanks for sharing your doubts too.

  2. Love your honesty and desire to walk by faith. It is a difficult thing, indeed.