Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Avoiding the Big Jerk

Friday afternoon, as our family headed down to Georgia, we received a call from the kid's caseworker. She said, "I have some bad news." Never a good way to start a conversation. She went on to tell us that the Judge for our case decided to clear her docket for this Friday, meaning our Termination Trial is postponed. The judge, attorneys and caseworkers will meet on February 10th to set a new trial date. We are not sure how long it will take to get a new trial date, but we are asking for you to pray with us that 1. The parents will just sign the paperwork or 2. That the trial date be set in the month of February.

This journey has been chalk full of last minute detours for us. From the last minute decision of the foster family to adopt "our" boys, to this being the second time the trial date has been upon us only for us to find that an officer of the courts has last minute made changes or failed to file paperwork. It is very frustrating.

I wonder if in this I am to continue to work on giving up my control. Oh how I wish I could scream, "I surrender all!" with total abandon. But the reality is I am frustrated because I was planning on this. I was feeling in control of the situation.

I learned on talk radio this weekend, humans experience Hypnagogia. It is the sensation of falling as you go to sleep. Many people will have a sudden start or body jerk. Nathan does this and let me tell you when he and I were first married, this would scare me to death. A 6 foot 3 inch body jerk happening beside you unexpectedly will FREAK YOU OUT if you don't know it is coming. I digress; this hypnic jerk is a very real reaction to falling when you are indeed lying in your soft bed. I feel that in this journey I have spiritual hypnic jerks. This feeling of falling and reacting to the fall when all along I know I am lying in the palm of God's hand.

Today I will focus on trusting in the resting place. I will focus on God's working and work on my not reacting.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quiet Passages

This morning I am up before everyone else,looking out at the fields behind our home that are dusted with the first sticking snow of the season. It is just another day to most everyone around us.

But it is a big day. It is a day that will mean a lot to a set of people who may not have a clear vision of its importance. It will be the last visitation day for the children. While we are fully aware this will be the last day the children will have time with their parents, the children have no idea and it is our understanding that their parents may not have a full understanding this will be their last time to see and spend time with the children. Two weeks from today is the court date for the Termination of Parental Rights. The children see their parents every other week, so today is the day.

It is a delicate rope we walk in these matters with the children. We are subtly prepping them for major life changes without speaking much of those changes. We are not in a position to talk with the children about being a permanent part of our family since their fate rests on a trial and a judgement. We can not make promises to them until we are in a very secure position to make those promises and that will be after the judgement and appeal time has passed. But in the midst of what we perceive as positive steps in their future we are mindful of the loss they are about to suffer.

I have spent many thoughts on the concept of this being the last time the children will spend time with their parents. As a Mom, I can not help but place myself in their position and it is so grievous. What will be said today that will be the last impression the children have of their parents? Will this day stick with them and be a place they hold in their hearts? I place myself in the position of their parents and I wonder if they know, if they are preparing for this day, or if they have not looked far enough ahead on the calendar to realize this is it. What will they say to the children if they have any understanding of the significance? How will the words they choose today help or hinder the mental health of the children in the years to come? I have requested an officer of the court be present through the whole visit to ensure the conversations are healthy for the children. My compassion for the situation for the parents ends at the moment my motherhood begins.

Through the holidays we have enjoyed getting to know our newest niece and spent time with my baby sister who is expecting a little girl. The children have been amazingly curious about where these babies have come from and how there are babies in Mommy's tummies. I imagine their very special circumstances make them even more curious about Mommies and babies and how they relate to each other. Emma asked me one day if I wanted a baby in my tummy. I told her I had babies in my tummy and Noah, Macy and Molly were once my babies, but they have grown up. She then asked me, "Well, where did I come from?" I shared with her about her growing in her Mommy's tummy. Jordon, listening to this, chimed in and said, "I am so glad I came from you's tummy." Oh sweet boy, I know this is hard to understand! Emma then had a series of questions about what makes a Mom a Mom. The curiosity of a five year old is overwhelming, but when that five year old wants so much to fit in and not be different, it tears your heart with each question.

Compounding the whole scenario is the reality that after being a part of our family for 18 months, over the next several weeks, though everything will change, really nothing will. They will sleep in their same bed, play with their same toys, live in their same routines and feel the same love and devotion they have felt for the majority of their memory. They will change their last name, but they have been classified as Joneses for so long, that is not a real change either. They will no longer see their parents, but that is just a 2 hour a month change. All seem so small, but in reality they are each so significant. How do you capture the significance of the change when nothing changes? How do you grieve a loss of such importance when there is nothing to mourn?

So we prepare for this really small, really big day. I will hold my breath and wait as they spend their time with their parents and I will smile as they run to me, gauge how things went and we will go on with our day. But in my heart I will carry this day, honoring the quiet passage, continually praying for the children to be covered in His grace and protection. For this is the beginning of the end that leads to the continuation of our journey and I feel it worthy of mention.

Our court date is January 27. We have received our subpoenas. We ask you to pray with us.

"God be with the children today. May all the words spoken today be a joy for them to hear and be words they can treasure as they grow. Protect these sweet babies and hold them in Your hand as they experience these changes. We trust in You and know You are in control. Through Jesus we pray. Amen."