Thursday, February 23, 2012
We were heading to Georgia the week before January 27th's court date when we received a phone call letting us know our court date had been canceled. The judge had cleared her docket. February 10, the attorneys and judge would meet to reschedule the date. No explanation. No debate. No way to change anything. I think the only words I could find to say were, "You are kidding, right?" But the answer was a resounding no, apologetically from the case worker. Visits would continue and we would wait.
February 10th has come and gone now and the new date has been set for May 4; Thirteen weeks, 3 months of waiting. As I shared the news with friends and family, the common response was "What can we do? Can we petition the judge?" Oh how I wish that could happen. The reality is that we are not even players yet in the game. This trial is not about us at all. It is about Emma and Jordon for sure, but as for the Joneses, we are merely the unattached caregivers in the eye of the state. This trial is all about Emma and Jordon's parents and their fitness for parenting. While we will testify, it will be merely to how E and J are growing, what they do day in and day out, their mental state toward life, school, each other. We will not be there to speak of our love for the children, their love for us. We will not be there to declare that they are a part of our family or that the idea of losing them after almost 2 years of caring for them would be so devastating I can not even think of it without feeling a large weight in my chest. We are to be living in the clinical uncomplication of the fostering world. Separate, unattached.
I can not understand the concept of separation of spirit and physical, care and love. Honestly, I don't want to understand it. To the state, we are to care for these children as if they are our own, while separating ourselves so that we will let them go as soon as we are told. I get the concept. The reality is not so easy to wrap my brain around. I stand as mother and advocate of these children in their mental health, their physical health, their schooling, their daily routine, but when it comes to advocating for them as to their best interests for long term health, wellness and happiness, I am lost for the tools. I am standing at the feet of the decision makers and find myself short of a voice. And for this girl who wears opinions like accessories, I find myself frustrated.
I find in every aspect of my life I am asked to separate myself into parts. Just like the idea of separating my heart and soul from these kids and their physical needs. Separate hurt from actions when someone who you feel should love you unconditionally acts and speaks to and about you with such disregard you feel more an enemy than loved one. Separate actions from faith because of some invisible line between the spiritual and physical that I earnestly believe doesn't exist. Separate my joy and happiness from my physical being because somewhere along the way celebration equated to the opposite of reverence. Separate my feelings from my life, because it is deemed selfishness to truly feel the way you feel.
Where did we decide along the way we could be so easily divided? When did we find our lives a convenient ice cube tray where each part was walled off from the other? Maybe it is because I am female, maybe it is because I wear my heart on my sleeve, or maybe it is because it is totally contrary to nature, I can not live a life of separation. My spirit, my body, my soul can not be divided. My heart and my mind are one and the same and they can not be contained apart from the very essence of who God made me to be. Must I practice discipline? Absolutely. Must I work on restraint? Of course. But divide myself? May it never be.
I accept by staying whole, fully connected soul, spirit, body, mind and heart, I will face a world who will try to divide me. I will open myself up to pain and hurt. Just like the very real hurt that could come in having to face giving up Emma and Jordon if the court says we must. But in division, I would miss out on the colossal blessings of loving with total abandon. And no fear of pain is so ominous that the reality of love can not champion it completely.