We were trying to get him to take his first steps.
Toe headed. Blue eyed.
Not my baby, but he could have been. I loved him that much.
Every time I think about him, I think about the first time I saw him on my front porch. I opened the door and he immediately held his arms out to me. I took him from the case worker and grabbed his big sister by the hand. She was only 11 months older than him.
In a second, he laid his head on my shoulder, and I was done.
In an instant, I knew this would be much harder than I thought it would be.
They had been in DHS custody and in the shelter for seven days.
They were dirty and tired and beautiful.
And the questions came.
Why and how could anyone ever do anything to have these babies taken from them? How could you live knowing that your babies were in a children's shelter?
Yeah, this was going to be harder than I thought.
And it was. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I loved them. I didn't love them enough. I loved them too much.....I felt every one of those feelings in a single day.
There were days I never wanted them to leave...days that I wanted them to be mine. And then there were days when I thought that I would never work my way out of the mess I had gotten us into.
And it was messy both literally and emotionally, and it still is.
Anytime you open your heart to love, it gets messy. There is no clean way to love. Love is messy and imperfect and flawed and beautiful.
On Sunday, I found myself mad and asking a lot of questions. I tend to go on question overload when I get mad.
Why would you let us love them like that? Why would you let them go through all this pain and confusion? Why would you do this to family who thought they would be able to adopt them? Why would you let their momma ever screw up in the first place? Why?
And I realized I was disappointed.
I am disappointed in their mom. Why is she playing this game? Why can't she see what's best for her babies?
And then I started to wonder if the Lord was disappointed in me, and I started asking myself if I was disappointed in Him?
Because all this time, I thought we were being obedient. I thought we were doing what we thought You had called us to.
Become foster parents?
Take in two babies?
Now we have four babies under the age of five?
Give them up?
You see, to me, I thought this plan He had was starting to pan out exactly like it was supposed to. We had the babies for six months. Then the most amazing family came forward who wanted to adopt them, so we willingly gave them up. We were moving....remember? Someone knocked on our front door and asked if we would be willing to sell our house on the very day that I asked the Lord for a clear and obvious sign that we were supposed to move to California. The only way you get more clear than that is if Jesus Himself shows up on the front porch.
We even went to California and tried to buy three houses and none of it panned out.
And then Wyatt was born and we both knew that we were supposed to stay. And in a matter of about a week of looking at houses, we found the house on the piece of property that we had always dreamed of. (And we had looked for a good year before that and never could find what we wanted.)
So, I was sure the next part of the story would be about their foster family adopting them and us going to the courthouse to celebrate the officialness of it all. And it would be so clear that we did what we were supposed to do and everything worked out.
But that's not what's happening.
Now these babies are being reunified with their birth mom. I know. It's their mom. Don't get on your high horse and tell me that blood is always better. It's not. I've seen it.
I tried so incredibly hard to love her.....to give her every chance to be the mom I thought she should be to them.
I wanted to have that great story of how we mentored her and she stopped doing drugs and she got a steady job and she got her driver's license back and she broke the stronghold of domestic abuse and drug abuse in her family line.
But I was naive.
I know that happens sometimes. But it didn't happen for us. And eventually I gave up on her.
And I can't help but ask the Lord, "Are You disappointed in me?"
I want it to be someone's fault. I want what seems so wrong to be pointed back to someone.
Maybe we should have never given them up. Maybe we should have been stronger. Maybe we should have tried harder with her.
And in the middle of my questions and frustration and anger during worship on Sunday, I heard Him so clearly say to me,
"Do not be disappointed in Me. I am not disappointed in you. Trust Me. Trust Me. Trust Me."
You would think that me being the wonderful Christian I am (please note the sarcasm), that I would be okay with that. "Okay, Lord, I will trust You."
Nope. Not what I was thinking at all. I was more like yelling back at Him. "Trust You?! This is what happens when I trust You! You take them away again from everything they know and love to go into circumstances that can't be great, and You want me to trust You?!"
I realize that you think I'm crazy at this point, but this is the kind of relationship I have with the Lord. I love Him with everything in me and I will do whatever He asks me to do, but that doesn't mean I can't get mad at Him or question Him or simply not understand Him.
And then I sat through church and listened to the message and took notes and sort of turned my shoulder away from the Lord. Like if He had been sitting next to me, I would have turned away from Him slightly.....because I was mad.
And then I realized in a second that their bio momma is His child too and they are His children way more than they were ever mine. And my heart broke all over again. I knew that. I did. But I forgot for a second. And He reminded me. He loves them more than I do.