Every once in a while I feel like God blesses us with a moment that you can tangibly feel and see just a glimpse of the deep love that He has for someone. A love that knows NO boundaries, a love that in spite of everything you have ever said or done still looks at you and thinks you are the most beautiful, wonderful, amazing thing He has ever created!
A few weeks ago, I had to take my foster daughter in for one of her weekly visits with her birth mom. I will admit there are days I grudgingly go in there. Days that my heart feels like it is going to pound out of my chest from the moment I put the baby in her car seat to leave our home. There are many days that I am at complete peace with taking her in and knowing that NO matter what happens, God is in control.
This particular day I was very much at peace. Greeting her birth mom in the lobby at our county Job and Family Services and talking with her about all of the things “Little Miss” had accomplished or done since our last visit the week before. This particular meeting, “Little Miss’s” birth mom seemed uneasy. She seemed a little nervous and I couldn’t even begin to guess what was up. I kept talking to her to hopefully calm her nerves. Out of the blue, and quite suddenly, she looks over at me and says, "Would you be open to adopting?" My heart about jumped from chest. I wanted to scream/cry/jump for joy/hug her all at the same time as a million things ran through my brain. I somehow simply managed to smile and say, "YES for sure!”
Just after that, the caseworker called us back to start the visit. We both walked in to the visitation room like nothing had happened. At this point I really don't know how I even managed to walk back there. We made small talk with the caseworker and then it was time for me to go. [What just happened?!]
As I went to leave, “Little Miss’s” birth mom follows me out to lobby and tells the caseworker she is going to use the restroom. I turned to tell her goodbye [my heart is pounding and my mind is still running with all of the emotion of the "big question" that managed to come up a few moments earlier]. I see her just standing there. I know there is so much to be said, but what do you say??? How do you put into words the way your heart is feeling?? I don't know what to do, should I do anything?? I feel like forever has gone by and I am just standing there wanting to burst into tears.
And then, so bravely, she begins to talk. She beings with telling me that she knows how much the baby loves me. She said she could see the “Little Miss” lit up when I walked back in the room to get her after a visit and she can also see how much I love “Little Miss” too. “I don't want you to think I am giving up on her, I just know I can't do this,” she continued. She told me further that she felt like her life was a mess and how the baby would have a much more stable life if she were to stay with us. “She needs to have a good chance at life, away from all the drama and crazy things in my family.” She tells me how very much she trusts me and that I will be a great mom to her.
I am not sure how I am not crying at this point because my heart is flooding with love. I actually felt like the love I had for her was spilling out of me reaching for her. I then asked her if I could give her a hug… but I wasn’t waiting for her answer. Stepping toward her and reaching out for one as I asked. I grabbed her and hugged her so tightly. To my surprise, she was hugging me just as tightly, and we both began to cry deep, bonding tears.
We are two moms that share a love for the same baby girl. We are two moms that both desperately want to be able to keep this sweet girl. We are two moms that will forever be bonded by that moment and the love we share for one amazing little girl.
This moment will FOREVER be etched in my brain and heart. How amazing is it that God can let you feel even a small portion of the love that He has for someone? How amazing that He can totally change your perception of a person in an instant and to allow your heart to link together with another mother that has just selflessly and bravely given you one of the greatest blessing ever.
I am so deeply thankful to have shared this moment with her. To know that one day I will be able to share it in words with our little girl. We will be able to tell her of how brave and big of a decision her birth momma had to make and just how very much she loved her. Telling her of just how she did it thinking more of the little girl that holds both of our hearts than herself.
A Peek Into a Foster Care Agency
By Emiley Shenk, LSW
Adriel Foster Care and Adoption
When people hear that I work for a private foster care agency, I am usually met with the following response: “Wow, I could never do that.”
That referring to foster parenting.
Very often the perception of what foster care looks like is quite different from the reality. Let’s delve further into what foster looks like and address some of those perceptions from an agency’s perspective.
Myth: All kids that come into foster care are teenagers with major behavior problems.
Reality: Youth of all ages enter into foster care. At Adriel, the average age of children in foster care is seven. Quality foster homes are needed for children of all ages. Likewise, the circumstances which bring youth into foster care are as varied as the children we serve. Each child is unique and brings his or her own set of strengths as well as behavioral challenges. Usually, the concerns which bring youth into foster care are not the fault of the child, but rather an inability of the parents to care for the child.
Lay It Down
By: Adam Tracy
I come to you today completely tired and ready to go back to bed. I didn’t sleep well last night. Many of you may know I struggle with sleep. Last night was a rough one. I didn’t get to sleep until 5:30am, then alarm, and the day starts at 6:00am. Luckily my awesome wife knows I have bad nights, and she got up and got the first set of kids off to school while letting me sleep until about 7:30am. I got a good two hours of sleep, so if I am all over the place in this blog, please forgive and try to look at the inner workings of my writing.
My brother spoke yesterday on “Eternal Hope”, and he did an amazing job explaining things. If you want to listen to that, you can get it off of the Family Christian Center website. They played a video of Francis Chan in the service. In this video Chan brought out this rope that seemed to never end. It stretched clear across this giant stage. He went on to explain how we need to imagine the rope represents our existence. In his hand was the end of the rope, and it had a two inch piece of duct tape wrapped around the tip. He went on to explain that if the rope represents our existence, then that little piece of tape represents our existence on this earth. Following the existence on this earth is millions of years in the rest of eternity spent somewhere. He went on to talk about how our decisions on this earth decide as to where we spend this eternity and how we spend it. This is what I want to delve into a little more.
Yesterday was a day of being BLOWN AWAY. So much so that I had to take a day to find words to share with everyone. Adam, Kelly and I spent the summer working on applying for a grant from the government… long story short, we were not awarded the funds we worked tirelessly on asking for. It was a BLOW we weren't ready to take. We were believing for resourcing for MUCH needed housing and resources for local survivors of trafficking. We can’t tell you how much your funds are needed BUT at the same time, we can’t tell you stories or details for their protection. It’s truly a conundrum. Adam took a game changing phone call yesterday afternoon and the rest of the funds needed to get our project off the ground were donated! These funds will get us started, but the need doesn’t end there. BLOWN AWAY (even though I shouldn’t be surprised at what mountains can be moved). We are blessed beyond measure. To see the survivors start to thrive is simply amazing. This will be a game changer for them. For this project we are looking for volunteers and even sponsorships for certain things if it’s in your heart to give. For questions, contact Kelly King, our Freeing Coordinator. More to come later, just know that we received 3/4 of our project yesterday and we are in awe.
Last night I was in my local grocery store. I will admit I wasn't in the best mood. My husband and I had gotten into an argument earlier. I had one child having a melt down because she felt like she had not had her fair share of one on one time, and I was just outright tired.
When I got up to the check out lane, I tried to pick the shortest line and was hoping to just get out and get home. I was in my own little world. Do I have all my coupons? Did I get everything on my list? Praying I did not go over my grocery budget and so on. I did smile at the cashier because I know so many times they get people who are rude and mean and don't treat them like they exist.