For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
I have started and stopped this post quite a few times as I am conflicted on how to begin. This topic is a tough one and a part of me wonders if I am ready to talk about it, but I am going to be as raw as possible. So please be patient with me as I work this out for you…and for me.
In May of 2016 we received the call of a lifetime stating that the foster organization we were apart of had a sibling group of three that needed a home. Adoption possibilities were not known at this point but everything about the situation seemed to just click. My husband and I talked and prayed about the situation and finally we said yes. My family thought we had lost our minds by taking on three small kids at once, but it just felt so right. It took about a month for them to transition to our home and I utilized the time buying everything I could to make their rooms feel like home for them.
Finally, on June 4th, they came to live with us. I can remember laying down for bed the first night they were there and feeling completely exhausted and wondering what I had done. They had only been at our house a few hours and I was drained of energy. Each day though got a little bit easier as I got to know them and love them. “J” was the oldest and was full of spunk and sass.While she was a fiery little redhead, she was also mother hen to her younger siblings who she had cared for since they were born. She did not give her love away easily but we developed such a special bond. “L” was the middle child and let me tell you, he was stubborn. Boy did he give me a run for my money when it came to day-to-day life with him. However, it was a true mother and son bond that I cherished. “R” was the baby of the bunch. She was smart beyond her years and full of personality. I got to raise her from a little baby and give a first birthday party for her not long after they came to live with us.
Motherhood was all I had ever dreamed of. I got to shower them with love, care for them when they were sick, get up SUPER EARLY because “mommy, we hunggggyyyy”, take them to school and daycare, and just do life with them. My parents own a farm and I think that was the kids favorite place to go so they could see their “GiGi and Papa”. Running through the creeks and rumbling through my parents house was usually how our Saturdays were spent. I also had some pretty incredible friends who became “aunties” and “uncles” to my babies and they each had a bond that just solidified that these kids were made to be ours. When I tell you I remember almost every little thing they said or did, it’s true. I cannot tell you the countless hours spent singing silly songs they had learned at daycare and if I had to be in the middle to “jump and wiggle” one more time I may have lost my mind. But man, what I would not give for one more day and one more song. One of my favorite memories of them is them saying “I love you more”. Anytime we would say “I love you”, J and L would scream at the top of their lungs “I love yyyyooouuuu more”. We would take turns screaming it louder and louder. Those sounds still echo in my heart even today.
Watching my husband with our babies was the sweetest thing. Those kids loved him so much, especially J. She was a daddy’s girl for sure. During my time with them, I got to have a birthday party for each of them, celebrate Halloween, and Christmas with them- it was the best year of my life. Christmas was extra special since it was always my favorite holiday and gave me some of my fondest childhood memories. I was bound and determined to make Christmas just as good as my mom had always done. At the time, I did not know it would be my first and only Christmas with them. When my husband decided to leave in April of 2017, I did not know what was going to happen with the kids. After many prayers, talks with my parents, and meetings with caseworkers, it was determined that the children would be taken and placed with another adoptive family. You would have to understand all of the circumstances to really understand the weight of that decision.
I was able to mother them a little while longer until they left on June 1st, 2017. During that time I soaked up everything I could. I cherished my hugs and “I love you’s” a little more and somehow no longer minded waking up at dawn to make breakfast. I got to spend my only Mother’s Day with them and it was the best day ever filled with them giving me all the crafts they had made for me. It was a hard time but I tried to make the best of it even though I knew the time for them to leave was vastly approaching. I remember packing up their rooms while they were at school and daycare. I did a little each day so they would not notice. There is not many words I could use to describe the feeling of packing up their stuff that not only a year before I was joyfully unpacking. On their last day, I finished packing everything up and locked their rooms so they would not have to see it. We had a slumber party in my room that night and watched Peabody and Sherman which was their favorite movie.
The next morning we woke up and had pancakes with whipped cream. They were so young that it was hard to have a conversation with them about what was going to happen. While they had already met their new family, I felt the need to try to and help them understand. In the middle of my attempt to explain, “J” grabbed my cheeks real tight and said “don’t worry mommy, we will be okay”. Wow, so young but so strong. Even today I try to find comfort in her words. My parents and best friends were there that day for support and to say goodbye. The kids jumped on the trampoline while their things were being loaded into the trailer and I spent my time watching them and trying my best to keep it together. I remember hugging them each goodbye and holding on a little tighter and a little longer than usual. It was time for them to go and somewhere deep down I had to find trust in the Lord that he had a plan for them and that they were going to be okay. I had to trust he had a plan for me. That plan was not evident at the time and I had a really hard time trusting it. As the van pulled away, my heart crumbled. I have heard that you can die from a broken heart, and if that is true, I have no idea how I lived past that day. The pain was so unbelievable. Real and true physical pain from being so brokenhearted.
The time following my babies leaving was unimaginable so I did the only thing I knew to do to protect myself… I shut off my emotions, just as I did when my husband left. I literally just had to flip a switch to turn it all off. I was now burying my pain from my divorce and the pain from losing my children and it was only a matter of time until the walls came crashing down. What happened next? Well, before I can explain that I have to introduce you to my fourth child who came a little sooner than these three babies. E deserves a post all to himself for you to truly understand how just when you think someone was placed in your life for you to help them, it turns out they were there to help you too.
To my sweet babies wherever you are in this world, please know I love you more and I am covering you in prayer each and every day. Your memories live on in my heart and I know the Lord has such an incredible plan for your life. Even when you do not understand it, just know He is there and is watching over you always.