All Things Beautiful in His Time
Before we married, we knew we wanted to grow our family through foster care and adoption. Our oldest daughter's adoption was emotionally easy. We knew it was rare. So when we later received a call about David, a three-day-old baby who needed foster placement, we expected a different experience. There would be visits, bio parents and siblings, court hearings and struggles. We expected, but didn’t fully understand how hard it would be and how much we would need to rely on God. It was at this same time that we started coming to Elmbrook and my husband came to know God. We never could have imagined the ways God would work in our lives over the next two years.
We met David's bio mom in Children’s Hospital six days after he was born. I remember asking God to give me the words to make our relationship work, and He did. From that day to today, we have always treated David’s bio mom with respect, grace, and dignity. We never challenged her place in his life. We knew she loved David and we grew to love her too.
It was a time of preparing for the loss of a beloved child and a time of crazy amazing, beautiful, spiritual growth.
For the first six months, David's case was set for reunification with his bio mom, but then it turned into a duel placement of reunification/adoption by nine months. At twelve months the court was ready to terminate her parental rights. We were sad for his bio mom, whom we had come to know quite well through play dates, but were happy that David would have permanency with us. Two months later, right before trial, the state switched gears back towards reunification with his bio mom because everyone, including us, saw a change in her.
During that time, God did in us what only God can do. We cried about letting go of David, but knew it was God's will. We felt led to help his bio mom move to a better neighborhood and I started rummaging for housewares and toys for her new home and growing family. She started to attend church with us. It was a time of preparing for the loss of a beloved child and a time of crazy amazing, beautiful, spiritual growth. We didn't understand everything that was happening but we knew that God makes everything beautiful.
Then the situation changed - again. It was subtle at first, but we began to feel that all was not well with David’s bio mom. I questioned my motives. Was I looking for an excuse to keep David? We expressed concerns to caseworkers, but no change to the plan was made. David was now on track to be reunited with his bio mom and we worried about his safety. We prayed and prayed and prayed. I cried every time we came to church. How could this be God's plan? Why would he take this 2-year-old boy away from the only mom and dad he had ever known, only to get hurt? I knew God had a plan and that he uses trials for good, but I pleaded with Him that it not be at the pain of this little guy.
By now, the state was noticing some of the things that we had been reporting and they were prepared to pursue terminating his bio mom's parental rights. It was not going to be easy. There would be a jury and weeks of trial. I would be called as a witness, which would crush the relationship we tried so hard to maintain with his bio mom. The lawyers told us not to be hopeful. The only way we could prepare was to pray with our friends, family, and the church. We held numerous prayer vigils. We got down on our knees at night and prayed for protection, permanency, his bio mom, and strength…over and over and over. There was nothing more we could do. There was nothing more God wanted us to do.
I felt led to go to the first day of the trial even though the lawyers said it would just be a day for jury selection. I showed up two hours early to pray, poring over my prayer devotional pages when I felt someone standing next to me. It was David’s bio mom. She stood there, tears in her eyes, and told me she was going to give up her parental rights because she knew I loved David, and for him I was his mom. I was in shock. We prayed together, a prayer of peace and protection for her.
How had God worked in her heart? She sacrificed her rights for David’s best. She was giving David a new life, away from the one she couldn’t get out of herself.
We do not take this gift of life lightly. We will always love both David and his bio mom, just as David loves both of his moms. How many miracles did God do through this? How many people did it touch?
David’s adoption date is June 18, 2016. We chat with his bio mom weekly.