When I was standing in Chipotle six months ago, talking on the phone to the DCS worker and I said, “YES! How long?” I heard, “we think 6 months.” Knowing full well that things are never that cut and dry with the foster care system, I geared up for 6 months but earnestly stepped into the unknown.
The thing about foster care is that plans get changed, people have small victories and large ones – small setbacks and large ones, court dates are scheduled and rescheduled, paperwork gets shuffled, caseworkers quit, unknown after unknown, delay after delay, we plug along because God asked us to step into this unknown. We say, “for however long our family looks like this, we thank you, Lord” in our nightly prayers. We ask for strength for the possible worst outcomes and we hope and we hope and we hope for what we think is the best.
In most hard things in life, I have found that the unknown is the hardest part… the part that makes me think, “I can’t do this,” so many times. And I can’t do it. I am sometimes bitter and possessive, I am fighting a battle that is hard and foreign, and I am always forgetting to trust.
But this week we hit the six month mark of our life with D, and we have some upcoming meetings regarding his future and our future. We still don’t know if D will be with us forever or if our D is only “our D” for a short while. In this small milestone, I’ve been thinking and praying for all of us who know this boy and love this boy and call him “our D.” Our happy, determined, strong and smart boy. He doesn’t have Dave’s nose, but he is a hard and determined worker, just like his Daddy Dave. He doesn’t have my eyes or my hair, but he is cuddly and loves to be silly, like his Mama Steph. He’s SO polite and smart, like his Mommy J and he is kind and brave like his Daddy J. He looks just like his birth mom. Just like her. There are so many more people who know him as “their D”- people I will likely never meet, never even know their names. So thankful that our D is so loved.
We have seen him change so much in just these 6 months. He loves to talk. All day every day chatting away. He trusts that I won’t hurt him when we are playing. He believes Dave when he tells him he’ll be home after work. He says, “I love you too,” when I tell him 1000 times a day that I love him. He just fits here, with us. It feels like it has always been us. It is fulfilling and joyful and life-giving work. So this week when more unknowns arise and more details get thrown into the mix, I will thank God for our D, for *this* family- however long our family looks like this- and I will choose to trust.
We are still walking the unknown. We are hoping for our family to be forever, but trying to hope with our hands lifted high, opened to release him if we must. It will be fiercely painful if D leaves us. We are not superheroes. Our “we could never let go” feelings are not gone. We have just begun. Still we pray – for however long our family looks like this, we thank you, Lord.