Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Third time's a Charm!

Exodus 15:16 "Terror and dread fall upon them; By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O LORD, Until the people pass over whom You have purchased.
I remember reading through C.'s file, and being in disbelief about the details of his life and that of his relatives. I remember reading about his father and crying hard about his last statements. He wanted his son to believe in a God. And he had no one to blame but himself for his problems. C.'s mom had been stabbed, beaten, arrested and so on. C. was a picture of his parents shame, sins, lifestyle and choices...he was also rejected by his own. C. was a picture of Jesus. You see he is the one who finally broke us. As we began to foster him, and I immediately knew there was something different about C. On top of the fact that he was severely pigeon toed, bowled legged and awkward which caused him to fall a lot. I knew that he had never truly been cared for, which made it harder for us to foster him, as he needed a lot of one on one. He was like a dry desert, he'd been through plagues, and famines, he didn't know when his last meal would be, he had been betrayed more than once. He'd sing and dance but if anyone dared touch, he'd move away or take back his hand. He didn't trust anyone. And so he'd hit instead. The more he needed, the harder he'd hit, the closer we'd get the more he'd need from us to understand him. A boy with little words. A boy who would run away so fast and never turn around or look back, he had no allegiance, he was almost feral. It was getting harder on me, and I was reaching out to my husband and asking him for help, mercy and compassion on C. That he would look past the physical and flaws but instead look at the fact he needed a dad. I began taking him to doctor visits, urologist being one of them as it seemed that he was going to need a circumcision! Then as he attended other doctor visits for his legs and feet and then, for the repeated ear infections he'd frequently have, I as a new foster parent, was beginning to feel overwhelmed. As he and Faith would constantly battle for the same position, I began to fight inside and in my marriage. I was in fact not even sure of what I was fighting for anyway. So much turmoil had risen, it was hard to breathe, it felt like the fire we had in the kitchen. So much damage, how do we ever get put together again. Then there was talk about C. being moved to another state with an aunt and I began to hold my breath and count down the days. AS I counted, other things started to fall apart, I felt hollow, in pain, neglected, abandoned inside, I felt empty, like everyone wanted something from me and I had to survive. We did not think we'd ever desire for our foster kids to be taken to daycare as that was an option, but with C. I began to realize, that daycare would be a key to survival with fostering C. As we looked for a daycare, I remembered my neighbors from Taiwan, who had their children at one, near by and so I looked into it and was thrilled, and felt hopeful that I could bring C. there and that he'd be loved and accepted. Back at home where I was homeschooling my own kids, and tutoring multiple other kids, caring for teenaged boy from the neighborhood, baseball games and ballet lessons, relative appointments, teaching and volunteering at church events and my husband, who now took on a secondary project at work that felt as though he was rarely home and was being consumed by all his ideas and goals and plans for his company. I figured out then that there were bigger problems than fostering C. A lot of the way our lives were set up or where it was going, was excluding foster care. One day I walked out of our church and thought I am never coming back here again, I am done. I am empty, I have nothing left to give anyone, they've stolen it all, I am a dead person, no longer alive but dead. And I actually hated who is was that I became because I could not make sense of it. We'd only fostered C. a little over 3 months and it seemed like an eternity in Hell. We had sought out therapy for C., therapy for our marriage and son, we began to see that our teen was not content. And it was all very mysterious to be in this dry dry land. There was no oasis in sight, no fresh water, no real help or hope. I didn't even like who I was married to anymore. Who were we. What happened, the locusts have come and eaten us to bits. The therapist never brought C. up as the problem, he said we were. All his tools and techniques he'd given us seemed too hard, we were frozen solid, hardened to the point we couldn't see nor hear. I began to become defensive and sad inside, I craved no one nor anything. I wanted isolation, and I wanted to sit in my failure. I failed everyone, even myself and yes, I failed you God so badly. It was the first time I didn't know what to do. As a mother, as a wife, I had become frozen in time. I felt like Hagar and Ishmael, the rejected an embarrassment. Where are you, Angel of the Lord, where is the "its all going to be ok?" All I heard was, "let go." I refused to let go, I held on, but the writing was on the wall and I was wrestling with God for C. Inside me as a mother, I did not want to let go opf a baby, give him up like all the other mothers had done. That would be a sin to this child, Lord. But God broke me through this child, I was smashed to bits, and he Himself opened my hand and told me to let go. I was powerless and terrified. What would happened next? Who would I be then without C.? What would happened to him? I heard again, that God was with him already, had been with him and would continue to be with him. I had heard this before I decided to foster, I once got a phone call for the adoption of a sibling set, and I thought God was calling us to adopt then, after Faith and the name 'Emmanuel' God with us, came to mind when I thought about siblings. I now realize, that it was C., who the Lord was talking about when He said Emmanuel because God was with him and for that, I shouldn't be worried. Although I could not help but cry and be tortured through the phone calls to our agency, telling them we would put in our 30 days and disrupt fostering C. There was just nothing right about it on the outside, but I knew who I had heard on the inside. And that is all I had, the inside, my broken hearted faith. I knew I had to obey my husband who was sure we had to stop fostering in order to salvage our marriage and life. God is not the author of confusion, instead He is a God of order, and He prefers obedience over sacrifice and so He didn't want our sacrifice at the time, He wanted our obedience instead, as a couple and as Christ followers. There were choices we had to make and they had to be quick. God sent good friends, brother and sisters in Christ to help us. He sent faithful foster parents to come relieve us of C. I trembled inside but I was humbled too and it is always good to be humbled, Amen. I remember that our Friends came just before C.'s birthday, we celebrated it with them. Inside, I was still crushed to celebrate his birthday and send him off, away...surrendering him because I was not well enough to care for him. There was too much against me, my whole life was at risk, fragile and futile....barely hanging on. I kissed C. goodbye only days later still in shock that I was putting my baby in a Moses basket and shutting it and sending him off along the narrow Nile of life...I knew our friends were amazing people, we had met gotten to know them in Haiti and now it felt like they were all we had and they took C. out of obedience and love...I can tell you that they began to raise him as their own too. For this I was glad and I had peace too.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your raw honesty. Sometimes letting someone else help the broken around us is the best thing we can do for them and ourselves. But, yes, it is so humbling!

harada57 said...

thanks

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