He knows. He knows the amount of hairs on my head, the amount of times I’ve fallen to my knees in despair, and the amount of times I’ve belly laughed so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. He knows how many children we will say yes to, how many children we will send back home, and how many little ones will forever be ours. He knows whether they will come to us from our blood and DNA or whether they will be born to another mother and father and will come to us in a season of hardship. Above all else He knows.
In this season we’ve been in recently I keep coming back to this phrase. Every time we’ve been matched with a placement and it falls through I remind myself that He knows. Every time we get closer to E reunifying and then one more thing goes wrong and we’re delayed once again I remind myself that He knows. Each month that I take a pregnancy test and it comes back as a big fat negative I once again say to myself, He knows.
To be honest, that’s the only way I’ve been able to get through the hurdles that life has thrown us recently. I think in the past two months we’ve been through more ups and downs in our journey as foster parents than we have been in the entire 11 months of being licensed. We’ve been matched with 3 placements, confirmed and ready for us to just open our home to them, and each time they’ve gone to other foster families for various reasons. The first time I was devastated. We had been waiting so long for another child or children to join our family and finally the time had come. When we got the news they wouldn’t be coming to us my heart just broke. I couldn’t understand why the Lord would get our hopes up only to shatter them once again. Josh so graciously reassured me that even though things didn’t make sense at the time there was a purpose behind us not getting them, that maybe it was God’s way of protecting our hearts in a potentially devastating situation. Even though the hurt was still real it comforted me knowing that the Lord had our best interest in mind.
The past week has held the answers to the reasons why we weren’t placed with any of those little girls we said yes to. The Lord knew that we would not be empty nesters over the holiday season and that in fact we would have TWO children in our care, neither of which we expected to have. He knew that E would not reunify and that his brother would come into care and need a family to care for him until things got sorted out. He knew that we would be overwhelmed and stressed and would not have been able to handle one or two more children in the midst of the chaos. Although I knew He knew what He was doing I was so lost and confused as to why we had to go through this tough situation and be put in a bad place with so much hardship to have to work through.
The first full night we had E’s baby brother I sat in Baby Girl’s old room and rocked him to sleep and I wept. I wept so hard I could barely catch my breath. I was angry. I was sad. I was disappointed and yet I had no feelings or emotions whatsoever. I wanted to be mad at God for putting us in this situation. I wanted to be angry at E’s mom for making a mistake and getting her children removed when she was SO close to having her family back together. I wanted to just scream at the top of my lungs in frustration because I felt like we would NEVER have a forever family at this point, but instead I just cried. I cried and sobbed and shed more tears than I could count but it wasn’t for any of those reasons. My heart hurt, it was broken, and the pain felt more unbearable than I could ever even describe, but it was broken for what I had lost. It was aching because the last time I rocked a baby in that room was the night I said goodbye to Baby Girl. The last time I cried in that rocking chair in the light of the night was when I laid my sweet L down to sleep for the last time ever. My heart hurt but it hurt because of grief, not because of where we currently were at in our journey.
At that moment, the one where tears were streaming down my face and my head was pounding from holding in the cries of my sorrow , I realized there was a beauty in this brokenness. I realized there was a reason I was rocking this new baby to sleep in this room. I realized that He knew all along. He knew I needed a child to hold and love on in that room other than Baby Girl. He knew I needed to finally push past that grief and move on and I wasn’t going to be able to do it on my own, I was going to have to be forced to move on. He gave me E’s baby brother to heal my heart in a weird and backwards way. That night the memories of her flooded my mind and overtook me, but I pushed past them and now I look into her room and I don’t just see sorrow, I see a new path. My eyes are open, my heart is free, and although I will forever hold Baby Girl in my heart I am finally ready to move on and find our forever child, whoever that may be.
It may have taken almost 4 months. It may have taken so many broken situations, so many sleepless nights, so many hours of grief and pain but I can confidently say the Lord knew. He knew what He was doing and He still does. He knew I wouldn’t be able to fully open my heart to our next placement until I had closed that chapter with Baby Girl and I wouldn’t have been able to close that chapter until I was literally forced to and had no other option.
So as we finish out this holiday season with TWO little boys, neither of which we expected to be in our home, I will thank the Lord for His greatness. I will praise Him for knowing what He’s doing in our lives when I have not even the slightest clue and most of all I will trust that He will always, always know.