144 Visits with his bio mom
68 therapy sessions
25 caseworker meetings
4 Court appearances (soon to be 5)
And over 5,500 miles transporting R to and from his appointments.
And in a matter of days, we will have resolution. We are scheduled for court Friday at 9:00am, where the judge will decide if his Bio Mom’s rights will be terminated.
Over the last 17 months of our foster-to-adopt journey, our family has felt like the crew of sojourners in the Hobbit when they entered the thick fog of the Mirkwood forest: stuck in the tangle of suffocating woods, unable to tell day from night, and often giving in to feelings of hopelessness and despair. More than once I felt like Bilbo, climbing the tree to survey the land in hope of finding the edge of the forest, only to see no end in sight. Our marriage has been tested, our friendships have been tested, and every ounce of depravity, sinfulness, selfishness, and ugly inside of my heart has come to the surface.
And now, the edge of the forest is in sight.
Tuesday is the last meeting before court. All the parties involved in the case will sit down and hash out what court will look like. Will it be a full-blown two-day trial with an endless line of witnesses? Or will it end quickly and without drama?
Then Friday we head to the courtroom for the final hearing.
I am hopeful.
I am hopeful that R will stay with us forever. I am hopeful we can end this whole case on a positive note, staying in contact with his bio mom through pictures and updates, and probably someday, supervised contact with R. I am hopeful that he will be able to heal. For the last 17 months, he has been re-traumatized multiple times every week when he’s gone back to the unsafe, chaotic environment where the abuse took place. But I am hopeful that he will never have to go through that again. Never.
I was reading Katie Davis’ blog this morning. Katie is the young girl who moved to Uganda, adopted 14 children, and chronicled her journey in the book, Kisses From Katie. She wrote about Zechariah 9:12, where God’s children are called Prisoners of hope.
“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”
I’m tired. This journey has been harder, longer, and more taxing than I ever imagined. There were multiple times they said he was going home, but we clung to hope and trusted in God’s sovereignty. If this whole mess would have ended 12 months ago, 8 months ago, or even 2 months ago, the department would have sent him home. But now, the evidence is so clear: he would not be safe.
God’s perfect timing.
Sometimes, especially when I’m weighed down by the trauma of R’s past, I have to cling to the promises in Romans 8:28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I have hope that God will heal R’s heart. I have hope that he will give us a time of rest and recovery after this difficult year and a half. I have hope that we will walk into the future, as a new family of 6, with stronger, weathered faith.
As Katie Davis put so well, “Hope is my captor – Hope for [their] healing here which has already begun and hope for our life eternal with Him. Hope that He who began a good work in us is not finished yet and will carry it to completion until the day that He comes and hope that He is coming.”
We are forever, Prisoners of Hope.
Would you please pray with our family this week as we enter this last stage of our foster-to-adopt journey?
P.S. One day this past year, we were stuck in traffic on our way downtown to one of R’s appointments. I told all four kids, “When the day comes that we don’t have to drive downtown anymore, I will throw the biggest party ever!” They are holding me to it. Stay tuned…..