I remember thinking when we signed up for foster care, that I was being safe, we signed up as an emergent home, a temporary space to kids coming into care until they could transition to a new home, respit care. I was being safe with my heart. Two years later I see that is what God let me tell myself so I could sign the papers, if I had known the grief my heart would feel I probably would have said “no thanks”.
We said yes to a lot of placements before we recieved one, looking at our journey I can see the growth God put into play when he placed that little boy in our home. When he came into my arms I thought it was better for him, we were better for him, we loved him the way he “should” be loved. I met Barbara for the first time in a tiny room in the DHS office, not to discount the governments style but it was cold….not in temperature but in its own sterile way. I didn’t know what to say, I don’t know for sure what I did say but I remember having to take him from her arms and thinking there can’t be a worse feeling than pulling a child from his mothers arms, I was haunted by her( don’t worry that won’t offend her). I could not get her off my mind, I obsessed over her safety, was she ok? Was she warm? Was I bridging the gap? It wasn’t actually her haunting me as it was God pushing me to her. There are a million little lines to our story but that isn’t what is on my mind today, today I am grieving the child I released and God is growing me….yet again, isn’t he always just pushing our hearts to grow, and in the moment it is so uncomfortable but when I step back the story he stitches together is breath taking.
God is faithful to put a word on my heart when I asks at the beginning of each year, in January I wrote the word release as my word for the year, little did I know how my idea of what that word meant for me would evolve. I thoughtt I was releasing my plans to God, we were facing a January court date in which they were going to recommend the termination of Barbara’s rights, I was torn on this subject because the very fiber of my heart was knit in protecting that boy but I also knew I had to fight for her too or on that day with her, it is a day neither of us will forget, on that day the trajectory changed. God opened the door just the tiniest bit for me to get into her heart and I stuck my foot in and refused to move it, haha the tree in the DHS parking lot will forever hold the memory of us sitting there not speaking in the cold on that January day. I thought I was releasing my anxieties to God but instead he was about to teach me about surrender in it’s most beautiful form …the surrender of a mother. I thought it was all about me until the first time I took him from her arms, it wasn’t just my surrender, my release it was hers too. This is not my story, her story, or Savages story, this story belongs to our entire family, hers and mine….ours.