I’m late in posting this because I feel like I am still processing what has happened.
Friday was a profound day: my foster daughter had a court hearing to make some decisions for her case. I’ve always hated court dates because they are such a poignant reminder of how broken everything is. It’s heartbreaking that a situation could go so off the rails that it ends up being debated and decisions made by outside parties in a court of law. Nobody wins. Ever. It is simply about mitigating the damages.
I’m feeling the strangest mix of emotions as I’m absolutely elated and wretchedly heartbroken. My foster daughter’s biological mom had her parental rights terminated on Friday.
We are going to adopt her.
It is still unreal writing that even though it has been on the horizon for a while now. I’m in love with this baby girl with every fiber of my being. I brought her home from the hospital more than a year and a half ago, did midnight feedings, got her through surgeries, and played peek-a-boo countless times. She’s my girl and she calls me mama.
I’m a mom which is why I’m heartbroken. I ache for her mom since I know she has just lost what I treasure most dearly. It’s a parent’s worst fear and she is living it. She didn’t show up in court and I can only imagine it’s because facing what was happening was too difficult. I grieve too for my little girl since she has lost something too even though she is so young and doesn’t understand it all yet. She will one day.
The timing of this is beautiful and tragic since Sunday was Mother’s Day. I sobbed in court as the judge asked if I want to adopt her.
The judge said it was clear to him that my little girl’s real mom was in court that day. He told me to have a wonderful Mother’s Day. I sobbed more.
“Real” mom is such a loaded term for me. I’ve been working towards the goal of reunifying her with her mom and I’m so sad and yet so thankful that the little girl who has become such a part of our family gets to stay with us. One of her first words was “brothers”, you know.
Saying goodbye to her would be as painful as cutting out my heart and handing it over to someone else and hoping they’d protect it while I stood there bleeding. Probably more.
I’m not quite sure yet what makes a mom “real” since both her bio mom and I are moms to her, albeit in different ways. It hit me when I went to one of my son’s Mother’s Day tea party and the kids sang a song with the repeated line “there’s only one mom for me”. It cut through me since my little girl is always going to have two moms and I would never want her to feel like she has to choose between them. I shouldn’t need to possess her completely to feel secure in our relationship.
Because getting to adopt her isn’t like winning. This wasn’t a competition to see who could keep her. If we view adoption like this, the only one who loses is her. And if she loses, don’t we all?
Adoption is a promise. I promise that I will love her and put her interests ahead of my own for the rest of my life. She won’t always like what this will look like when it comes down to discipline and I’m sure she’ll mull over how much she hates me as she sits in time out later or when I won’t let her buy too short shorts, but it will be what she needs. Adoption is a relationship build on a promise, on trust, and grace.
Adoption is beautiful since it comes directly out of the heart of God. His grace and commitment to us is evidenced in how we are adopted into His family through the sacrifice of Christ for our sins. It is born out of pain and sin and mess much like the court room on Friday. It’s an act of worship because in the midst of all the chaos, we are saying that God is good.
It’s not going to be easy. I know that. It hasn’t been easy all the time. There are so many hurdles to navigate and pitfalls to avoid for this to be successful. Adoption always comes at a cost and I know I don’t have to pay it.
But I want to.
Right now, we are in legal limbo. More court dates and paperwork are needed to make this thing official and it could be… well… we have no idea how long. It doesn’t change anything though in the meantime. We’ll just be waiting for our legal situation to catch up with our emotional one.
She’s been my girl since I brought her home from the hospital on that cold and rainy fall evening 19 months ago. I just get to say so publicly now.
Thanks so much for all your prayers throughout this whole journey!