Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Sweeter Place

On Sunday night our church had an ice cream social before the evening service. What a wonderful time it was to just be at church with all the people you love and who love you! (and eat more ice cream than you really should) At the same time we also presented a lady in our church with a weekend trip to Pigeon Forge, TN. (the trip included spending money for her and her husband) You see this friend is pregnant. But this pregnancy has not gone as she would have planned it. Her child has some physical abnormalities. With the birth of any child life changes for the parents, but having a child with special needs the changes multiply. We wanted them to have some quality time before they were inundated with all of the doctors, appointments and needs of this child.

Last night I received a phone call from another friend. Our friend had been to the doctor and a heartbeat could not be found. They had taken her to the hospital to induce her labor. Her dream of this child had slipped away.

As of 1:00 this afternoon she had not made much progress in her labor. The doctor does not want to give her pitocin. On one hand I understand not wanting to put her through the agonizing contractions that pitocin brings, but on the other hand, the waiting is agonizing. My heart is breaking. I want to do something tangible for her. But I have nothing but love and prayers to offer. I cannot go see her. My husband is away today, and taking two small children would not bring her comfort.

Heaven is now a little sweeter. God is holding this precious little one, and He is holding my little one. What a longing I feel to be in that place where sickness, death and pain are not allowed to enter! To be with the ones I love who have gone before me or from whom I am separated from. To not have to endure the horrible pain and sadness that this earth holds. To be free for eternity and united with God and our loved ones. Oh, praise God! May His coming be soon!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Emilly is such a funny girl! She says the funniest things at just the right moment. Such a wonderful characteristic for such a wee one. Yesterday, she had one of those moments that about made my face split open as I tried not to show that I was laughing. The expression on my face must have been one of sheer torture with all my facial muscles contracting to try to contain the laughter.

First I should set the scene. Emilly and Hazel were with me at school. Thom, my husband, had a JROTC competition. I was asked to help serve all the kids lunch. So, we spent most of the morning and afternoon at the high school. At one point, Hazel and Emilly were right outside the concession stand, where we were serving, coloring and writing. I came out to comment on how well they were behaving and this is the conversation that we had.

Susan: Thank you girls for behaving so nicely!

Hazel: You welcome!

Emilly: I all done.

Susan: You're all done with what, sweetie?

Emilly: I all done behavin'

Emilly then proceeded to walk over to Hazel and poke her with her pencil.

I found this to be extremely hilarious! (not the actual poking) That is honesty! She knew that she had had enough of being good and was kind enough to let me know that she was done. Of course, she had a consequence, but it was most difficult to do with a straight face.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Paternity Test

Last night after I arrived home from church, I had a message from our social worker. She asked that I call her at home.(yes, I panicked!) Turns out the paternity test results came back, and R is Hazel's biological father. The SW is unsure of whether visits will start this month or if we can hold off on them until after the judge hears this case next month. They are ready to introduce R to Hazel even if Hazel is not at a place where she is ready to be introduced.

Today I as I have tried to begin to process this week, I realize that my relationship with God is about to go deeper. Honestly this scares me! Going deeper with God usually involves a lot of pain. The outcome is a good thing, but the process is hard.

The key verse in my devotion this morning is I Peter 5:10 "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

Monday, September 18, 2006

And the verdict is...

well, I don't know. Court was continued until next month. The attorney's for the girl's mother, grandfather and Hazel's father were not present. There was also a question as to whether the motion for a homestudy to be done on the grandfather had been rejected by the judge in July or not. So, we will wait until October to be heard.

What do I think of it all? Well, honestly, I have had a spirit of praise all day. There is a reason that this judge did not hear this case. The reason is God. God obviously did not want this case to be heard today, and I will praise Him. This was not the judge who was likely to rule in our favor. Next month may be the right time and place for this to be heard. God has asked us to wait.

My purpose this next month is to love Hazel and Emilly, teach them more about God, and rest in the promise that God is who He says He is. I do not have to worry about anything. Trusting God is all I need to do.

Thank you, Father, for the answer you gave today. I will wait for you to reveal your plan for us.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Waiting

The paternity test is done. The waiting has begun. They say it will take four to six weeks, but it could be as soon as two weeks.

It would be easier if I could say that there was something obviously wrong with this man or his mother. That is other than the fact that he has not tried to have contact with Hazel or paid child support in over 3 years. Yes, they did know where she was for at least two of those years. But they were very kind and respected every boundary that I placed on the meeting. They did not try to touch her or directly interact with her. They just sat and watched.

At the time, my husband, Thomas, and I were more concerned with Hazel feeling comfortable and safe. Thomas sat on the floor and played trains with Hazel in the waiting room, and I spent time with our new acquaintances.

When we were called back for the test, Thomas waited in the waiting room with Emilly, and I went back with Hazel and R. R was kind enough to step up his part of the paternity test. This gave Hazel time to see what was going on.

Back in the waiting room, we sat around and talked a little while longer, and then Hazel became afraid that we were going to leave her. She began crying so we left immediately.

Now, a few days later, I think back and wonder what it was like for R and his mother, D, to sit and watch Hazel. Did R long to hold her? Did he regret all of the years he has missed out on? Was he angry at what this child has been through? Did he wish he could turn time back and do things differently? What was he thinking? Were his feelings hurt when Hazel kept asking for "my daddy" (Thomas not R) while we were waiting for the test? She does love Thomas. Some times I think she has forgotten her other daddies.

The hardest part of waiting is trying to live normally. Do I continue to fix her room up the way she wants or do I wait? Do I buy winter clothes? Winter in the mountains of NC is a lot different than winter in FL. When she asks me if I will keep her forever, what should I say? Do we plan on Thanksgiving and Christmas as a family of four or will there only be three?

Today we have lived together as a family of four. I do not know how long it will remain that way, but I am thankful for today. I pray for a thousand tomorrows together. God is amazing and loves to show up in the midst of our darkest times and let His light shine.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

All to Jesus

...I surrender. ALL to Him I freely give.

Today I will take Hazel to meet her biological father and her paternal grandmother. They are trying to get joint custody of her. So, today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Today is the paternity test. DSS is hoping to have the paternity test back by court on Sept 18.

My feeling have vacillated from one end of the spectrum to the other. We love Hazel as our own. In July the judge ordered the plan to be adoption. We were asked if we would be willing to adopt Hazel and Emilly. Of course, our answers was a hearty yes.

Now we are faced with a very real possibility that Hazel and Emilly will be separated, and Hazel sent to live in Florida.

But honestly, today and even last night God has given me a peace I cannot explain. I know He holds her future and will guard her. We have prayed continually that He would place a hedge of protection around her. I believe He will. His grace is sufficient. And when my faith waivers I will ask God to help me my unbelief.

Friday, September 01, 2006

And Emilly...

Emilly, you are an amazingly funny two year old. I never would have thought that the introverted and scared child that arrived at our home eight months ago would have turned into who you are today. What is it that you are today? Well, I thought I would make a list of the top ten things I like about you.

10. Those cheeks! You have these sweet cheeks that can glow like a light bulb with the slightest bit of heat or when you cry. Everyone comments on the baby with the round cheeks.

9. Mine! Since you turned two in July, you have perfected the word "mine". You have an amazing vocabulary for a two year old, but the word "mine" tops the list most days. It makes my heart swell when you say "my mommy" or "my daddy".

8. Your laugh! We did not hear your true laugh for a while. At first, you laughed a silly artificial laugh when Hazel did something silly, but then one day we heard the real Emilly laugh. It was so sweet. The laugh of a baby. Last week that sweet laugh changed to that of a child. It now resembles a donkey. But you do it so well. Your laughter is truly contagious.

7. That you are two. Some days that might not be my most favorite thing, but I love that two has turned you a little more confident. Hazel is not able to force you do as much anymore. You tell her "no" often, and you are not always willing to be at her beckon call.

6. This might sound like a contradiction to number 7, but you are a wonderful follower. So often everyone wants to be the leader, but you are willing to be a follower without complaint. It is a gift to be a good follower. I pray that you will use that willingness to follow in your future relationship with Jesus. He is an awesome leader who never fails!

5. You look totally opposite of what I thought my child would look like. This is a gift from God. He definitely has a sense of humor, and He has used it often when I try to dictate what things will be. I thought for sure my next child would have dark hair and eyes like myself. You are God's design with your blond hair and blue/gray eyes.

4. At this moment, I am your favorite parent. Selfish? Yes, I admit to being a little selfish of your attention. I love that in a roomful of your favorite people I am usually your first choice when you wish to be held.

3. YOU ARE A GIRLY GIRL! I have no clue how God put us together on that one. You shake in fear at the sight of bugs, amphibians and reptiles. (even the fake ones) You would rather play with your babies and blankets. Funny since, I am the proud owner of two of the sweetest frogs on the earth.

2. You do the funniest voices and facial expressions! It is hard to believe that a little girl like yourself can have that big deep voice you do. It makes people laugh in hysteria when you do it.

1. Is simply because you are you. You do not try to be Hazel or anyone else. You live life as yourself. That is an admirable quality for such a young person. Never give that up!

Emilly, this list could go on forever, but these are a few of the things I like most about you. You are such a joy to be around. I love you, boo.