Sunday, April 13, 2014

#17 - Prove Me (Through January 22, 2011)

I've been storing up all this knowledge for so long.  Most of my adult life has been relatively easy.  I don't know why I'm so blessed.  All around me I have watched marriages sturggle.  A child pass away before his parents.  Addictions.  Fertility trouble.  Financial struggles.  Today I was remembering a conversation Jason and I had about those that are close to us that are having a hard time conceiving.  After a discussion of what we would do in their situation, we ended by agreeing that we have never wanted something so badly that we couldn't have.  And now we are experiencing just that - something that we want so bad, but there's nothing we can do about it.  All the time and energy and support and spinning our wheels is getting us no where.  So I have to stop and try to find a reason in the bigger picture of things.  All this knowledge and learning that has been stored up is now being put to the test. 

We have been learning more about the Health and Welfare system.  Something I want to turn my head and never face, but when our baby is stuck in their care, we have no other choice.  The case worker that is in charge of our case will be with us for the first 30 days.  Her job is to take kids out of homes.  That's it.  It's not her job to place them back in the home.  That will be up to our next case worker.  A family has 21 months to get their child back or they can be placed for adoption.  Even 1 day closer to 21 months seems scary to me.  We can't get anything out of our case worker, as far as what we are supposed to be doing in the meantime.  No steps we should be taking to move forward.  Despite what the judge told our case worker about placing Bryer with family ASAP, she still hasn't.  30 days is a long time to be with this case worker.  Especially with a nursing baby.  Especially with a baby recovering from brain issues.  We're at day 18 now, counting down until we work with someone new. 

We got another visit with Bryer today.  An hour wasn't enough, but it will have to tide me over through the weekend.  I am so thankful to the visit facilitator who has arranged more visits.  3 hours a week isn't much, but it's better than the 1 hour a week we were getting.  Jason is trying to transition back to work and getting our older boys back to start school, so I took Piper and Walker with me to the visit today.  They were excited to see Bryer, but also stir crazy in a small room with nothing to do.  I tried to balance my quality time with Bryer while entertaining my 4 year old and 2 year old.  We played a lot of Eye Spy and shooting Cheerios into the trashcan while I nursed.  Toward the end of the visit Walker took pictures of his boots.   I must have 100 pictures just like this one. 

And a 'few' like this one that Piper took...

I had a chance to scan through the journal I gave the foster mom to write about Bryer.  She's done well at writing nearly every day, but sometimes it's just 'Today she was fussy,' or 'Got a couple smiles from her today.'  I want details.  Tell me how she ate, how much she slept, what she wore, what she smiled at.  Again, I have to remind myself not to be critical.  It really is a conscience choice.    

Our family will now be split in 3 different homes - Bryer in foster care; Jason home with Hunter and Sawyr; and Piper, Walker, and I will stay with Jason's parents to stay close to Bryer.  It's tough.  I feel the same feelings as I did in the hospital - I just want to be together.  I don't want to feel like my heart is pulling in different directions. 

After feeling as full as I could after a visit with my baby girl, we decided to go home for the weekend.  There are no visits on the weekends.  No attorney appointments.  No court dates.  No Health and Welfare.  Such a bittersweet feeling to know that I will be 100 miles away from Bryer.  But another part of my heart feels close-to-complete knowing there will be 6 of the 7 of us together again. 

January 22, 2011
We went to Hunter's basketball game today.  There wasn't a minute of that game that I was not keenly aware that my arms were empty.  No baby to keep happy.  No baby to sway with at the corner of the court.  I try to be in the moment.  I really do.  I hugged friends I hadn't seen in a month.  I took pictures of the game in action.  I tried.  But it's very hard when a piece of me is 100 miles away.  After the game, an acquaintance from our community walked past me and sincerely said how happy he was to see our family all together again.  My mind went blank.  Had he not noticed that we are missing a very important detail, a tiny little body, that is part of our 'together'?  It was so apparent to me - as if my right arm had been completely chopped off and he overlooked it.  In a moment of hesitation, I just said, "Thank you."  I knew he was sincere.  His hope of us being together was my hope too.  My own hope was already dashed.  I decided not to add his to mine.  I'm sure he will find out from someone that we are not complete and he will be very embarrassed.  I didn't need to be face-to-face with him when he realized. 

We hear it over and over and over again.  Read the scriptures.  Have daily scripture study.  Read His word.  Liken yourself to the scriptures.  There have been times in my life that I really feel it, but a lot of the time lately I just go through the motions.  Check it off my list.  Now I am trying.  I really am!  I can't say that I understand everything I read or receive any answers directly from what I'm reading, but there's a new peace in my heart.   I don't understand how it works, but God has sent us great blessings right here in the middle of our trials because of it.  Somehow obedience converts our situation from the inside-out.  I feel a transformation happening within myself and I don't know that I can explain it in words.  Nothing has changed on the outward.  Our baby is still gone.  Our family is still not complete.  There's a giant hole in my heart.  We're nearing the end of our stay with Jason's parents, which brings more changes.  I have continued to pray for our case worker.  And several times I have been able to put myself in her position.  If this really were what she thinks it is, then she is doing her job.  She's just going on what the doctors say.  She's hardened from the job she does  But in the end, I'm still held accountable for how I treat her.  How I think about her.  Even how God sees her, if I can catch a glimpse of that.  Yes, I'm completely upset that she took my baby, but when I have prayed every day for as long as I can remember to 'be a good example,' now is my time.  I'm far from perfect, but He does not ask for a perfect example.  Just like He doesn't ask us only when it's easy to be a good example.  But even in the most trying times, it's important.  Especially in the most trying times.  I feel the confidence God has in me.  It's not a prideful thing or a "I'm better than you," just a feeling of pure confidence to get me through this hard time and know and feel exactly how He feels about me.  He loves me enough to stretch me and try me and help me along the whole way.  Every single step. 

While I was at home, I popped in one of my favorite CD's.  Hilary Weeks always has just the right words and today was no exception.  The stories I read are not just 'old Bible stories' that are ancient.  They are the result of faith and prayers and real, tangible experiences.  These people proved themselves - their character, their integrity, their devotion - and they didn't write about the 'nice times' while they did it - but those times when all those qualities were called to action.  God has given me this opportunity.  I can do this! 

(Thanks to those who put videos together on YouTube so I can share these songs with you.  I didn't have the video at the time, but it illustrates the music.) 

Hilary Weeks, Prove Me

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