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Losing Baby Girl

We have had many, many foster children.  Since July 2013 we have had more than 20 children live with us for some period of time.  

I am going to be super honest here.  We are not amazing, selfless people.  The reason we started doing foster care was to adopt a baby.  I can't get pregnant, and I wanted to be a mother.  Out of the 20 plus children we have had, only a handful of them have felt like "ours".  Miss Baby was our first placement, and it killed me inside when she left to go live with her grandma.  Little Guy never left, he really is ours!  In March 2016 Bitty Baby went to live with her dad.  Although I was sad to see her leave, I was very happy that her dad was going to have her (he wanted her as soon as he found out she was his).  Tomorrow, Baby Girl is leaving.  

The fact that this was surprising to me is my own fault!!  There was a family member that wanted her, but wasn't able to get certified.  Once they told us that she wouldn't be leaving to go live with that family member, I was just *certain* that we would get to keep her (her parents are not involved with her at all).

She was brought home from the hospital to our house.  I woke up with her every night for two weeks (yes, you read that right two WEEKS, she is literally the easiest baby in the world), I changed all of her diapers, I freaked out when her umbilical cord started bleeding a little bit (which Google informed me is perfectly normal).  During the 8 months that she lived with us, I was the one that fed her 99% of her meals.  I gave her her first bite of "solid" food.  I felt her first tooth come in when she was chewing on my finger.  She was *my* baby.

Then a week ago, we were informed that the family that has her two half-siblings had agreed to take her.  

No one wants this.  The caseworker said she was dreading this visit, and she knows how much we love her.  We obviously don't want her to leave.  The family that is taking her is happy to have her, but DOES NOT think that it is fair, and doesn't want to take her from us.  They were informed by the judge that there is a new Sibling Rights Law in Oregon, and if they didn't agree to take Baby Girl, the children that are placed with them (who are relatives) would be moved, as well as Baby Girl, to a family that would agree to take all of them.  

I am so mad at a system that preaches the value of attachment, then rips a baby away from the family she is clearly attached to, so she can be with siblings that she has seen for a whole 18 hours of her life.  I know that statistics indicate better outcomes for children placed with family and allowed to remain with their siblings, but I think that these statistics are significantly skewed by the age of the majority of children in foster care, and not applicable to infants and toddlers.

However, I am so, so, so grateful for the family that she is going to.  They seem to be very kind people, the dad even gave me a hug while apologizing to me for taking her (she had an overnight visit this weekend).  He told me not to worry, they were Christians, and she would grow up to know Jesus.  I had literally prayed for that very thing the night before!

Do you know where God is in all of this?  He is right here, answering my prayers!  I don't know that I really prayed to keep Baby Girl.  I mean I probably did once or twice, but what I prayed for above all else was that she didn't get placed with the family member that originally wanted to have her (there were a number of red flags which I obviously can't talk about, but I was terrified).  She did not get placed with that family member.  Then when we found out she was moving, I prayed that the family would be Christians.  Not even a week later, and that prayer was answered as well.

With Miss Baby, over two years ago, I prayed that her father would not get her.  I probably prayed to keep her as well, but the fervent prayer in my heart was that her father would not get custody of her.  I did hope her mom would clean up and get her back, but her father was a very frightening person.  Although Miss Baby didn't stay with us, she also didn't go to her father, which was another answered prayer.

God works all things for good for those who love Him.  God answers prayers.  The thing is that God knows what He is doing WAY better than we do.  He knows where each of us should be, and what needs to be done to get us there.  And oftentimes, it doesn't look the way we want it to.  It doesn't feel good.  It hurts.  But that doesn't mean it isn't good, and it isn't what is supposed to be happening.  The world is broken, and people make choices that hurt themselves or other people.  But God is all-powerful and turns the brokenness of the world into glory for Himself.  You can't see the light from a lamp in a room lit by the sun.  But when a room is dark, the light shines for everyone to see.  When life is going perfectly, you can miss seeing God's work.  You can miss feeling the longing of your soul.  It is only in times of trouble that you can realize how much you need something beyond yourself.  How much you need God.

So while I am angry at the system, and saddened at the loss of *my* baby.  I know that just like my infertility, it is a part of God's plan.  A part of His plan that seems to suck at the moment, but holds great promise in the future.

Will I cry?  I really hope so.  It has always been a fear of mine that I am in some way broken, and don't really care enough about people.  That I am so selfish I only cry when I am mad.  I am always terrified that I won't properly feel a loss.  I have no idea where this (super weird) fear came from, but I first remember feeling it when my grandpa was dying.  I was insanely worried that I wouldn't cry when he died.  That I didn't really love him or something.  I did cry.  Sometimes I still want to cry thinking about it, or driving by my grandparents' old house.  But, every time I face the impending loss of someone I love, I am scared all over again that I don't have the "normal" capacity for love and attachment.  So I hope I will cry.  I am about 99% sure that I will, since I have had a hard time not crying while I write this.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5

I am so thankful for the prayers that have been answered.  Having Baby Girl in my home, heart, and arms was an amazing blessing.  I wouldn't trade anything for the chance we had to love this sweet little girl.  I love her, and I will miss her.  Our family will be sad, we will feel incomplete.  But we will be better for having known her, and hopefully she will be better for having known us.

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, I literally felt like I was fighting back tears with you as I read this! My heart is sad for you, but I know you have blessed this sweet little girl in ways you cannot understand right now! I really hate it when "blanket" laws/procedures are in place like these because there is no "one size fits all" in these situations. What might be a good thing for one set of sibling bags could be the very opposite for another�� I know I'm not the only mama who is blessed and strengthened by you sharing your mothering journey*hugs*!

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