Monday, June 15, 2009

The Unthinkable

Today, the unthinkable happened....
I was driving my posse home when my cell phone rang. I answered. I chatted, even as I pulled into our driveway.

Before I knew it, the kids had slammed their doors (which half the time they leave wide open) and run straight into the house. (The house door was unlocked, so they literally ran right in!) I followed, lugging my purse, some garbage, a water bottle, the snack bag... still chatting on the phone.

It was nearing "Rest Time," and I was so impressed with my kids. One went right in to "get poops out" (the pre-Rest Time ritual!) The others ran right to their rooms. I threw my garbage away, set down my purse, snack bag and water bottle, checked the poop in the toilet.... all while chatting on the phone! (No... the phone did NOT fall into the toilet.. it is worse!)

Still chatting, I popped my head into a bedroom to see my son quietly playing (a rare occurrence!) The one daughter was still finishing in the bathroom, and I went to the other bedroom to check on the third child.

Hmmm.... not there. I walked back out to the living room.... STILL CHATTING! "She must be playing (or hiding) in her brother's room," I thought. I turned to walk back in there.... still chatting- but about to hang up now.... when something caught my eye, running past the front window.

Then, in the front door walks my third child (4.5 years old.) Tears ran down her face. (AND I HUNG UP!!!) A little confused, I said, "What happened?" She said, rather calmly for her state of distress, "I was still in the car!"

I hugged her and cried my own tears. After grabbing her favorite blanket, we snuggled on the couch. I told her how sorry I was that this happened, and that I would make sure it would not happen again. She explained how she tried one door, but it did not work. Finally, she got another door open.

To say the least, I FELT AWFUL!

Later, I got all over analytical and philosophical about the whole thing:
First, I tried to imagine how scared she must have been. How alone. How sad.

Secondly, I realized how emotionally attached I was. This may sound weird. But to those who know my story, it may make a little sense. My children are very much MY children. Yet, they are not. I did not birth them. I did not choose their first names. There will always be "another mother." (Don't worry, I am not debating the idea of really makes a mother... just stating a fact.)

Sometimes, when other mom's say things about their kids, I cannot totally relate. I wonder, "Am I just old and cynical, or did I miss some special something?" I mean, I love them. I feel a bond with them. Yet, it is different.

Today, and a handful of times before, I felt that bond in a deeper way. This was my baby. I ached for her!

Thirdly, I was reminded once again that God is the only one who can guarantee that He will always be with us. He will never leave us or forsake us!

Isaiah 49:15 "Can a mother forget her baby?..... Even if these forget, I will never forget you." (from the Carol paraphrase.)

There is a wonderful song by Plumb called "In My Arms." It is a sweet song of a mother singing to her new baby. The chorus says:
Clouds will rage and
Storms will race in
But you will be safe
In my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash around
But you will be safe
In my arms

Yet, with all respect to Plumb, I cannot sing it that way. I don't agree! There is absolutely NO WAY that I can guarantee that my children will be safe in MY arms. Frankly, I think it does them a disservice to teach them this. Yes, they need to trust that their parent will be there for them. Believe me, I have seen the affects of this. Yet, they are really only safe in the arms of our Lord. "In GOD'S arms," is how I sing along.

If this journey of singleness, infertility, foster care and adoption has taught me anything, it has taught me to hold my children with open hands. People say that all the time... it is a little cliche'. Yet, I totally get it! When your children of 14 months get sent to back to their "home," you are vividly reminded that they are not really your children at all. They are God's!

It is sooo important to me that my kids understand this: I love them and their dad loves them. Our job is to do our best to take care of them. They can trust us to do that. But most importantly, God loves them. HE will never forget them or forsake them. They can trust Him!!

And so, I wrote this little bedtime song for my kids, my precious gifts from God:
I love you, Austin, Sierra, Savannah (whoever I am singing to)
And God loves you too.
God will be with you whatever you do.
I love you, Austin, Sierra, Savannah,
And God loves you too.
God will take care of you!

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