B learned how to roll over, crawl, eat table food, sign “more” and “all done”, say “Momma,” and so much more within the walls of our home. She loved for our mini Aussie to lick Cheeto Puff crumbs off her chubby fingers. She would give anything to go on a bike ride with my husband or eat waffles in bed with her sister. She slept like a champ as long as she was in the same room as Jaidyn. Patty-cake was her favorite pastime. She would get down to some Cocomelon. Her laugh was the soundtrack of our car rides. She spent 17 months intricately woven into the tapestry of our family. I think for a while I forgot that she didn’t belong to me.
In August of 2020, in a Target parking lot with a car full of her favorite toys, her Moana chair, every bit of clothing she owned, and my heart, she went back to her family.
Foster care really is about reunification and I wish this was a reunification that I believed in, but it isn’t. I could give every detail on how bizarre the case was, but that wouldn’t do anyone any good. I had to believe in that moment, as I handed her over that B’s Father was good and that He would be with her even if she wasn’t with me.
I play that moment back in my head every day — the last time I had her in my arms or smelled her hair or heard her cry. It makes me want to scream and cry and burn down the system. But it also reminds me of the closeness of the Father.
The days, weeks, and months following that day in the Target parking lot have been filled with grief and loss and anger, but also of hope and joy and growth and refining.
All I could do and all I still know to do is to thank the Lord for His goodness, for His faithfulness, for His character; to praise Him; to fill my car rides with worship; to turn sleepless nights into intersession; to let my tears remind me that He is near; to cling only to Jesus.
Psalms 63:3-4 says “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”
When you cannot think of a reason to praise Him, you don’t know Him. I used to read this and believe it, but now I have experienced it — His love is so much better than life.
Glorifying the Lord with my life, waking up every day to bring Him an offering of praise — that is what matters. In my marriage, in my parenting, in my grief and in my joy, I just want His name lifted high.
So, if you’re reading this, you can do it. You can make it through the valley if the Lord is walking alongside you. He will hold you so tightly and will remind you that He is only, always good.
When your heart feels heavy, make your lips sing His praise: He gives in abundance. He will redeem this story. He will restore broken things. He will bring healing to our family. He has conquered it all. He has given me the authority to claim the victory over this situation. I can’t see it, but I know He is working.
Whatever you’re walking through, be encouraged that His love is better than life, that you still have breath to bring Him praise, that He will ultimately be glorified.
Your offering of praise changes things, most importantly, it changes you.