It's coming. The day they will leave our house is coming and I can't do anything about it to push it back. Yes, it is still foster care, and still ANYTHING can happen. But according to CPS, the day is coming soon....possibly January, which I'm telling myself DOES NOT start tomorrow.
So after their court date, they had what is called a permanancy conference. In a nutshell, at the conference, we were informed that mom is doing very well (according to the state, who happens to have very different standards than we do) and that they will look at returning the kids home with her after the holidays, sometime in January. Wow - it's so hard to even type that. It just makes is so much more real, as I just try not to think about it most of the time.
We have known from day 1 that this was coming, but now that it's here, I just want to slow down time. I haven't taken down "Christmas" yet at our house because maybe that means "the holidays" aren't over yet. (and maybe partly because we just got back in town from Houston on Saturday...but the thought has crossed my mind that if I just leave them up, I can prevent them from leaving) But I just have to keep reminding myself that no matter how much time or effort we put into these kids, we are not the ones that will save them, or protect them. God is their only hope. And my presence does not bring significance, only God's. Our sermon yesterday spoke on Haggai 2, where God's people were rebuilding the temple and were discouraged by how it was no comparison to the original. And God reminded them that it didn't matter how it looked or how much gold or silver it had. What mattered was His presence and the fact that He was with them. Dave and I can provide these kids things like new clothes, a nice house, healthy food, cool toys, etc. But all that stuff doesn't matter. God is what matters and what He give us matters - salvation. And just because they leave this house, it doesn't mean God leaves their lives. God is with them, just like He was in the new temple.
v.6-9: "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord Almighty. 'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the Lord Almighty. 'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the Lord Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the Lord Almighty. "
Another thing Haggai told them was that they didn't need to sugar coat their disappointment or hide their sadness and mourning of the old temple. I think we do that all the time. We try to turn a bad situation good, or we look at "the bright side" of things. Not that that's a bad thing, but sometimes I think it's okay to recognize our crappy situations or whatever life throws at us. I think it makes us focus more on the eternal and what God has done for us. One thing I have learned about being a foster parent is that it truly is crappy. I don't know why anyone would sign up for this. The state says "here, take these kids, love them, keep them save and healthy (oh and you and your house have to pass multiple inspections in order to take these kids), and we'll take them back when their bio family is doing what they are supposed to, or wait, maybe just showing an interest in what they are supposed to be doing." It's so insanely crazy. We are going to be left sad and alone and worried for these kids. There's not a whole lot of "brightness" to this situation. I am not ready for this. I'm not ready to let them go and maybe never see them again. I'm sure you never can be "ready," no matter how hard of a road it's been...and trust me, it's been hard. But man will we miss them. I can't type all the things we will miss about them...as I'm sitting in Starbucks and don't want people to stare at my weeping.
I guess it's a good thing I'm not one of those people that "could never do this, because it would hurt too much when they left." I guess since we are doing this, the whole sending them home thing will be cake though, right?? I think I will start anwering the question, "so will it be hard to send them home?" with a "nah, piece of cake." No offense if you've ever said or thought that...I'm just trying to look at the "bright side." :) I know most people cannot even relate to what we are doing and sometimes you just don't know what to say...I actually love talking about it and love that we do this...most of the time anyways...so I'm glad you are at least asking! But yes, it will be hard....it will be more than hard. It will be excrutiating, maybe the hardest thing I've ever done. But that doesn't mean we won't do it again, and again, and again. Because I don't think God calls us to do things that are always easy. I think He calls us to do things that glorify Him, and I just pray and hope that we have brought glory to Him in caring for these kids.