I wasn't holding out on you. We just got the file, yesterday.
I opened the email with anxious fingers and a shaky heart.
My questions were many, but the most important question, for us, was the date of sweet girl's birthday (I'll refer to her as Lya - sounds like Leah). There has been one constant guideline in our adoption journey and that is birth order. For many reasons, Ben and I are firm on this "rule" for our family. I know, I know, lots of families overcome this just fine....but for us, it's important. Ty is a fithborn being rasied as a firstborn...and he IS a firstborn. His tendencies and perceptions all point to his status in our family as oldest. Even if only by a few weeks.
During the wait for the file, I fell more in love with these babies with each passing day. If it was God's way of preparing my heart, it worked. I was concerned with what we would do if the birthdays didn't align. Would our hearts win over our logic?
I scanned the file, quickly, to find the printed date.
All three four year olds were born in 2009.
Ty was born in June, LJ August, and Lya...in September. I bit my lip and my eyes swelled. God is in the details.
It's amazing how you can fall in love with words. No picture; no video clip. Just lines on a report. I was smitten by paragraph three. Absolutely washed in compassion and love, I cried through all 18 pages.
Lya is four. Jamar is two (mostly three). I couldn't help but replace their names with "Ty" and "LJ" when reading through the injustices done to them. Thinking about my babies living through the same tragedies, knowing LJ, did, in fact, survive similar experiences, was too much for my mama heart. I wept over loss.
While my heart went to heavenly places, pleading for these new babies, my eyes read through blurred vision, "neglect...emotional instability...disruption...trauma..." Lya and Jamar have been in care for two years, lived in seven homes, and never stayed more than a few months in any. Sound familiar? I was reading LJ's story all over again.
Anger rose up.
Sweet Lya hoards food, displays aggressive behavior when she's not feeling in control, has no understanding of personal boundaries, becomes unruly and frustrated when overwhelmed, displays a tick when she feels threatened, and doesn't seem to have the tools for expressing her feelings.
Of course, not. How in the world is a four year old...a FOUR year old...supposed to process living in seven homes over 24 months?
Little Jamar rocks himself back and forth to sleep, every night, until he falls over in exhaustion. The file infers this is due to lack of mothering... I can barely even type that.
The file goes on and on and on.
My God. Help us.
"Lya has no significant relationships to speak of, with the exception of her younger brother..."
I had to stop reading.
These are children. Children of the Most High God. Treasures on this earth...and they've been treated as rags. This story is a mess; this system is a mess. Both birth parents spent their life in the same system that ravaged their children.
My God. Help us.
Ben has spent the last several months buried at work. He's worked many long hours and weekends. We do our best to make life at home easy, loving him through this time. I had many hours with the file, while I waited for him to come home.
I felt guilty that he was going to have to read through such terror after such a long day. It was late in the night before we finally had a chance to sit down together. As sure as I was/am that I want to bring these babies home, Ben's reaction wasn't what I expected. It wasn't "yes". It wasn't "no". He was hesitant; reflective; and extremely protective toward our boys.
Ben's pause sent me in a tail-spin.
I respect my husband more than any man on earth. I run my life on passion and recognize that often times it clouds my view of reality. God gave me Ben's love to help ground me. He is steadfast and logical in his reasoning and I appreciate that.
We went to bed with more questions than answers and didn't come to a decision.
I woke up, this morning, in complete peace.
The part I haven't shared, yet, is that the agency is considering three families for this sibling set and I imagine, the other families are having similar conversations.
I snuggled in close to Ben (we are not pop out of bed people) and sat in silence for awhile. We agreed to allow the case worker to consider us, but want her to know that we have questions and concerns.
Our prayer moving forward is that God will make this easy. If Lya and Jamar are not part of his plan for our family, than we're asking God to pull our name from the ring. I only want to be selected if Ben and I can stand in assurance that this is God's path for us. We cannot be divided on the greatest challenge we'll face.
To no fault of their own, these babies are broken. And my heart weeps for them. I am desperate for God's restoration and redemption. It's theirs for the taking...they only need to be ushered in.
Please pray with us that Lya and Jamar will find security soon and that they will be welcomed into the unparalleled love of our God.