Monday, February 23, 2015
I knew, nearly, ever word that I read. It wasn't that I wrote them; rather I am living them, every day. Yet, as I read through Sweet Boy's file for the first time, today, I choked back sobs.
There is a reason the agency does not allow foster parents too close. There is a reason they hold back beginning details that shape the children that come to care.
Only God could love through the injustice.
We live in the country, which wouldn't qualify, except that in subzero temperatures, we put off the walk to the mailbox for as many days a possible. I don't know how long these haunting words sat, preparing for our first meeting, but when I, carefully, opened the first page, I did it with quiet esteem.
I didn't let Ben in at first. There is something so private about reading your child's missed moments. As a woman - as his mother - it's a right to life I missed. I never felt him press in my womb or gasp for life. I missed four birthdays. I wasn't in the police car, he so, vividly, remembers. I missed his most terrifying moments.
The gap filler is a simple, neat file, written from a legal perspective. I remember the day I read LJ's. We didn't know him, love him, or even know what he looked like.
Reading Sweet Boy's file was much, MUCH, harder. He is already my son. The birthing pains that brought us to today, were more painful than this barren belly were prepared for.
His assessment summary was right on. Sweet Boy frequently "vomited without physical cause...was distant from his foster family and reported to have a flat affect...he had heightened anxiety most of the time...he stutters when nervous...struggles in his interactions with peers...sensitive to conflict...he will hit himself to self-discipline...he is not comfortable with physical affection...lacks all self-confidence...he has a diagnosis of adjustment disorder with anxiety and depressed mood."
Processing the summary was not difficult because the blood of Jesus dripped on every word and stamped REDEEMED over every lie of the enemy. Sweet Boy's therapist was in tears, this week, as we work through graduating him from therapy. She marveled at how secure he is.
His increased confidence, affection, and open heart are never lost on me. I know how far we've come.
It is a complete privilege to be a first-hand witness in God's victory.
My heart was not ready to read the next page. I'm not even sure how I will get through typing this.
Sweet Boy is three weeks old. CPS receives a complaint. X, Y, and Z is happening and Sweet Boy is crying most of the time. He is not being changed or fed.
I closed my eyes and allowed myself to mourn the baby that survived this without his mother. Thanking God for protecting him, but wishing it all to be different.
I took a deep breath before picking up where I left off.
My blurred vision made it impossible, but after confirming three times, I realized Sweet Boy dropped off the grid for three years due to several moves outside of Michigan. I, mentally, had to force myself to move past the horrors my mind conjured in the absence of information.
Several more CPS allegations were made. None of them were easy to read...but this was the hardest. Mom and Sweet Boy are moving from motel room to motel room, sleeping on the floor, and "there is no food for [Sweet Boy]."
Mom admitted to selling their food stamps for heroine and that Sweet Boy had not eaten in two days.
I can't stop crying.
I cried when I read it to Ben; I'm crying now.
I would cry over ANY child that was forced to go days without food....but this....this isn't any child. This is my precious boy. The son that God gifted to me. The son that kissed me for the first time a few weeks ago. The baby that would crawl in bed, next to me, because he had the same, reoccurring, nightmare for months in a row. The tender-heart that prays for his mom and Missy's dad - the same people responsible for his neglect. The same little guy that asks me at least six times before EVERY meal, what we're having.
For months, I've been annoyed by his questions. Telling him to stop asking after the first time.
I knew he was helping collect cans for food, but I never let my mind wander enough to what that meant for my one, two, three, and four year old son.
He probably always asked six times about what he was going to eat, hoping that one time the answer might mean something else.That his question might soften the hunger pains in his belly.
That is just too much for this mama heart.
I can't write more.