Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Light-Wrapping in the Dark

I am a hard-working, educated mama. For dinner, I had a large salad and chicken pizza, drizzled in barbecue sauce. For dessert, I had a sugared donut from our favorite cider mill. I could call more than a dozen people, right now - this instant - that would show up for me if needed. My bed is warm, my bills are paid, and my morning is full of promise.

I didn't spend much time, today, thinking about the mamas that went without. Actually, I didn't spend any time thinking about anyone. I rushed around trying to do my best to get all my little people to their places. It was one of those days that just didn't work and brought tears more times than not. I exhaled louder than necessary, when I finally sat down in the quiet dark. You know the moment -they're all asleep (you want to sleep) and you drink it in. I love the stillness. It makes total sense that God likes to meet there. I want to LIVE there.

My phone buzzed.

"I'm stuck in a bad situation..."

Sweet Mama.

I put the phone down without reading more, set my head to my hands, and threw out a what-are-you-doing-to-me, "Lord?"

Help her.

"I hear what you're saying, but...." haven't I helped enough? I didn't voice that last part. It sounded better in my head.

Help her.

Our relationship was never easy, but her release from prison has brought an onslaught of uncomfortable conversations and necessary boundaries. I sighed and read the rest of her message.

She needed a safe place to stay. Her roommate was using, her first paycheck undelivered, she had no one to call and no where to go. She apologized for asking, promised to pay me back, and gave me a number to book a weekly-rated motel. I could feel her desperation.

Help her.

Without hesitation, I picked up the phone and called the motel. No room. I, quickly, texted our case worker and asked for resources. Within minutes, she sent me women's shelters and named places to stay clear of.

Everything was full or required in-person payment. The shelters all had wait lists. I was told to call back every day between 8-9am to hold her spot, in hopes that something will open in the coming weeks. For every day I don't call, her name will move further down the list.

I spent 90 minutes scouring the city for a safe haven. Nothing.

My frustration grew with every phone call. Our system fails our kids and, now it's failing her. Sure, Sweet Mama gets help here and services there, but she needs radical intervention - someone to hold her hand and walk her through the mud. With two years of sobriety behind and a heart full of dreams ahead, she is at the point of balance. Anything can happen, but odds point south.

She was forced to stay put, tonight, but we made a plan for the morning. I know God will protect her, but I don't know what that means for me.

Help her.

I wanted to end our relationship three times, this week, but God kept pushing me forward.

In all of his years of ministry, Jesus, certainly, could have used the excuses I've been trying out - this isn't easy; this isn't comfortable; the cost is too great; I've done enough.

But he didn't. And because he didn't, I have salvation, today.

Aren't you glad that Jesus didn't see the soldiers coming and say, "I'm out. THIS is where I draw the line. I've done enough." Wouldn't he have been justified?

As much as I want to resist it, I can't deny the begging of my heart. I don't know what comes next or how this looks. And it's a little terrifying. Okay, it's A LOT terrifying. But, I rest in this - God doesn't abandon us when the monsters of the night creep before us.

Instead, he scatters the darkness and wraps us in light.

We CAN do hard things.


  1. I think you have done enough. You need to concentrate on your family because the person that is going to get hurt here is you. I understand you feel the need to help but You have to stop. Be careful. Enjoy your beautiful children and loving husband. I love your blog.

  2. I have been following your story now for many years, and it is the strangest thing -- every time you post about Sweet Mama and your meetings and relationship with her, I keep getting this feeling: "Someday, they're going to adopt not only her kids, but her." Oh, maybe not legally or formally, but it seems that she is just as much in need of a family as her children were, and...and I don't really have more to say than this as a random stranger on the internet but I have had this feeling very strongly now for a long time, and wanted to share.

  3. Yes you can. You can do whatever God tells you to.

  4. It's so good to see and read a new blog post from you! I know you have your hands full and there are only 24 hrs in a day, but I still eagerly look to see if there is an update.

    You certainly are making yourself more available to the birthmother (Sweet Mama) than most adoptive parents that I've known--including myself. It's humbling, inspiring and uncomfortable at the same time. It's also very sad and frustrating that while she is trying to remain sober and continue on the better path, her road is still rocky and unstable. Life is hard, but some of us have no idea just how hard it can be be for others, until their lives intersect ours intentionally or otherwise.

    Praying for you and Sweet Mama.

  5. Praying for you and sweet mama. I'm glad you posted(:

  6. You come to my mind often, maybe as the Lord's prompting to pray! Love to see this post today - sharing your very real struggle! "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!" When the Lord calls, He enables. Thank you for being an example of being sensitive to the Lord's leading.

  7. There is a reason the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others. Please, you need to reread you own last couple of months of journal entries if you have even had the time to do something I know you love to do!!! I know she is in desperate need of help but at this point you...your babies and your husband must come first (and I know the babies and husband do, by you seem so very selfless you put everyone before you)...this woman will always be a taker she will take from you as much as you will give and you are an amazing wonderful person to do what you do!!! But please remember that I say this out of love, not judgement, take care of you!!! Does no one but me worry that some day she will try to find you and kidnap the kids?

  8. You are my adoptive mom hero!!!! I pray for you and your family.We are entering an open adoption. It amazes me you are putting so much energy when the outcome will be less than stellar. Keep the faitH!!!

  9. You are amazing! You have such grace and peace - I love reading you story.

  10. I hope one day she will have everything she needs to thrive 'on her own.' Until then, I'm glad she sees Christ in you. I hope she NEVER takes this love from you for granted. Hugs as you try figure out how much of yourself to give.