K is my foster daughter. We met her when she was turning two and she is now four. She was abused and arrived at our home with a casted broken leg and was recovering from the other leg being broken five weeks prior. Her eye is permanently swollen from an untreated infection and the court master ruled that she was abused. She was returned to her home because no one would identify the abuser and after ten weeks, she was injured again and returned to us. The second time she was placed with us, I felt sure that the courts would be swift to make a decision on her behalf. They did not. They spent months , even years, attempting to rehabilitate a couple who didn’t see a problem. A couple that took anger management classes and parenting classes, but never recognized their need for them. Court hearings were held every 3-6 months and at each one, I desperately prayed for permanency for K. I recruited others to pray and as we prayed, we waited for the courts to make a decision for K. Should she return home or should the rights of the parents be terminated? At each hearing, my hopeful prayers of permanency for K were met with a decision to wait another 3 months and meet again.
My journey of faith took a huge walk uphill when after a year and a half in care, they decided to start a reunification plan and award the biological parents increased visits and overnights in the hopes that K would return home. These visits were heartbreaking and disruptive for my family and even harder for her. While she had previously enjoyed her visits a day at a time, these extended visits were scaring her. She didn’t want to go. She wanted to stay with us.
Since I met K, my prayer has always been for the Lord to place her where she needed to be and to comfort my family if she needed to be reunited with her biological family . I stated many times that I felt like I was praying out of both sides of my mouth. “Lord, allow her to be part of our forever family…BUT, if you don’t, comfort us.” Many times I struggled with whether I should be grieving losing her or fighting to keep her. “Thy will be done Lord.” “Let her stay with us IF it is your will.” Though faithful in prayer, I felt like my prayers were indecisive. What did I want? My belief that a child deserves to be with their biological mother fought with my belief that a child deserves to be safe. Enter all the other considerations of raising a 5th child when we are approaching retirement age into the mix and I almost didn’t want to know God’s will.
As time passed, it became apparent to us that K would be better off in our home. We were the only “real” family she knew, yet I didn’t feel I had the right to tell God what he should do but someone needed to do something in the this case! The courts with their overcautious behaviors were doing a disservice to us and to K. We needed a decision.
I awakened to the idea that what we needed was a miracle.! A miracle is “an event or action that contradicts known natural, scientific laws and is due to a supernatural cause.” It would take a miracle to get an overly cautious court system to make a decision. I increased my prayers and the number of people I recruited to pray. I asked them to join me in praying for a miracle.
The day of the hearing came and I immediately became the recipient of not just a single miracle, but many miracles. I had a peace that made no sense, I had friends calling me and supporting me, my other children were having a good first day of school, I wasn’t as anxious as I thought I should be, I saw two deer in my front lawn and wasn’t too preoccupied to recognize the blessing in God’s creation and the list goes on.
I received a call from the caseworker following the hearing sooner than I expected and though there was no official ruling, steps are being taken to lessen the biological mothers visits and permanency is well on it’s way for K.
Later that evening, my Pastor called and said, “Well, did you get your miracle?” I had to think about it for a bit and then realized that I had. Though the court didn’t make an official ruling that day and officially K doesn’t have permanency yet, I realized that I had received my miracle. My miracle is accepting the fact that I received a miracle by letting go and letting God decide what is best in this case. My miracle is the peace I felt. Not every item on my miracle check list was checked off, but God knew exactly which ones to check off at this point. The miracle isn’t in the change in the situation, the miracle is in the change in me.
NOTE: Originally written 9-2-10 and I am pleased to say that K has received permanency and is a true blessing to our family!