Paternal Aunt made another stab at trying to convince Husband and I that it would be best for the three kids to stay in Sending State. Reading her message, my feelings came fast and furious. This is how it went:
Indignant. “You think the kids would be better off with family who are so neck-deep in denial that they never even noticed that mom and dad were drug addicts and the kids were being neglected?! Pu-lease.”
Anger. “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Fear. “She’s obviously desperate. But What if the court decides the kids ARE better off in sending state?”
And then a different kind of Fear. “….What if she is right? What if it IS better for them to stay with the family that they know? What if we take these kids and we screw them up big time? What if we can never love Baby G and Brother the way they need to be loved? What if I resent them and this decision we’ve made? What if this ruins my daughter’s life? What if I never have a date night with my husband or drive a car that was made in this decade or buy clothing from anywhere but the thrift store again? What if mom ends up getting all the kids back- how will this devastate my family, and how will that screw up baby G? What if this is The Biggest Mistake We Ever Made?”
I’m nothing if not overly dramatic.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about this today, and I’m not sure how to articulate what I’ve discovered. I guess that’s why I’m taking up blogging- to teach myself to articulate my feelings, and not just feel them. Bear with me, I promise that as long as I keep writing, I’ll get better in time. Maybe not in this post. But T.I.M.E.
I’ve realize that I am full of self-doubt. I know most people have some self-doubt, but I am full of it. And even as I write that, I am reminded that I was full of self-doubt about this decision when I made it. But I was also full of faith in Jesus, and I was able to breathe and trust that He was directing my path. When I forget to remember God, when I get all into my own head and can’t get out, the result is I am full of fear.
I do not know what is going to happen. But He does.
I don’t know how to be a good parent to all these kids. But He does, and I believe He will teach me.
I don’t know how to have patience with the kids or plan the meals that will relentlessly come three times a day or still be a great (or, let’s face it, even a barely passing for acceptable) wife even with all this new stress in our lives. But He knows how to help me with all of that.
I feel so much more peaceful.
This post did not go the way I thought it would. I thought I would write and write about my conflicting thoughts and emotions. But He reminded me, He is more than enough. I’m thankful.
Yup. Four kids.
After much soul searching, Husband and I have decided that we are ready, willing, and looking forward to parenting all the kids. That means Boo and her brothers will [probably] be arriving here by the end of the month. I’m excited and scared. Four kids! It’s what I have always wanted! But right now, we are finally just getting our finances in the order they need to be after a rough two years. We have a business that we are still trying to get off the ground. Our house is kind of small for four kids- we rent, and don’t own. And we don’t own a vehicle that will transport all of us at once. We’re still thrilled.
The kids’ paternal grandparents and aunt are both upset about placement and are fighting us and DHS. They don’t want the kids to leave the state. I understand why, I really do. But the grandparents lived right next door while all the neglect and drug use was occurring (they say they were unaware of the drugs), and never once called DHS. The aunt says they hate confrontation to an extreme. I am not okay with the kids being placed with them. I know they would give the parents unrestricted, or at best restricted, access, even if DHS makes it clear they are to have NO access. I might be okay with the aunt taking them, except that we love Little Lady too much not to fight, she has stated time and again that she wants to live with us, and we are more than prepared to have and love the boys like our own. Plus, the judge would place the kids with the grandparents before the aunt, so she’s kind of out anyway, even if she doesn’t see it that way.
They’re contacting me because they’re upset that, as Husband is blood to all three, and they are only blood to two, the judge has said that he is legally obligated to place them with us. But apparently he has moral reservations about taking the kids from all their friends and family there in the state- from aunt, both sets of grandparents, great grandparents, cousins and friends- and moving them 1500 miles away. So grandma and aunt are holding that over our heads- “The kids have already been taken away from their parents. How can it be right to take them away from all of the family that love them and that they have ever known?”
Its a powerful argument, and one that Husband and I have deeply considered. However, the fact of the matter is that all of those people, except perhaps the paternal aunt, have a history of placing bio mom’s and dad’s needs above the three kids’. There is history of drug use, alcoholism, or extreme codependence on the part of all adults involved. We are uncomfortable with that, and don’t feel that the kids should have to grow up in those circumstances when there is an opportunity for them to get out. Yes, it’ll be tough for the boys, as they don’t know us. But Boo didn’t know us when she was placed with us ten years ago either, and now we have an unbreakable bond.
They all want Boo, Brother and Baby G. They’ve each asked us to reconsider. But here’s the thing. I really believe that God placed these kids on our heart for a reason. I’ve prayed with an open heart and asked Him whether we should withdraw our request for placement. Would it be better for the kids to stay there? The answer I received was swift and concise: Absolutely Not. So we move forward. Placement will be decided on the 15th, and I am hoping the kids will come the following weekend.
Four kids. Wow.