3 months have gone by since we had the foster kids. I think about them almost every day. Emma asks about them quite a bit. This has been a long strange trip for all of us.
On one hand, if we didn't think about them it would be strange. We did take care of them for 11 days straight and a few days here and there before then. We took them in and loved on them. We can't now pretend like they never existed in our lives.
On the other hand, when we do think about them, it is strange. Why are we all pining over what could've been when we all know it wasn't meant to be?
Honestly, I'm scared. I'm scared that I missed out on what could've been. I wonder if we missed God's call to take these kids as our own. That really is the thing I think about most.
The crazy thing is - even though this is my consuming thought.... I KNOW they weren't meant to be ours. I KNOW THAT.
It is the hardest thing to explain to myself. I think about what could've been - but I don't miss them. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but I don't. When we were apart from Luke and Emma while we were waiting to adopt them, every day was devastating without them. Life has gone on without these 2 kids in our lives. We are not devastated. I haven't cried much since they left. I don't dream about them, I don't picture my life with them in it, I don't wonder what they're doing.
It's all so bizarre to process in my mind... why do I wonder if we missed God's call if I have peace about them not being here? We would not have that peace if we missed God's call. Unless we were cold-hearted selfish people - which I hope we are not!!
I stumbled across an adoption website the other day. It was about a disrupted adoption plan and the grief cycle. I found it very interesting. This WAS an disrupted adoption plan. We DID have intentions of moving forward. We DID think these kids could've been ours. We DID pursue this adoption with a future of 4 kids in mind. Although nothing legally said they were ever ours - our emotions let us go there.
And then when it was all "over", we experienced grief of what could've been.
The grief cycle has interesting parallels to me over the last 3 months:
1. Denial - "We never could've done this, I couldn't parent that little girl."
2. Anger - "Well if the mom hadn't drug us along, or if the adoption agency would've done things differently...."
3. Bargaining - "Well, maybe we could've done it. If we had done ____, would it have worked?"
4. Depression - "I suck. I couldn't do it. I told way too many people we had these kids and now they're gone and I'm a failure. Why didn't I keep my mouth shut and not tell anyone? I let these kids down, how will they ever grow up and face society knowing grownups just let them down?"
5. Acceptance - "It really will be okay. The kids will be okay, we were only meant to take care of them for a short time. Our family is fine. Great even. God knows what He's doing and He doesn't make mistakes. I might not understand why we had to do this, but I trust it was for a reason. A good reason."
I'd be lying if I said this has been easy. It has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. I don't get it, I have a million questions, and there is that part of me that wonders on a daily basis....
But the bigger part of me knows that God has kept us all in the palm of His hand through all this. He has good plans for all of us - ALL of us. And even though I can't for the life of me figure all this out, I have to trust. And although trust is all I got right now, it's good enough. Better than good actually.
And so I can rest, knowing we answered God's call. And although the ending to this story was not what we were expecting and still don't understand - I know that God has written this story and the ending is just what He wanted.
But sometimes our endings are just His beginnings.... And so I'm looking forward to the next chapter of our lives.