Monday we bid our LuLu farewell. It was not at all how I expected things to go. I had imagined the move from our home would be to her permanent placement, but the story took a different turn when we realized our family could not meet her needs.
Disappointment, humility, regret, relief, consolation...all of these emotions swirled during the week we knew her move was imminent.
And then these words from Isaiah lept off the page and pierced my heart:
"Do not fear I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen
you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
The message of "do not fear" is familiar...but I read anew the words DO NOT BE DISMAYED.
I truly love that little girl. I’ve rocked her when she was sick, held her close when she was afraid, prayed with and for her, advocated
for her needs and ultimately released her with open hands to the chapter God has next for her.
I had a God ordained role for a season, but I am not her Savior--or her forever Mama--I was called to love fiercely and then to let go.
As I emptied her closet, cleaned out under her bed, vacated the cabinet dubbed her “special place” and packed all her earthly possessions
into four plastic tubs, I wondered where her story goes from here—and if our family will have any more involvement in it. We are open to an ongoing relationship--but it is out of our hands at this point.
Even the timing was not at all how I would have planned it....she left our home 12 hours before my husband and I left the country for a long planned anniversary trip. We were not there to pick up the pieces with her siblings or with our own bio kids. I am on a beach far, far away with my husband as the dust settles back at home--and the control freak in me continues to suffer a slow and agonizing death.
The moment of parting is a fear of every foster parent. How do you send off a child you have loved as one of your own? I am still a bit bewildered by the prevailing sense of peace and love that surrounded the parting. It truly cannot be explained apart from God.
She left with a beaming smile--thrilled that her next placement would mean being reunited with another sibling. No one shed a single tear. I honestly think she left feeling celebrated and loved.
As she was preparing to leave, Parker said "Wait! I wanted to write her a letter." He dashed inside and returned in a couple of minutes with a yellow sticky note that melted me and reminded me how God is powerfully using this season in all of our hearts.
And now I sit, feeling a bit of whiplash, staring at an expansive ocean and a beach full of tiny grains of sand. I am reminded that our God is SO much bigger than we can comprehend. He has given us the gift of rest--time to reflect and reconnect before we return home to reengage.
Our party of eight is now only a party of seven which still promises to be full of its own challenges, joys, twists and turns. As we trust God's larger plan, we claim it is well with our souls.