Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How fast can I blog??

This is the question I've been asking for quite some time now as I've tried to squeeze in the time, but tonight I just figured I better hunker down and get it done.

Days in our house right now are...livable, at best. We have moments of greatness, but they seem to be quickly dashed by moments of emotional downpours. The boys are doing great. My husband and I, on the other hand, are a big mess. For the sake of honesty, I am going to, yet again, give a pretty raw description of what's been going on at our house.

I'd say every night at about 8pm, after the boys have gone to bed and I've had time to think, I have a slight breakdown. I have found myself daily grasping at any piece of scripture I can read, but feeling like I come up empty. My thoughts are such a jumbled mess that I don't even know how to express them all in words, but here are things I have said most frequently while venting to dear friends (and my mom!).

I have yet to find joy in this situation. I'm learning how much easier it is to attach to babies than 3-year-olds. Even when K-man is being a great kid, he doesn't feel like my kid. I'm not sure he ever will, so often my time spent playing with him gets really, really old, and I feel like I'm babysitting - perpetually. It's especially difficult when he is able and often does say things like, "I'm gonna tell my momma on you." or "I'm not gonna stay here." I never feel hurt by these comments, but it just further establishes the wall between us that, honestly, makes this so much of a chore right now.

I also struggle with my minimal attachment to B-boy. He's an easy baby, so I feel guilty at the end of the day for the tiny amount of attention I've paid him all along the way. I had to be honest with my husband the other night and say, "I struggle with the feeling that I almost don't feel like I even care about him." He's here, and we're feeding him, bathing him, letting him sleep, but we're hardly interacting with him and hardly getting to know him...mostly driven by how overwhelmed we feel in caring for the K-man.

I got into this as a ministry alongside my husband, but since he's only home for about 1 hour of the day before bedtime, I end up feeling really lonely and overwhelmed at the end of the day. I know this is a standard "mom" feeling, but I think the added layer of emotion mentioned above makes this even more difficult. I also find it difficult, because my husband isn't getting to know these kids quite like I do, so even when he is home and in my corner, he's often 5 steps behind me in the adjustment period, feeling potentially even more intimidated than I do.

We keep getting laundry lists of ridiculous complaints from their mother. She is a master at taking the spotlight that should be on her poor parenting and projecting it onto us and onto our agency. I am often very angry about the amount of time I spend defending myself each day against the accusations of a mother who has lost the right to raise her own children.

My poor dog does not have much permission at this point to be inside during the day. Being a large puppy, a rambunctious 3-year-old who is slightly afraid of dogs is not a good match. I spend much of my day feeling terribly guilty about leaving her outside, in the garage, or in her crate for hours on end, when I know all she wants to do is be part of the family again.

Probably the biggest shift for us has been how much more our lives are daily affected. With a baby, if I was overwhelmed at the end of the day, Ricky would come home, I would cry right then, we would tag-team the rest of the day, and all was well. Now, when I'm overwhelmed, I have to bottle it in and life often seems to revolve around the boys until the coveted 7:30 bed time when I can finally break down openly :) Then, we have the daily decision of..."Do we spend good quality time together, or do we get some much-needed things done around the house?"

Again, I know that a lot of this is probably par for the course in parenting an older child, but it's been magnified a great deal by the fact that these kids have just fallen into our laps at these ages. It's a much different ballgame, and we're just really praying that the joy will come in time.

Tonight at church I was reminded that it was not easy for Jesus to go to the cross. I was reminded of his final plea, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" and I took great comfort in it. Obedience does not often feel natural...certainly not easy, but I will pray that the Holy Spirit will produce in me "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." I would appreciate your prayers on this also, and I'm sure my husband would ask the same.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Struggling a bit

I feel the need to blog tonight, but I'm going to try to make it quick. Tonight has been a really, really, really rough night. I'm not completely sure why...I just have hit rock bottom all over again. I'm going to do my best to put words to our struggles.

It started right around bed time, when I just couldn't hold the tears back any longer. I stepped out of the room for a minute, pulled myself together, composed myself for bedtime prayers and then raced downstairs to call a friend and vent. All of a sudden, I am just overwhelmed with a sense that my life is not my own anymore, and I desperately miss my husband. We are both completely petrified of this 3-year-old melting down (an irrational fear, we know), and have fallen into working hard to entertain the K-man and make sure that said meltdown doesn't happen. The result is a very fun relationship with this little guy that takes a lot of careful hard work and attention, and ultimately makes me feel like my entire world is revolving around him. I know this is a normal feeling of many moms, but it's extremely uncomfortable for me seeing as this child is not my own and doesn't even feel like my own. I love him, I do, and we've made many sweet memories, but in the back of my head, it's sometimes difficult not to resent him for pulling me away from my husband, who IS my family. Wow...I can't believe I'm really putting this in black and white, but I need to be honest, because I want those who are traveling this road with me to understand that I, too, am struggling deeply at times.

Top all of that with a layer of exhaustion, sickness (for me and B-Boy), TONS of appointments, hardly any time to spend with the Lord, and an upcoming holiday for which our plans are all potentially on the fritz, and I'm just feeling very lonely and overwhelmed all over again. I have a hard time going to bed at night, because I don't want to end my only real quality time with my husband and I'm not quite ready to start another hard, lonely day. So glad to be embarking on a holiday weekend with my sweet husband by my side. So thankful for the fun I am sure we will have celebrating Thanksgiving and decorating for Christmas. So thankful for a dear friend who KNOWS how this feels and is willing to sit and cry with me on the phone when I need it (and many others who I know I could call!!). Mostly thankful that my God is still seated on His throne, in complete control of the seeming chaos that surrounds me. So thankful to know that His plans are ALWAYS for my good and for His glory - He never compromises one or the other.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Enter K-man and B-boy

Wow...this might be a long one...haha. I can't even hardly begin to encompass the last 48 hours in 1 post. Buckle your seat we go!

We got the phone call we were waiting for on Thursday morning (my birthday!) that 3-year-old, K-man, and 5-month-old, B-Boy (not their real names), would be coming to stay with us that night. I'd say we pretty immediately had an overwhelming sense of fear, but it got progressively worse as the day went on, culminating in a night of some uncontrollable tears on my part. It's hard for me to even describe the fear that overcame me. I was literally shaking on the way to pick up the boys on Thursday night. Who knew the power that a 3-year-old would have over 2 normally well-composed adults?? We met them at the office, heard a really difficult report of the situation they had been pulled from, signed all of the initial paperwork (cried a little bit as I did so), got some encouragement from our amazing agency case workers (they've pretty much become family at this point), and started to load the car. Then, all of a sudden, it hit K-man that we were going to our house and not to his own. He started to cry, and my sweet agency case worker rocked him and calmed him down, carried him to our car, and we started to drive home. He was terrified. We were terrified. He didn't know about us. We didn't quite know about him. It was just a tough drive home.

When we got home, he had settled down for the most part. It was really late, but we had to do baths. Let me tell you how difficult it is to ask a 3-year-old boy who is already terrified of his current situation to take his clothes off and try to bathe him. Thankfully, my inner fear and anxiety was completely covered by the Holy Spirit, who gave both my husband and I gentle, soft voices, filled with nurturing words we didn't even know we had. In the end, I sat and rocked K-man for a good, long while. We all prayed, and we calmed down. K-man grabbed 2 trains, his stuffed bunny, and his new blanket, crawled into bed, and fell right to sleep. Adorable side note...I have always had 4 pillows on both the top and bottom bunks in our kids' room. My husband has always teased me for that, so we laughed when I asked K-man if he wanted all of his pillows or just one, and he said he wanted all of them. Since then, he has repeatedly (quite enthusiastically) commented that, "I have lots of pillows on my bed!" So thankful that the Lord led me to put 4 pillows on his bed...haha...ok, maybe that's a stretch...

B-boy, sadly, is kind of along for the ride at this point. He's extremely happy and interactive, which is a fun contrast to Emmy when she came to us at 4 months with very few smiles. We're trying hard to establish a routine with him, but we're having to spend a lot more of our time working with K-man at this point. We're just giving ourselves a lot of grace on B-boy at this point, and he seems to be just fine.

Since then, both my husband and I have had our share of highs and lows, but I cannot tell you how faithful the Lord has been to quiet our fears and give us a deeper understanding of His love for us along the way. Here are some slightly embarrassing thoughts I need you to know that went through my head during these first 48 hours...

  • Can they go back tomorrow? I hope they go back tomorrow. I at least hope they don't stay very long.
  • I've made a huge mistake. The Lord is not in this.
  • I don't FEEL at peace, so He must not be walking with me.
  • I am going to dread this every single morning...I just know it.
  • I just want to go back in time and be back to our comfortable life we had settled into lately.
Unless you've been there, it's just hard to explain the emotions involved in caring for children to whom you are not yet attached. For me, it always seems to evoke a sense of panic. Even if the week before I was REVELLING in the Lord's faithfulness in all things, I still panic. Forgive me, Lord, for my short memory. 

On top of all of this, on Thursday night, as I was feeding B-boy his bottle, I had a wave of nostalgia that made me miss Emmy and miss her bad. I knew it would come, and there it was...hit me like a rock! But thankfully it doesn't end there. My sweet mom, Bebe, came to the rescue on Thursday night and was with me all day Friday and will stay through Tuesday morning. Yes, I have thanked her profusely! Yes, I know very well how lucky I am! To give a glimpse of how things have been turning around, I'll just share some specifics of our last few days:
  • Last night, as my husband, myself, and K-man were saying our prayers before bed, I thanked God for bring K-man and his brother to our house, and about 3 times during the prayer, K-man made a soft, sweet, "Mmhmm."
  • K-man has not brushed his teeth before arriving here Thursday night, and again, it broke our hearts to see his fear. Since then, we've had 2 very successful teeth-brushings with enthusiasm! He's even enjoying brushing his own teeth!
  • K-man is learning to say "Excuse me" when he burps, and he's doing quite well.
  • K-man gave my husband a huge hug on Friday without prompting when he said he had to leave for work.
  • My father-in-law, Poppy was at a birthday party with all of us today. K-man was pretty petrified at first when we walked into the party, and he was very reserved for a long time at the beginning...not smiling much at all. All of a sudden, he picked up a book off the floor and said with a big grin, "I'm going to give this to Poppy!" and he did! He walked right over, sat in his lap and had him read him a story. I almost lost it.
  • K-man gives sweet hugs and kisses to his baby brother. He LOVES his brother and is really sweet with him.
  • K-man also gives sweet hugs to a few lucky friends of ours from time to time, and he says "Thank you" very well usually.
  • Tonight, K-man finally met Layla face-to-face. We've been easing him into it, because he was pretty scared at first, but slowly he started to be intrigued, laughing at her in the yard, and wanting to give her toys whenever he saw her. We all went on a walk tonight, and Layla and the K-man were fast friends. When we got home, K-man fed her almost her entire dinner out of his hands, laughing with glee at the wet tongue on the palm of his hand. I know this may gross out some of you who aren't dog people, but we thought it was about the sweetest thing we've ever seen. He now talks to her all the time and calls her his friend :)
  • Bebe and the K-man have shared many sweet, sweet moments of shared, "I love you"s :) He has a very tender heart.
I could just go on and on, but I won't. I'll share more as things settle, but I just had to share with you guys yet again how faithful the Lord is when we walk in obedience. He won't cover all of our emotions. Our sinful selves will always be at odds with our faith in Him, but I can stand fully forgiven for my lack of faith these past few days and praise His name for gently restoring my faith, and yes...even deepening it!! Before I close, I will leave you with the words of the song that came on my iPod as I took my first step on my run this afternoon (a great time of healing and renewal for my faith)...I don't make this stuff up!!!!!!

I once was fatherless,

a stranger with no hope;
Your kindness awakened me,
Awakened me, from my sleep

Your love it beckons deeply, 
a call to come and die.
By grace now I will come 
And take this life, take your life.

Sin has lost it's power,
death has lost it's sting.
From the grave you've risen

Into marvelous light I'm running,
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth,
You are the life, you are the way

My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs.
Now I'm free. now I'm free!

I have to look at these boys and see a reflection of the Father's love for me. Though I don't feel it all the time yet, and though I hear phrases like, "I'm gonna tell my momma on you" fairly regularly, I'm struck by my heavenly Father's love for me when I did nothing but reject Him. 

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Phone Rang...

Ill need to give some background here. After Emmy left last week, we sat down with our agency and had a conversation that was frightening, but it was a conversation we really felt led to have. Our agency requires foster children to be at least 3 years younger than your youngest child. For that reason, most families within the agency are only able to take babies and toddlers. There are also several families who are looking to adopt, and their parameters are even a bit more narrow - considering gender, race, background, etc. My husband and I are in a unique position in that we have no other kids to consider. We have no one to protect, so there really is no external reason that we could not push ourselves just an inch more outside of our comfort zone.

Our agency helped us think through and process our best options as best we could. Because I am at home full-time, they encouraged us to continue to focus on children who are not yet in school, but they also encouraged us to consider taking a sibling set. Terrified by the prospect, we've been waiting to see what the Lord might bring to our doorstep.

And here I sat a few moments ago when the phone rang...and I would be lying if I didn't say that terror shot through my entire body. I was literally shaking for a good half-hour as I considered the children they had presented us with. I can't give specifics, but this is a 3-year-old boy and his 4-month-old brother (both boys...yikes!!). We had a conference call - myself, my husband, and our agency, and they proceeded to call DFACS for a few more details. When they called us back, they reported that DFACS was not going to be able to get these children today, and they might not be able to get them at all. Hearing the details of where these kids are living, my heart is just breaking as I think about them spending even one more night there.

  • Please pray for these 2 boys - that the Lord would protect them tonight, and that He would bring them out of their current situation and bring them to safety, wherever that may be.
  • Pray for their biological mother - that the Lord would begin to reveal Himself to her - to open her eyes and bring redemption.
  • Pray for my husband and I as we seek clarity in the midst of our overwhelming fears. Pray that we would be obedient and that the Lord would guide our steps and hold our hands.
We may get another phone call about these kids tomorrow, and we will have to give an answer at that time. We may never get another phone call about them again. We will keep you posted as best we can. Just pray with us if you will. Thank you.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
   and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
1 Peter 3:12

Monday, November 14, 2011

What We Miss About Emmy

  • dancing!
  • clapping!
  • waving...she had just learned to wave a few days before she left :)
  • that adorable laugh that blossomed during her time here
  • "da, da, da, da, da"
  • her new language she had just grasped with much more inflection as though she was trying to ask questions and say real sentences
  • the way she would whisper back to us when we whispered to her
  • that elated squeal that would surprise us from time to time!
  • her chipmunk sound that had just started to come out...always when she really wanted something...adorable :)
  • HUGE smiles when we got her out of her crib
  • the sound of the crib rattling violently - often our only indication that she was awake!
  • the way she pulled her little hands up to her face when she was falling asleep - from day one :)
  • her sweet whine as she was falling asleep - especially when we bounced her
  • watching her come out of her shell
  • her curiosity and intense study of things and people
  • her love for other children
  • her involuntary response to music :) She would instantly start nodding her head or moving those hips regardless of where she was, what she was doing, or how loud the music was
  • the strange sideways contortion she would always get in when she played on her play mat and couldn't yet roll over
  • tickling and giggling!
  • watching her play with Layla - her paws, her tail, her nose, feeding her from her high chair and laughing
  • Her unpredictable "Oh no!" hands - sometimes on the sides of her face, sometimes smooshing her nose, sometimes missing her head completely
  • Her captivation and gentleness with her stuffed animals and baby dolls
  • the way she was mesmerized by metal spoons at restaurants, and her kleptomania in the process :)
  • BATH TIME! Man...that girl could splash some water, and we just laughed and laughed!
  • her attraction to eyeglasses and jewelry
  • her love for books
  • chuckles when we would throw her in the air
  • hilarious faces when we were first introducing textured foods
  • that big lip that came out and gave plenty of warning before a major meltdown...poor thing!
  • Our sore muscles after holding her for extended periods of time... ;o)
Emmy, you were such a treasure in our home and in our lives. We have delighted in you and in the unique way that the Lord created you. We miss you terribly but will remember you always! We are so thankful that the Lord used you to reveal to us His care and sovereignty. We will pray fervently that there will come a day when we will be together once again in heaven - rejoicing over His amazing provision in your life and His faithfulness to our prayers and the prayers of so many who have loved you.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Well, yesterday was the day that Emmy went to live with her permanent family. There were several teary moments on Wednesday as we packed and had a lot of "lasts"...last visit to church...last visit with Meme & Poppy...last Skype with Bebe...last meal time with our little family of four (including Layla who is very much a part of that time, cleaning up stray peas and Cheerios)...last prayer time before bed...last bath...last time to put her in her crib. She was a little sick, so we didn't put her in the nursery at church. Instead, she snuggled up with me and slept through Bible study...such a sweet time. Then, we came home and finished the final details of packing. For those of you who are curious, here is what went home with Emmy:

  • Suitcase (complements of a dear friend)
    • coat
    • maybe 4 or 5 outfits that always remind me of Emmy
    • her Hilton Head shirt from my parents, way too small now, but it's hers!
    • shoes
    • 2 metal spoons that she stole from restaurants while she was with us. If you spent any time at a restaurant with us, you know how magical the metal spoons were!
    • stuffed monkey, Henrietta the Hippo, Thumper, and Nala
    • DVD of her Blessing Service that came from her first foster family
    • 5 CDs with all of the photos we have of her
    • 2 of the only pacifiers she will take
  • Beach pail and shovel from our agency filled with goodies that they've given her along the way, including her beach towel with her name embroidered on it.
  • grocery bags with all of the food and formula we have from WIC this month, including the WIC folder they'll need in order to continue the program
  • 10 or so outfits on hangers, including an outfit from Bebe, a couple of dresses we had gotten for Christmas, and a birthday outfit (12/29/10!)
  • file folder with Emmy's medical information
  • Gift bag of TREASURES (which we spoke about in detail with Emmy's new family)
    • handmade knit sweater - made with a lot of time and love by Meme
    • handmade knit shawl from Emmy's 10-year-old church friend, Rachel
    • picture colored for her by her 6-year-old church friend, Olivia
    • Jesus Storybook Bible with Audio CDs
    • "What's in the Bible?" DVD
    • Her very own Bible with scripture highlighted throughout from dear friends who've been praying for her all across the country
    • Piggy Bank with a few coins from her Meme & Poppy. They brought it back from Colorado for her earlier this year.
    • A very special letter to Emmy's grandparents from my mom, Bebe
    • A special blessing for Emmy, written by my dear, dear friend, Terry - taken from Psalm 139

And then came Thursday. We woke up, loaded the car, dressed Emmy in her finest dress (the one that Meme and I made for her, of course!), and got on the road for our 1 hour journey to the family team meeting.

Here's where it's going to start getting difficult to describe. We walked in the room with a warm, exuberant welcome from Emmy's grandparents. They played with her for a good while in the beginning, very attentive to her and sweet to watch. Eventually, she started fussing, and I took her and got her to fall asleep in my arms again, where she stayed for a good portion of the meeting. There are a few specifics I would like to note.

First, Emmy's biological mother was on speakerphone since she was unable to be physically present in the meeting. Emmy's biological mother is not very well-loved by anyone I've spoken with. It's always broken my heart to hear people describe her to me. She seems to be a difficult person to love. That being said, when her daddy spoke with her, his tone was loving, patient, gentle, sweet. You could tell that even though she had taken him through the wringer for a long time, his heart broke for his daughter and he loved her. I got a little teary over that.

Second, when they asked Emmy's mom, who had not said much up until this point, if she had anything to say, she started to cry and said, "I just want to thank my daddy for taking care of my daughter and doing what I can't do right now." It was a poignant moment.

Third, Emmy's CASA was amazing. She asked all of the right questions. She had really done her homework. She was not partial to any one person in the room except for Emmy, and all the while, she exuded love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I will sorely miss her. The Lord really used her yesterday to provide clarity and to bring out truth for all to see.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation, who orders our steps and makes straight the paths before us, and thank you, Lord, for your Holy Spirit who gives us peace that surpasses understanding. It is nothing short of a miracle that my husband and I have smiles on our faces today, and that our hearts are even now beginning to prepare for the next addition to our family.

Thank you, friends, for praying, and for loving this precious girl with us.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Family Team Meeting Scheduled!

We just got word that the family team meeting is scheduled for this Thursday morning, November 10 at 9am. Unfortunately, my husband has a work commitment. Please pray that the calendar will shuffle and he will be able to be there with me and Emmy. What we hear is that Emmy will go home with her grandparents after the meeting. Continue to pray that everything will come into the light during the meeting and that final decisions made will be wise ones!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Emmy's Grandparents

Since I last updated everyone, we have had many more days of gear shifts and new developments. The basic gist is that it all led us to Thursday when we met Emmy's grandparents for the very first time.

Before we talk about our impressions during that first encounter, let me give a little background. Emmy had a weekend visit last weekend with her grandparents. She has a transporter who picks her up and takes her to her grandparent's house. As I have shared in previous posts, every time the transporter has picked Emmy up, Emmy has melted down. If you know Emmy, you know how out of character this is! We've always chalked it up to Emmy's overall struggle with the newness of this situation, but there may have actually been a bit more to it.

Last weekend was the worst ever, as Emmy clung to me for dear life each time I attempted to put her in the transporter's car seat. I finally took Emmy inside and was able to calm her down before putting her in the car seat, sending her on her way, (and crying like a baby once she was out of sight!) Shortly after Emmy returned home that Sunday, her grandparents called her CASA to report the same strange behavior on their end when giving Emmy to the transporter. On top of all of this, we had also discovered upon her return that Emmy's car seat had not been buckled! The plastic part was fastened, but the most important metal piece was wide open.

I write these things here for two reasons. First, I write this in order to encourage other foster moms who might be reading this to stay alert and examine closely the behavior and circumstances surrounding your transporters!! Especially our babies and children who can't yet speak up, we need to make sure that we watch carefully and take seriously their strange behavior. We never know what might be behind those responses. Second, I think it gives a wonderful insight into our first impression of Emmy's grandparents. Before we ever spoke to them in person, we heard that they had reported their concern about the transporter and their desire not to use her anymore. They even offered to pick Emmy up from our house, which is a solid hour from their house. What an amazing encouragement!!! They have had very little time with Emmy, but they have been getting to know her deeply, and they are in-tune with her enough to take note that this is not a typical Emmy response to strangers. Not only that, but they were bold and sacrificial in protecting Emmy, offering to go far out of their way to ensure her safety and security. I can't tell you how encouraging this was.

Needless to say, we didn't want them to have to drive a full hour to pick Emmy up, but we also didn't want to ever put her in a car with that transporter again. At the suggestion of our foster agency, we called the grandparents and had a truly amazing conversation. They spent several minutes on the phone individually thanking each of us for our care, concern, and investment in Emmy's life thus far. We were overwhelmed and tried over and over to give credit where credit is due - to a mighty heavenly father who compels us and equips us to do His work on this earth. In the end, arrangements were made for another weekend visit. We would meet on Thursday afternoon to transfer Emmy to them and pick her up again Sunday. did it go?? Was it awkward? Did we get any uncomfortable vibes? Were we sad to see them all together? No, no, no! Quite the opposite! They gave us a warm welcome...Emmy smiled from ear to ear! They spoke as if they were beginning to really know Emmy, and know her deeply! They were kind, joyful, young, vibrant, loving, gentle, and they were very excited to take Emmy to church with them for the first time on Sunday! We had peace like I cannot explain in words as we drove away, and the Lord has somehow brought me to a point today where I am rejoicing over the fact that Emmy might be in their family permanently!

Now, I can't help but look back in time and remember where our hearts were a couple of weeks ago. The faithfulness of God, and His care for us has been overwhelming. I am cautious as I walk through this situation and reflect on God's faithfulness, because I realize that the Lord is good and faithful regardless of how this situation may have turned out. I have seen foster parent friends walk through situations that were terribly unclear and seemingly impossible to endure. We were in a much more difficult place when Miss M left, and we are certain to be in more difficult places in the future. I am thankful, however, that in the beginning of our journey here, the Lord is painting us a clear picture of His provision and His sovereignty that we will be able to cling to in times that seem much less certain and less kind.

Thank you for your prayers thus far. It goes without saying that we have felt them and that we have seen the Lord respond to them over the past few weeks. Here's how you can pray going forward:

  • The Family Team Meeting should be scheduled any day, and there is still much clarification that needs to happen there regarding Emmy's permanent home. Pray that decisions would be made based on clear understanding of the situation at hand. At this point, the emotion of it all is going to be difficult to wade through. Pray that if hard decisions need to be made, that they will be made, and that my husband and I will exude grace in that time.
  • Continue to pray that we will have warning before Emmy permanently leaves us. We would like to have a day or two in order to collect her memories to send with her. We're working on it now, but we don't want to wrap things up prematurely.
  • Pray that the Family Team Meeting is scheduled at a time when my husband can attend. It will be during the workday, so pray that it won't interfere with any significant work obligations.
  • Continue to pray for us and for our extended families as we all grieve.
  • Emmy has a lot of dear friends, many of whom are young children. Pray for their hearts as they are saying goodbye to Emmy and trying to make sense of all of this. Pray that even this would lead them to a deeper understanding of the gospel. Pray that they would ask questions of us and of their parents that would provide opportunity to point to Christ.