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September 6, 2009

2 Shades of Pink Story: Part 4

The drive home from the airport was a quiet one. What else was there to say? Anthony was gone. It was difficult to say that he went home. Because we were his home. At least that was the truth in our hearts.

I have to tell you that the pain of this hit hardest in the silence of the house. Everything was neat. Everything where it should be. No baby giggles. No hunger or sleepy cries. Just the deafening, loud silence.

We had a going away party for Anthony the weekend before he left. One of my friends left us a little bag with packs of tissues and gourmet cookies. I got that bag and put it to good use. Brandon took off the whole day and wonders even now why he did not take off the day before to be with Anthony instead of the day he left only to be confronted by his absence. But I know he did it for me too. It would have been so hard to be there all alone.

The one thing I did not share with you is how God prepared me so much to let him go. The strength, the peace, the trust was so supernatural. I wish I had more words to convey this knowing that was there. Pain and grief, of course. But a knowing that my God had not left us, that he was still working and still coordinating our journey.

I do not remember much of that day except the silence. It was a Wednesday he left and on Friday something surprising happened. We initially were going to take a break from fostering but we found ourselves ready for another child. Amazing. And we actually got a call and the sweetest but most frightened little boy came to our home.

Oh how he broke our hearts. He had been left alone by his mother and she unwisely bragged at a bar one night bar about leaving him at home. The bartender, God bless this person, called the police who found this precious child on a dirty mattress, among glass bottles, caps, and other debris. When he arrived in our home he had bug bites covering his body and smelled strongly of urine. I did not care while hugging and kissing this child. He was only 17 months old! We had to give him two baths just to remove the smell from his hair. And he would cry in the crib with this whimpering cry that would soften the hardest of hearts.

By the end of the weekend he was smiling, laughing, and playing ball. Sadly, on Monday we let him go because it was a weekend placement. I was also traveling alone to see family up north and surprise a friend for her birthday. They called us that Monday to ask us to keep him long term and we would have loved much...if I was not leaving for 10 days. Obviously, they needed to find a home for him. My sweet husband still thinks about him to this day.

You may wonder why I am telling you this. But you will understand by the end. I am giving you significant events and time lines to support the final chapter of this miraculous journey. A lot of you may already know this story but I am being very specific here in these posts. Because my testimony would take hours if I told it exactly how it all played out. And these details matter oh so much.

So I come back from visiting family. It is just us for awhile and I even struggle with the feelings of freedom I am experiencing. Along with guilt. Like I am so glad I can go sit and drink coffee somewhere. Go for a bike ride alone. Walk the dog. Whatever. But if I could choose it would be to have Anthony back. Even as we continued praying for the time when the next child came to our home, we began asking God for specifics. Two actually.
One was to have a small infant.
The other was to be able to adopt the next child who came into our home.

I know. Tall order, right? When we took the MAPP class to be licensed as foster parents, I distinctly remember a day where they said small infants were a rarity and even more rare was to end up adopting that child. You know what else was rare? A girl. Statistically speaking, more boys than girls are fostered.

Are the details becoming more fascinating as you learn them since the very end is so obvious?

But I remember this day so clearly because when the instructor said this I instantly half prayed and half thought: God you are bigger than statistics and you can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. I believe now that on a subconscious level I was there to adopt but I really did not know this at the time.

So then we get the call. Around mid August. There is a premature infant in the NICU at All Children's Hospital who needs a foster home. He is this tiny little baby, 6 weeks old. The first thing we are asked is if we are willing to adopt since his parents rights were about to be terminated.

What? OF COURSE WE ARE WILLING TO ADOPT!!!! This was such an answer to prayer that I was almost knocked off my feet! Wow! Wow! Wow! We were so excited!
The only problem was that he had to stay in the hospital until he would stop having episodes where he would stop breathing while eating. He was unable to coordinate sucking and swallowing simultaneously. There was talk that he would need to go to a medical foster home if these episodes continued. He needed to go 5 days without an episode before being released into regular care.
So we waited two weeks.
In the meantime, our parents sent care packages of little boy clothes. I went shopping for all the stuff I would need for an itty, bitty baby. How exciting that I had time to do this before he arrived. And I knew, I just knew God was healing this little boy so he could come home to us.
We get a call on Wednesday August 30th that he had been fine for 3 days and to come see him in the hospital in order to bond and know how to care for him.
That night we saw him in the NICU. I will call him J. He was so small and so sweet. We got to hold him, change him, feed him, love on him. We bonded and our hearts were his.
The next day, the hospital calls. J had another episode and it is being determined that J will go to a medical foster home.

Devastated. God, why? It was so hard. We actually held this little boy in our arms. Why? My husband was ready to throw in the towel with fostering. He was crushed. And this is what the Lord did for me....He renewed my strength.
I looked at my husband and said that we HAD to believe God's purpose in this. We had to remember that God has never, ever let us down. Ever. And we are to forget not ALL of his benefits. This was one of them. We had to believe. For whatever the reason.

So we had to let J go. And welcome back grief.
But wait...what was this? Well blessed be. We had hope.

Then on Friday we get another call from placement...
"Hi. We have another child who needs care. We have a 3 week little girl, born 8 weeks premature who is still in the NICU at All Children's. Are you interested?"

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7

"YES! Of course we are interested!"
"Great. We can bring her tonight. The Child Protection Investigator will be bringing her."

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and fault less is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

"Thank you so much for calling." I hang up. A little girl is coming. Wow. Just days after being told J would not be. Only God's goodness can explain it.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope, believed...Romans 4:18

Our only thoughts were the excitement of bringing this precious child into our home. To love her and care for her and give her everything she needed. God is always faithful, always working, never passive, intimately mindful of every person's needs. Every single one. Faith is where we are able to see God's might and power...

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

And even when we are faithless, His power is still there...

"If we are faithless, he will remain faithful..." 2 Timothy 2:13

On September 1, 2006 we welcomed a little baby girl into our home, our hearts...

This was in the first few minutes upon meeting her. What a tiny baby. A little over 5 lbs.

This is me and sweet baby girl.

Hubby holding this precious bundle.

This is her now...Her name is Cati.

Now the story gets goooooood...


  1. Thank you for sharing your testimony. It is an excellent reminder of God's faithfulness and his ability to know the big picture when we can not.

  2. Jessica, I am so glad you are writing your story. This is beautiful and will undoubtedly touch so many lives. God is so faithful and you are an inspiration to me.

  3. This is where the story gets gooooood! Love that. Although it's already been so riveting. Thanks for another great post!


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