We have a court date scheduled on August 25th where a judge will decide whether to terminate the parental rights of Little Man's parents or whether to send he and his siblings home. Although those things are on opposite ends of the spectrum, that is the decision before the Family Court of Greenville County. It's a hard thing, as it should be, to terminate parental rights. As our caseworker described to us, "In our world, it is equivalent to the death penalty." Because of this and many other reasons, we believe that on the 25th our Little Man will be sent back to his biological mother.
Our current struggle is with trust. It's hard for me to imagine that on the 25th I'll be able to look at God and say, "You're right. He's better off there." In my head I know God is good. I know He sees a bigger picture. I know He's pursuing Little Man's heart just as aggressively as He's pursuing mine. I know that Little Man's best interest are at the forefront of His mind. I know that, as we taught our children yesterday, He cares for the flowers and the birds--He cares for us and for our girls and for our Little Man. Even as I type all that out (it's good, to see it written out, by the way), tears are flowing, so I know that my heart hasn't quite caught up to what my head knows to be true.
My kids all sleep with "taggies," so I made Little Man one this afternoon while everyone napped. Unlike my kids, I appliqued his first initial on the front. As I stepped back to "admire my work," tears came to my eyes. Hopefully that "J" will set it apart as his in whatever Children's Home or Foster Home he ends up in throughout his life. Pretty pessimistic, huh? Sadly, in my mind, it's not a question of "if but when" he'll end up back "in the system." Our system is not perfect, but it's what we have to work with, so, again, we must trust.
So many of you have been on this journey with us as we've adjusted to this new normal. It's been a rocky road full of ups and lots of downs...probably, in all honesty, more downs than ups. We've learned much about ourselves as we've gone, and hopefully we look a little more like Christ than we did before we started. It sounds like I think it's already over, but one of our main goals over the next few weeks is not to "check out" before it's time...he deserves better than that.
Pray for us and for our girls and our Little Man as we all learn to trust in ways we never have been asked to before.