Two lawyers turned us down. Two.
We were in an emergency situation. Jared and I had previously visited a lawyers office two weeks prior to getting the call that would set us in a tailspin. The lawyer we had spoken to believed we had plenty of time before our next hearing would be scheduled. Plenty of time before anything changed or moved forward.
I had a funny feeling this particular day and I called this lawyer back, she again reassured me she didn’t believe we would appear in court anytime soon and to call her back in a few months when we heard something. One hour later I received a call from DSS. They were planning on moving G. There would be a hearing in three weeks to basically determine if it were to be that day or if we’d have a few days to say goodbye and gather his things. I called this particular lawyer back after receiving the call.
She wouldn’t answer. I tried again and again and left a message for her. She replied to my frantic voicemail with an email.
It said a lot of things that were mostly a blur after I read this line: “At this point, I do not think there is anything that you can do. I am sure this is difficult to read, but I do not believe you have a strong chance of being selected as the adoptive placement at the moment. The child has not been in you care long enough”
I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. I left school and drove straight to my moms house because I didn’t know what else to do. I walked straight in her house and laid down on the couch and cried. I felt like we were at a stopping point. I felt like if a lawyer couldn’t help me, who could? And, for the first time ever… I felt mad at God.
I knew we were in this to foster. I knew my foster care contract wasn’t binding. I knew all of these things. Yet, I still felt this so deep in my soul. G was leaving. It wasn’t what was best for him and he was leaving. You see G had been badly abused and was doing so well. But, I could not help this child who I had loved unconditionally from day one anymore. We reached a dead stop.
What I couldn’t understand right then was why God would let this baby go through such horrible things, start to heal, and then allow him to be removed from the only family he now knows. Hadn’t he ask me to trust Him? Hadn’t he tugged at my heart to go through foster care instead of adoption? Oh, the added trauma that would now be added to his plate along with the long list of hurdles had already faced.
My heart just sank and it felt like it physically ached in that moment. My heart ached not only for myself, but for my husband Jared, for our six year old daughter Jozi Noel, and for G. How unfairly life had treated him I thought. I was so angry and there was nothing I could do to change any of it. How would he understand that I didn’t choose this for him or that I didn’t just up and leave him? How would I explain this to Jozi Noel as it was my idea in the first place. I would cause her heartache and Jared as well. It was all my idea and my scars that I would leave on them all. I felt all of that. Its a mother’s instinct I think to fix things.
I couldn’t fix this.
This was the moment. The one where people say, “I couldn’t do it.” in reference to our fostering- this is that moment. I couldn’t either. And, that’s as raw and as real as I can be about it. In that moment I couldn’t. My heart was broken. I wasn’t sure how you keep taking steps forward now. I hadn’t done this part yet.
As I sat there crying at my moms kitchen table I felt like I was grieving someone still very much alive. That I would soon go pickup and look into his eyes not knowing how many more times I’d kiss his cheeks. I was Devastated. I thought back through the email she sent again. “At this point, I do not think there is anything you can do.”
… there’s nothing she or I can do.
…. She isn’t taking our money because we won’t win.
…. it’s over. He’s leaving.
I thought about it again. And, then through all of those mad and devastated emotions I felt God. So real. Right there at the kitchen table. Right in the middle of the madness that was my heart. It was like He had switched a light bulb on in my heart. I can only explain it like a rushing calmness over the storm inside of me. I imagine my heart was like the Sea of Galilee that day- just raging, higher and higher. But, then Jesus steps in (hehe! He is so good!) and says, “Peace, be Still.” In that moment that is how profoundly I felt Him.
He calmed my heart.
I felt that still small voice whisper, “This is where I work best. In the impossible.”
As I felt my heart start to calm I said to my mom, “God works best in situations where it seems impossible, right? He used David to fight Goliath so that the world would know it wasn’t David that did the fighting. He took all of almost all Gideon’s men so Gideon nor his men could receive any kind of glory from fighting the thousands of Midianites. On and on.
He strips man of everything that they could use for their own glory. So he can reign. And, here we are. Lawyer-less. And, everyone says it’s impossible. It’s our ‘Red Sea Road’ no doubt.
I called another lawyer just to check a few days later. Same response.
That lawyer was number two telling us there was no hope.. She could not win or even possibly help us.
We were working so hard to find a lawyer, etc. We were fighting so hard. It was time to lay it down. At His feet. It was, is, and has always been His battle not ours. I walked away to get ready for my next class.I prayed, “Lord, it’s all yours. I have no more ideas. Please help me.”
… the phone rings.
It was the second lawyer calling back. Her name is Amy. Amy said, “I don’t know what it is, but I feel like this little boy should stay and I need to help you.” She said, “I’m not sure why, but I can’t shake this feeling”
Amy then told me again just as she did before on the phone she didn’t think she could win.But, that she felt so strongly since we had just spoken. She said she knew a man that could. She said he’s the best and that if anyone could help it was him. And, that she’d work for pro-bono alongside him to try and keep G in our house.
His name is Jim. Jim is still working hard to help keep G here.
But, Jim and Amy both have been nothing short of God sent. God placed them in the lives of our family and of that I am certain. Without a lawyer in the courtroom you do have a voice. We are still very much praising God in our storm because it isn’t over. But, we are also giving Him the glory for where we are at.
I saw God do the impossible in the courtroom three weeks later. God had wiped all possible platforms other than it was by His grace and mercy G stayed through that hearing. That hearings sole purpose was to move him. We just went to find out whether he left that day or a few days after. We were to have all of his stuff packed and ready just in case he left right after the hearing.
We walked out with the ruling of “status quo until the next hearing.” G would stay until the Judge made a final decision. We are still awaiting that final decision 6 months later. But, he is asleep and down the hall. But, with all certainty I can say we saw God revealed in all of His glory. Isn’t he good?! He performed a miracle for my family in seeing us through that court appearance. We are so grateful.
Everyone needs a Jim and an Amy. Everyone deserves a Momma that will let you cry on her couch, especially G. Any, everyone needs a God that cares enough to calm the storm in your heart like He did that day on the Sea of Galilee.
*At one point we were questioned on our choice to retain a lawyer. Whether it was still the Lord’s will he stayed since we did not just let it pan itself out. I do not feel I am required to justify our choice in doing so. But, simply going to answer why we did it. We retained a lawyer to do what we felt was in G’s very best interest as anyone would for a child they loved. He had suffered through what we learned later to be severe PTSD. He was healing so well these episodes were getting less and less frequent. To move him would be a huge hit on his progression and place an unnecessary trauma in leaving the only family he now knows. We also gave a baby a voice that before retaining a lawyer he did not have. I do not believe sitting at home with cancer instead of going to see a doctor that God can work through to help is the answer. Nor do I believe showing up without a lawyer to fight for G’s best interest was the answer. To me there’s no difference. God works through lawyers to accomplish His will just like He does doctors. However, myself, DSS, nor any lawyer for that matter have the power to alter a sovereign God’s will. He will accomplish what He sets out to accomplish no matter what. Lawyer or no lawyer. I wanted no regrets at the end of this journey. I wanted someone who had yet to have been put first be given all we had to give. I would do it over a million times. We fought to keep our son.We fought for what was best. I think anyone would do the same for someone they loved.