Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, "J"

"J" turned "3" yesterday! WOOHOO!!! "J" came to us 2 weeks after his first birthday, which was spent in a shelter. Last year, he had the birthday party from $@!!, thanks to his bio family. Someone at DHS thought it would be a good idea for us to "share" his birthday party with the family. That is another story for another day. So, this year, we were able to celebrate his first "REAL" birthday party! He had so much fun. Here is the conversation he had with Justin the night before his party:

J - I want my bertday party.
Justin - You will have your party tomorrow.
J - Okay. I will have my bertday tomorrow. It's MY bertday, not YOUR bertday.
Justin - Okay.
J - Are you okay, Justin? Don't cry. It's my party.

He is so funny. OH...I forgot to update you all on our court hearing. Nothing happened. The lawyer DID get the info to the jail, but the sheriff's dept. thought the jail was transporting and the jail thought the sheriff's dept. was transporting. What a lame excuse. These people transport EVERY DAY! So, we are back on the docket for a jury trial on December 8th. Bio dad decided not to relinquish, again, he wants his "day in court". Pray that our case gets chosen. The way DHS court does it (remember...they aren't the same as regular courts) is they schedule 8 or 9 cases. They automatically terminate the cases where bios don't show up, then the lawyers argue about which case should be heard. The judge was pushing for ours, since we are a really old case, but the lawyer and asst. DA were whining about another case, where the kids were young. Well, guess what? MY kids were young when this all started! So, please pray that we can end this. One pray answered was that the paternal grandfather did not show up to court. A sister called the worker mid court and thought maybe we could just "hang on" to the kids until her brother could get out of jail and work a plan to get his son back. (Wonder if they remember he has a daughter, too??)

I am not worried, really, about this, BUT, you NEVER know what DHS will do. A fellow foster parent has a two year old, got her at 2 days, whose bio mother has not done one thing to get her kids back, headed for termination, when all of a sudden she asks to go into drug rehab. (Remember...this has been going on for 2 years.) Court thought it was a good idea not only to send her there, but to also send her KIDS with her!!! The 2 year old does NOT know this woman. UGH!
Enough of DHS stuff. Sorry that I have not posted sooner, but we have just been really busy and by the time I get some quiet, I am SO tired. I don't know why. But, you can stop calling and emailing me telling me to I am! (You know who you are and I promise I don't mind a bit! I like knowing you care and are thinking of me!)

We had a good Thanksgiving. I am almost finished with the Christmas shopping...have 3 more items to get. WOOHOO!! Our kids get 3 gifts a piece...just like Jesus did (3 Wise Men). You realize, that is still a BUNCH of presents under our tree!! Anyway, they get something they want, something they need (you know, like socks and undies) and something we (translated "I") make for them.
Missing Jacob a LOT. Knowing how he died puts terrible pictures in my mind on a daily (nightly) basis. As we were putting up our Christmas decor yesterday, I opened up the ornament ball thingys. Last year, we did handprints of all the kids on the ornaments. (Painted their hands white, then placed a red ornament ball in their hand, like they were holding it...very cute!) I will post a picture for those of you who are visual learners! Anyway, we found Jacob's. I am not sure which one of my kids hung it on the tree, but it is right smack dab in the middle! I have good kids!

As we were decorating, "J" said, "Jacob lives with Jesus." I said, "Yes, he does." "J" said, "He is a good boy." And he said it like a 90 year old woman would. (No offense if you happen to be 90 years old and are reading this.)

God is moving in our lives. We may have an exciting announcement for you in the near future. (You can pray about it...God knows what it is.) But, again, there are decisions to be made and I don't want to mess it up. I have been talking to God, reading my Bible, and I have just not been getting much feedback, you know?? My friend wisely told me to sit back and just see what God does. Easy for her to say. She is on the OTHER side of the unknown today! (She just adopted the baby that in July, was a failed adoption! WOOHOO!!!) Anyway, I was off to the bubble bath tonight. And you all know that is where I pray for my family (and myself). As I went in, I asked God to tell me SOMETHING....ANYTHING to let me know He was in control. God is good.
I opened up the first book, turned to chapter 29, ready to pray for the souls of my sinful children. The chapter today was on seeking wisdom and discernment. "Help them to trust You with all their hearts, not depending on their own understanding, but acknowledging You in all their ways so that they may hear Your clear direction as to which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5)" REALLY??? So, I went back and prayed it for myself!
Then, it's time to pray for my husband and guess what his was about?? FAITH! Okay, God, I get it...You are here, and You are in control. "Lord, I pray that You will give Patrick (ME) an added measure of faith today. Enlarge his (my) ability to believe in You, Your Word, Your promises, Your ways, and Your power. Put a longing in His (my) heart to talk with You and hear Your voice. Give him (me) an understanding of what it means to bask in Your presence and not just ask for things. May he (I) seek You, rely totally upon You, be led by You, put You first, and acknowledge You in everything he (I) does. Lord, You've said that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) Feed his (my) soul with Your word so his (my) faith grows big enough to believe that with You all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Give him (me) unfailing certainty that what You've promised to do, You will do (Romans 4:21). (At this point, I seriously laughed out loud! How much more obvious could He be??) Make his (my) faith a sheild of protection. Put it into action to move the mountains in his (my) life. Your word says, "the just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17); I pray that he (I) will live the kind of faith-filled life You've called us all to experience. May he (I) know with complete certainty "how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You" (Psalm 31:19).
And then, onto MY book..."I know You have begun a good work in me and You will complete it (Phillipians 1:6). I know that whatever state I am in, I can be content because You will no tleave me there forever (Phillipians 4:11). I will praise You in the midst of any need I have for breakthrough, deliverance, or transformation, knowing that You see my need and will meet it in Your way and in Your time."
Have a blessed Sunday. Oh...and by the is what happens when you leave your camera at your dad's house on Thanksgiving...
HAHA!! Gotcha, Dad!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When I See Things Go Wrong and I Feel Powerless

(from The Prayer that Changes Everything by Stormie Omartian)

"Lord, I praise Your name. I exalt You above all things. You are my King and Lord. In the midst of everything that is happening in my life and all that I am going through, I know that You are the all-powerful God of the universe. Hide me in Your secret place in my time of struggle. Lift me high upon a rock so that I may rise above the plans of my enemies to surround me with problems. I will sing and offer You the sacrifice of praise (Psalm 2:5-6). You are my help, and I will hide myself in You. I praise You for all that You are. "My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me" (Psalm 63:8).

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to teh extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-13

LIGHT T-shirts

Today at PE, they were distributing our homeschool t-shirts that we ordered at the first homeschool meeting. I got my 2 bags and went on my way. Toward the end of PE, it dawned on me that I had ordered a t-shirt for Jacob. CRAP! I ordered them on Monday and he died the next Saturday.

I let them buy it back from me so someone else could use it. That was so hard. My baby should be wearing that shirt with the rest of the kids in the group. It would have been a little big on him but it would have lasted him longer.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The report is in...

I received a phone call today from the police detective on Jacob's case. The medical examiner's report is in. What an answer to prayer! She said the last one she waited on took 8 months! She got Jacob's in less than 3!

The findings were not what we wanted. Jacob did die from asphyxiation. The dresser was the cause of death and it was ruled an accident. Several people had told us there was no bruising, and led us to believe it was his heart...not this. I really wanted it to be his heart. I had no control over his heart.

The detective was very kind and told me not to blame myself, complimented our family profusely, asked about Justin, was VERY kind, but unfortunately, her words were of little comfort.

On the bright side (and I say this as I am trying to breathe) we are finished with the wait. The allegation with DHS will be cleared up and closed by the end of the week. I do not have to worry about it intefering with S&J's adoption or anything else, for that matter.

Please pray for us on Thursday. I will be going to court for S&J. Bio dad is scheduled to relinquish his rights, but paternal grandfather is also scheduled to show up to court...we really are not sure what he wants, but he does claim he was not notified of S&J being in DHS custody. Really???? Two years and not one of your family members (not even your son) told you anything???? Prayers, please.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Praise God! It was just a pot-hole!

What I thought was a plunge down into the pit, turned out to be a pot-hole! A small bump in the road. It did not defeat me or keep me down...this time...and for that I am extremely grateful.

I spent most of yesterday in my room. Painting. Now, instead of the stark whitish walls, we have color! It's a cozy love den! Now, I can hardly move my shoulder is tingly and my almost 3 year old had to open my Pepsi this morning. (Kidding...I did suffer through opening the Pepsi bottle.) I feel like I have accomplished something. I don't know what others will think, but I love it. I did a faux finish on the walls. I will post a pic when I get everything back on the walls. There is still a little touch up to do, but I am pleased overall.

I also painted Jacob's crib. I love that, too. It was a white metal (remember...he was a foster baby so everything we had for him was temporary...) and I painted it an oil rubbed bronze color (which matches everything in our house.) Our bedroom is decorated in Americana...I care not if it is not "in style" because I love it. I have tried other color combos, but have never been satisfied. Oh...the point...I am making a baby quilt for our next baby that coordinates with my room. I figured if we are going to have a baby in our room, I wanted it all to match and look nice. I made our curtains, so the fabric for the quilt has that pattern plus a few other that coordinate. I am excited. This time of year always puts me in the mood to create. Also...I know that most people decorate a "nursery" when planning on a baby...and we did for the first few...but with this many kids, our babies get a decorated "corner". :)

Thank you so much for your prayers. I just wanted you all to know that I am okay. I am so blessed by the family of God.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here we go again...

I believe I may be sliding down into the bottom of that pit I am starting to despise. I pray it's a short trip as we have come so far this past week!

I knew it was coming. It started Wednesday, but I have done a pretty good job of dealing with it...I thought. Wednesday, we took a field trip to the Cowboy Hall of Fame with our homeschooling neighbors. (Free Wednesdays in November and since we are Okies born and bred, I thought it was about time we made our first trip!) We stopped at Wendy's on the way home. No big deal. Everything had been fine. The kids (her 4 and my 6) were sitting at the tables, quietly, while we were ordering. When we got to the table, a nice man came over and asked if they were all ours. We said of course and he said they had been trying to figure out which kids belonged together. He was very kind and thought that many kids was really cool. My neighbor said, "I have four and six of them are hers." Do you know what my thought was??? My seriously demented thought? I wanted to ask him, "Why didn't you ask about my other baby?? He's the cutest of the bunch. How come that man didn't talk about Jacob?" I know...seriously wrong. Don't worry...I just smiled at him.

And here is what always happens, and always when I am driving, I have a sudden thought that "Oh My GOSH...MY BABY IS GONE! It's real and it's me!" That was yesterday.

Today was pretty good until I opened the mail this evening. There was a bill from the emergency physician that treated Jacob. Evidently, insurance denied the claim. (Because they filed it under Patrick's insurance...not sure where they got the info...Jacob wasn't on our insurance yet. Patrick spent the day before he died trying to get him added, but the computer system was down.) Anyway, the bill was itemized and was the first time I had any idea what had happened to Jacob. Remember, we were not allowed to see him again after they put him on the ambulance. The only thing the doctor said to us was that they were unable to restart his heart. It didn't tell much, but it did bring everything right back to the surface. I just need to know what happened. I NEED to know. There has to be a reason my baby is gone. I need to know that reason. Please pray that the medical examiner will finish the report like yesterday.

Sorry...this afternoon, this post was going to be a LOT more encouraging. I was going to talk about S&J and how happy we all are, blah, blah, blah, but now I am not in the mood.

So, I made it to the bathtub, just in time tonight. (I don't cry in my beer...I cry in my bubble bath!) I have mentioned before that I pray the "Power of a Praying Wife" and "Power of a Praying Parent" each night in the bath. Recently, I found a little book called "The Prayer that Changes Everything", also by Stormie Omartian. Tonight I opened it up and here is the prayer I opened to:

"Because He Is A Good God"
"Lord, help me to trust that You are a good God no matter what is going on in my life. Help me to believe without any doubting that even if bad things are happening, Your goodness will reign int eh midst of them all. Thank you that Your plans for me are for good. Thank You that the future You have for me is good. Thank You that You bring good things into my life. Reveal Your goodness to me more and more so that I may praise You for it. How great is Your goodness to those who trust and fear You (Psalm 31:19). O Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth. (Psalm 8:1)

"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him." Lamentations 3:25

Just so you know...I do feel a little better since writing this post...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A little thing called "faith"

I was working in my flower bed this afternoon. (Those of you who really know me, don't get too was really more pulling out the dead stuff...not really working.) Anyway, as I was tugging at the dead plants that had overun my flower bed, I decided it would be a good time to have a little talk with God. Little kids were sleeping, big kids were occupied, no interuptions. So, our conversation went something like this:

"Okay, God. I know you have promised us a baby. I know without a doubt you have led us thus far, because we would not be here without you. Please give me a little encouragement today."

Let me back up a little. God promised us more children. I have no doubts about that. It's all over my Bible and He confirms Himself regularly. BUT...Satan is smooth. He puts these creeping thoughts into your head. "How could someone just give you a baby? That's ridiculous! Besides, you already have all those kids, there are other families who would love to have just ONE baby. Why are you being greedy?" So, then the HUMAN part of me starts to think about it. Hmmm...yeah, maybe I should just be satisfied and thankful with what God has already given me. Why would God give ME another baby? This is never going to work.

So here is my theory...I think God would give me a baby just to SHUT SATAN UP!!!! Seriously.

Actually, I know He has a baby for us because later today, after my little conversation with Him, this is what He said:

"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." Hebrews 11:1

I am confident that our hope for Emma is going to happen.

"By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen." Hebrews 11:3

Emma will not come to us from anything that can be seen. (I am taking this from the standpoint that Emma will be a complete surprise, nothing I can plan or have any part of.)

"He (Abraham) went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith..." Hebrews 11:8b-9a

"It was by FAITH that Sarah together with Abraham was able to have a child, even though they were too old and Sarah was barren. Abraham believed that God would keep His promise." Hebrews 11:11

Patrick and Tracy will have another child, even though they have so many and they really don't deserve any more, and they are just baby greedy!

So, lest you missed the whole point, I asked God for a little encouragement and I got exactly what I asked for!

Thank you, God!

And completely off topic, but I have been thinking this past week as I am on the upside of the pit: Grief is a lot like being bi-polar. Seriously. I am not making fun. S&J's mom is bi-polar (No she's not...yes she she's not.) maybe THAT was uncalled for. Anyway. I watched her moods change and there was an obvious cycle with obvious emotions for each part of the cycle. I feel like that! At this point in my "grief cycle" I am planning, accomplishing, thinking complete thoughts, etc. SO far from where I was last week when I couldn't stop crying and couldn't even remember what to call the refrigerator! (Sorry Bryce...the ketchup wasn't in the was in the REFRIGERATOR!!!) Sigh.

That's all I have to say about that. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Better Week....

I have started to see similarities in the "grief" cycle. (Stupid name.) I know what to expect as I am climbing up out of the pit, and I also know what to expect as I slide back down. Fortunately, the times in between are farther apart and sometimes not as painful.

At the top of my pit, I am able to be most things to most people. I can plan a menu, shop for groceries, and this time around I can actually fix the food. I can plan my children's school lessons, and this time actually make sure they are doing them. I can make all of the appointments I have put off in the past 2 months and actually get my kids to them. (Although I cannot seem to get Ashlee to voice lessons on time.) I am not sure what mindset I was in when I arranged for all of these appointments, but for the next 2 weeks, we are booked solid! What was I thinking??? UGH!

At the bottom of my pit, I am completely worthless. But, I have an extremely forgiving family who pitches in to take care of the needs of the home when I cannot. At the bottom of the pit, I know about faith. I know what it is, I know all the scripture that comforts, I know it all....I just can't REACH it. And that I cannot figure out. For some reason, just knowing it all and believing it all doesn't get you out of the pit when you want out. But, on the way up out of the pit, the Word starts to feed you again.

Jacob has been on the minds of my kids lately. Isn't that typical??? On my good days, they are having bad days. Their grief doesn't seem to last as long. S&J have both mentioned him several times. "J" will just say "Jacob Levi Phillips" and then go about his business, almost like if he says his name, he will remember. "S" and I had this conversation before church yesterday:

"S" - I wish Jacob were like us.
Me - What do you mean? (I really thought she meant, you know, alive.)
"S" - I wish Jacob was vanilla like us.
Me - Well, God made Jacob just the way He wanted him.
"S" - Yeah, God made Jacob chocolate and made us vanilla.

She is still trying to grasp the whole "Jacob is with Jesus" concept. So hard for a 4 year old. Right after Jacob's death, she asked where he is the conversation:

"S" - Where's Jacob?
Me - Jacob is with Jesus.
"S" - We like Jesus, don't we? (She was very serious, just making sure Jesus was okay for us to leave our baby with!)

She is so funny sometimes. We used to go to the mall and she would blurt out "MOMMY! There's a chocolate baby just like OUR chocolate baby!"

Enough of that. God has shown me several things this past week. First of all, I have to stop worrying about my kids. I am concerned that their mom is useless and their teacher is worse! How can I biblically train them if I can't even do the laundry??? They are going to miss out on so much during these pits that they will never recover. (Okay, that was a little dramatic...I wasn't that good a mom before!) Anyway, God just said to me as I was driving home one day, "You trust me for you, don't you trust me for your children? I will take care of them. They will not be scarred by this." What was I thinking??? AND...what a relief! I don't have to do it all by myself.

Secondly, sometimes...okay, A LOT of times, Satan throws these thoughts into your head that simply are not true. I was thinking about all I have learned and how much my family has grown in Christ since Jacob died. It came to me that maybe if we had worked harder before, Jacob would have been saved. Now, you see, I don't truly believe this way when I am "normal". My not working my part of the "plan" had nothing to do with Jacob's death. Jacob's death was going to happen on August 23, 2008, no matter what I did. I could have been smoking crack like his bios or I could have been Mother Theresa. It didn't matter. His days were numbered before his birth. BUT...God used Jacob's death to teach and grow us through the circumstances. Not because we didn't learn in time, but because He was still teaching and growing us. Jacob's death was not a punishment for us.

As Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, "God will never lead you anyplace where His grace will not sustain you. He'll never place more on you than He'll give you grace to bear. When the path in front of you seems endless, remember, the day is coming when all suffering will be over. When you stand before Him, the tears and sorrows of a lifetime will seem as nothing compared with His glory. That’s when you’ll say, “His amazing grace has brought me safely home.”

I am changed. My husband is changed. My family is changed. I have been a Christian since I was 5 years old, never questioning my God. I knew about Heaven and wanted to go there eventually, but I have come to a different conclusion in the past few weeks. I want to be in Heaven....NOW! But, although I miss Jacob desperately, he is not my reason for wanting to get there. I WANT WHAT JACOB HAS!!!! That's why I want to go. Jacob has no pain, no sorrow, no hurts, he is sitting at the feet of Jesus and I WANT TO BE THERE, TOO!

As my faith wavered in my pit last week, God spoke these words to me:

"The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn't believe His promise to care for them." Psalm 106:24

"Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep His promise." Hebrews 10:23


Friday, November 7, 2008

"Daddy loves you, Mommy"

Yesterday, "S", who is four, came to me and this was our conversation:

"S" - Daddy loves you, Mommy.
Me - You are correct...he does love me. How do you know?
"S" - Because he smiles at you.
Me - are right...he does smile at me.
"S" - uh-huh and you are a princess.
(Now I am wondering where in the world she found my tiara I had been searching for, but I digress.)
Me - "S", where are you getting this stuff?
She took me by the hand and led me to a picture of our wedding day that Ashlee has in her room. She was exactly right. He loves me, he was smiling, and I looked like a princess.

As sweet as this little conversation was, let me enlighten you on how significant it also was. I have mentioned "J" with his RAD, but "S" came to us with her own set of issues. When she came to us at 2 1/2 years, she had absolutely no boundaries. Because I did not birth her, I am not being prejudice here, but this child is a beautiful child. She has dark eyes, dark hair, dimples, just beautiful. People are attracted to beauty and she was used to attracting people. So imagine my surprise at Walmart when I turn around and she is sitting in some strange man's lap, rubbing her hands on his face! Yeah...this child had been "charming" her way through her short little life, manipulating people with her sweet little face, (a survival mechanism no doubt) most likely behavior learned from her bio mom. (Although, "S" is MUCH cuter than bio mom!) The behavior was a huge concern of mine because while it may seem innocent enough at age 2, it will look a LOT different when she is 12!

All of that to say that "S" has had a very misguided perception of "love". I have prayed and worried about this child...that she would know real love and real relationships without manipulation. I believe God is in the process of answering that prayer. She knew that her Daddy loves her Mommy just because he was smiling at her. WOW!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Maybe this will help you understand...

I have had many people comment that they don't understand why DHS can't just terminate bio dad since he didn't show up. Yes, normally, if a bio doesn't show up for pre-trial, they are terminated by default. This is what happened with Jacob's bio mom and also S&J's bio mom.

Bio dad is in prison. Therefore, he cannot physically get himself to court. Because of this, we rely on HIS court appointed lawyer to do the paperwork to get dad to court when needed. Lawyer has failed to do this for the past 10 months. Courts hands are basically tied until lawyer decides to do his job.

Common sense would tell you that the guy is in prison...what rights should he have?? My opinion?? Absolutely NONE! That's what you get when you break the law. Sorry. It is extremely black and white to me. Nevertheless, this is not what our liberal government has chosen.

So we wait. I would also like you to understand the Juvenile Justice Court is not like other courts. All attorneys, bios and children, are court appointed. Well, I take that can hire your own attorney if you can afford it, but 99% of the bios cannot. Realize that these people fighting for "the best interest of the children" are having lunch together after court, hanging out with each other, etc. When they get into court, it's just a job...they play their part and that's that. These lawyers are your best friend in one case and in the next case you are dirt.'s all about the money.

I hope that explains the situation a little better.

On another note, I am just a little sick to my stomach. I read on a foster parent board that a mom was in her backyard, with her 2 year old, looking at their pond. There was a goose on the pond. Well, goose decides to attack 2 year old. Mom has to strangle the goose to get it to let go of her baby. Baby has bruises on his neck and clumps of hair pulled out of his head. She heard the goose neck crack and he let go. Mom, probably not knowing exactly what to do, calls Animal Control. When she tells them there is an injured goose and what happened, they were furious...AT HER FOR HURTING THE GOOSE!! Then the forestry people are called in, tell her she fractured the gooses skull, and if the goose dies, she will be fined a hefty fine. ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME????? If that had been a PERSON attacking her child, she would have been within her rights to kill that person, but heaven forbid she hurt a bird that was attacking her child!

I am sick that we have more regard for animals (even those that attack our babies) than we do for babies. I am sick that a mom who HAS her baby has to get 27 signatures and approvals to place her baby into the caring hands of an adoptive family. A mom who wants to abort her baby can do this with NOBODY'S signature or approval.

I do believe we are in the end times. I was surprised last night as I was reading in my Bible, Ezekiel 7, it was about God's judgement on our nation. The night before one of the most important elections ever. I keep hearing that we need to pray about our decision. Really?? One man thinks it's okay to kill doesn't. No prayer needed for me on that decision! (Please...I am not trying to start anything's my blog.)

So...that's all I have to say. I am going to lay down for awhile.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Search for the Lord and for HIS strength..."

Today has been an okay day. Lots of tears, but lots of smiles, too. Just as I get way down into the pit of my own pain, God points me in the direction of hope. As I mentioned yesterday, I have met a couple of "bloggers" who have opened my eyes to this grief thing. I am a pretty obedient if the rule is that grief has crappy parts, then so be it. I am willing to be smack down in the middle of grief crap. BECAUSE, the promise is that once I am past the crap, only then will I see the beauty from ashes. Okay...maybe that isn't completely scriptural, but it's something like that.

I think that I am only just now coming out of the numbness of what has happened to us. I am quite sure that is the only reason I have been able to cope thus far. I really needed the permission to feel the way that I do. And now I have it and it is what it is. I am not very good at being transparent. But I will try because I desperately want healing. I found this poem on another blogger's site and felt it was totally appropriate.

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing
I feel it will take a lifetime.~ Elizabeth Dent

S&J's court date was today. Nothing happened. I knew it wouldn't. So now we go back on November 20. I will be attending this court date as bio dad is "REALLY" going to relinquish on this date. The story today was the reason his lawyer didn't get him to court was because he had decided to relinquish. (which means no jury trial...yet) When they finally got in touch with him (still trying to figure out why it took 6 hours...the guy is in prison) he said that yes, he was going through with it, but HIS father wants to come to court with him before he relinquishes. REALLY???? I didn't even know there was another grandfather. And I thought I knew everybody in this psycho family! (And please don't judge me...I tried to continue a relationship with these people...went above and beyond what was expected of me...when I say psycho, I am saying this from a medical standpoint. HEE HEE) He is claiming that the paternal side of the family had no idea. Again, REALLY??? Then why did I have to change my phone number last year because bio mom thought it was a good idea to give it to you all???

There are 2 ways this could go. One, gramps doesn't show, or he shows, demands a home study, and fails did the ENTIRE rest of the family. Second, he shows, passes a home study, demands his grandkids and DHS allows these children to be ripped out of the only security they have ever known. I could fight the 2nd option. We could retain a lawyer, spend a ton of money, and maybe win. But I just don't have any fight left in me. I am so weary.

I told this to the worker...he and the rest of the court are not worried, but I have been in DHS long enough to know that ANYTHING can happen, whether it's right or wrong. So, I go to my bubble bath. When I am in my bubble bath, this is where I pray for my husband and children. As I was praying for my kids, these are the verses that I received...coincidence? I think not!

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust." Psalm 91:1-2

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you." Isaiah 43:2

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord." Isaiah 54:17

"Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling." Psalm 91:9-10

"I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Even after reading these verses, I am still weary. I was telling God that I just don't have the strength to fight and to deal with this mess. I want to focus on the loss of Jacob, the prospect of adopting a new baby, and my family who I have neglected lately. Not 10 minutes after my cries to God, He gave me this:

"Search for the Lord and for His strength, and keep on searching." Psalm 105:4

So, I will give it to was His to begin with. He knows where S&J will prosper...I don't. I just have to trust Him.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

As hard as I try....

I just cannot get past this. I am thankful for the good days and understanding of the bad ones. God is the same either way. Those of you who know me know that I am a planner...always have been. As I have mentioned before, grief has no "planned" timeline, no "normal" gauge and this in and of itself REALLY ticks me off. I would much rather it go something like this: "Tracy, on Saturday, 11/1, you will lose it over baked beans, in front of a bunch of people who only know you as Justin and Bryce's mom who never comes to the soccer games." "Tracy, Sunday, 11/2, during the children's time, Pastor Doug will have the kids sing Jacob's favorite song, Jesus Loves Me, and you will not recover during the service." You know...a little warning would be nice.

I guess I have been hiding behind the pain. Trying to be strong for everyone involved. But in reality, I lost my baby. And I don't much care what the hospital, DHS, or the police officers thought because Jacob wasn't the same color as me...he was MY baby. He called ME "mommy". I have gone back and forth today, reading scripture that I know is true, crying out to God, and being angry all at the same time.

I have also come to the conclusion that I need to do some forgiving. I need to forgive DHS for treating us like baby killers. I need to forgive the hospital for not allowing me see Jacob one last time. After reading the blog of Angie Smith (Todd Smith's wife from "Selah") I realized that NONE of this was a surprise to God. I have claimed this for Jacob's death, but maybe not in the circumstances surrounding the death. I have felt so violated by not being allowed to see him at the hospital. I felt violated by the questioning that we received. (Why are you asking about Jacob's birth parents...WE ARE HIS PARENTS!) I felt COMPLETELY violated by the line of questioning done by DHS during their "investigation" and that my children had to be submitted to that. But God knew...and He allowed...and He protected us.'s one thing to know you need to's a whole other thing to actually do it!

Todd and Angie Smith lost a baby at birth in April this year. Seven weeks later, Todd's sister, Nicol, (previously from "Selah"), lost her 10 week old baby to SIDS. I had no idea. They are my favorite group. As I read over Angie's blog today, I see how much growth still needs to occur in my life. I want that kind of faith. I want more than anything for God to be glorified in Jacob's death and in my heart break. But how? I also know that I know that I know that God plan is to prosper us, not to harm us. How in the world will I prosper after the loss of my baby?? So many questions.

I was directed to another blog's addicting. I am also angry that my only connection with these people is death. Why can't it be chocolate or pepsi?? Anyway, this sweet woman has lost two babies at birth. I related so well to her words and she speaks them much more eloquently than I could. She said, "I choose to trust God more than I understand him right now." And that is where I am/want to be. The Bible also promises to "redeem our losses".

Psalm 30:6-12

6 When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!” 7 Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain. Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered. 8 I cried out to you, O Lord. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying, 9 “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the rave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? 10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord.” 11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Lamentations 3:19-26
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.[a] 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: 22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends![b] ]His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” 25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. 26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.

My blog tonight is somewhat rattled...there doesn't seem to be any order. Sorry about that. Even in my deepest sorrow, I have seen the hand of God.

Some of you know that my little "J", who will be 3 the day after Thanksgiving, was diagnosed with full blown Reactive Attachment Disorder. Short version, if not treated, this disorder turns into several other disorders ultimately landing the person in prison for violent crimes. He has come such a long way. But, in the past 8 weeks, I truly believe that God has healed "J". He had started to shadow Jacob. When Jacob would ask for a hug or kiss, "J" would copy him. (Another symptom is complete lack of affection to the caregiver, ie. mommy) "J"'s therapist thought this was huge...he was learning to be affectionate. Since Jacob's death, "J" has started to initiate affection. HUGE!! He has not had rage in 8 weeks. HUGE! His behavior is normal 2-3 year old behavior...not that I enjoy that, but it's WAY better than the rages! And, best of all, last week he was sick. (Okay...I reread that and it doesn't sound right...not "best" because he was on...) Patrick started a movie for him and I sat next to him on the couch...not right next to him, but close. He immediately started scooting over closer and closer to me. Eventually, he crawled up into my lap and cuddled! HUGE!!!!!! His therapist said she thinks the RAD demon has left his body. I fully believe this. Before Jacob's death, we had started praying for his release from past (bio family) strongholds. I prayed that the connection between him and his bio family would be severed and that he would be saved from that legacy. I truly believe God answered our prayers when bio mom's rights were terminated and it will be complete when bio dad's rights are terminated. (This week we are praying!)

If you knew "J" and his entire past you would understand what a miracle this really is. So, in the midst of our pain, God is healing! We were led to an adoption ministry that we never would have found on our own. God is answering prayers! "My God he was, my God he is, my God he's always gonna be!"