Well, quite a lot has happened since I posted. I will start where I left off. Two days after bio dad relinquished, we had a meeting with DHS. It took all of 5 minutes and I think it was just a "cover our butts" meeting. (DHS is supposed to have these meetings once every 6 months...this is the first I have EVER been to with ANY of my foster babies.) Anyway, long story short, we should finalize the adoption in JANUARY!!! Seriously! The two workers said we could be done by Christmas, and I kindly asked them if they were smokin crack! BUT...January will work for me! I have already talked to our lawyer and she is working on it!
We were also given the "green light" to change their names. For awhile, we were not going to because of their emotional state...that has all changed now. In January, 2009, we will be adopting Samara Grace and Josiah Nathan. "Samara" means "God has protected" and "Josiah" means "God has healed". Perfect, don't you think?? They are adjusting well to the new names, although there was a little confusion when Josiah thought we were calling him "Messiah"! Not even close, dude! We need the new names...too many bad memories with the old names.
Then, a few days after that, Samara had her speech/developmental testing. Her speech is delayed, but the speech pathologist is not concerned as Samara just received her tubes last March and had definate hearing loss before that. She is catching up nicely. Now...onto the developmental testing. We really believed that there were things in the child's brain that were not connecting...you know...loose wires so to speak. It always got worse after some sort of trauma (bio visits) but there was just something we couldn't put our finger on. She could write her name if I told her the letters, but couldn't tell you the names of the letters. She would know something one day and not the next. She has been 4 since March and still has to "count" it on her fingers....can't just say "I'm four"! And we have WORKED on this for a LONG time.
So...she comes out of the room with the pathologist. She proceeds to tell me that Samara tests at a SIX YEAR OLD level! ARE YOU SERIOUS???? My jaw dropped and I practically told her she was out of her mind. Her response to my "issues"??? Samara has been playing us. Her daddy said, "Yep...she's SO smart she had you and her therapist fooled!" So, on the way out, I told Samara how good she did and how smart she was. She said, "No, I'm not." I said, "Oh yes you are...that lady said so!" From that point on, all I have had to say to her is, "Remember that lady?" Samara sighs really big and proceeds to do whatever it is she is trying not to be able to do! BUSTED SISTER!!!! I am relieved, at least I know that my expectations are NOT beyond her! It is amazing how far she has come in just a couple of weeks!
We are still on track to adopt "January" baby. Thursday night, I did not sleep well. I felt impressed to pray for "T", the bio mom of our baby. I prayed for her protection and that God would place someone in her path that could help her. I prayed all night for "T". At this point, we had not heard from her. She called Friday morning wanting to make sure we were still planning on adopting her baby. Thank you, God. BUT...while she has called several times, she has not been able to talk. We are afraid she is on the run. Please pray for her safety and that of the baby. She is in Oklahoma, we do know that. This will make it MUCH easier on us. (Remember...God said He would "smooth our way"!) "T" knows she needs to sign some paperwork and we have the resources to keep her safe and in hiding (thanks to my fabulous friend) so we are just praying for God's provision.
Christmas is about 28 hours away. The past couple of weeks have been up and down emotionally for me. Just the thought of a holiday without Jacob is almost more than I can bear sometimes. I am having trouble with some of the normal things...pictures, especially. Christmas pics this year will be sparce and that will have to be okay. Christmas gifts are a blur...I have no creativity or thoughtfulness this year. This part of grief ticks me off the most. I am used to being this certain kind of person, and I just cannot be that person right now. I see people doing kind things for others and that used to be me. I just can't. I know that one day that will come back, but right now, I feel so selfish. I was discussing this with our therapist (who happens to be a very dear friend) and she told me to look on my wall.
I put this verse on my wall the week after we moved into our new house in April. I have preached it to my friends, believed it myself, and here was my therapist throwing it up in my face. I kindly told her to shut up! She explained to me that this is my time to "be still". God does not expect me to be the same person I was before Jacob died...quite the contrary. He is molding me and teaching me to trust Him and only Him. He is making me into a new and (hopefully) improved version of "Tracy". I am hoping He will build on my good qualities and get rid of some of the yucky ones! I know that God has a purpose for my life. I have no doubt that He will use our story for His glory...He was using our story BEFORE Jacob died. All I do know is that whatever His plan is, I am willing. I do not want to step out in front of God, but I am ready to walk right beside Him.
As my therapist (and friend...don't forget this!) and I were discussing my feelings of selfishness and such, I was reminded of what a liar Satan is. It just hit me that the father of lies was really doing a number on me. Every other person in my life has basically "given me a HUGE break". As I would do for them in the same situation...everyone except Satan. I have never been more aware of his delight in hitting you when you are down. And it isn't anything that anyone else would notice...I haven't committed any crimes or been ugly to my kids, but here is what he has been doing. In my ear, I hear things like "You are such a failure as a mom...are you even teaching those kids about God right now?? Nope, you are neglecting their spiritual growth because you are consumed with your own grief." "Seriously?? Those are going to be the dumbest homeschooled kids ever...Ashlee will be in 9th grade next year...how many languages can she speak??" "Couldn't you even read one of the 14 Christmas books you have to your kids this year?? It is the birth of Christ...how many nursing homes have you caroled at??"
And then there is the doubt...did God REALLY promise me this baby??? Could He really have given me 1247 confirmations and meant it?? I know I told him that I had to sell that house if this were our baby and He did it...but really???
So, I caught him at his lies...that got better...so then guess what he does??? He starts putting these pictures of Jacob in my head at the most inopportune times! I refuse to be in the pit...and in the midst of it all, God spoke to me through my "Power of a Praying Parent" book.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ." Philippians 4:6-7
(I got this verse about 5 different times in about 2 days!)
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:1-3
I have also been singing the old "Imperials" song, "Praise the Lord"...
When you're up against a struggle
That shatters all your dreams
And your hope has been cruelly crushed
By Satan's manifesting scheme
And you feel the urge within you
To submit to earthly fears
Don't let the faith you're standing in, seem to disappear
Praise the Lord
He can work with those who praise Him ,
Praise the Lord
For our God inhabits praise,
Praise the Lord
For the chains that seem to bind you
Serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you
When you praise him
Now satan is a liar
And he wants to make us think
That we are paupers
When he knows himself
We're children of the King
So lift up the might shield of faith
For the battle has been won
We know that Jesus Christ has risen
So the work's already done
Been singing this one a lot...and how amazing is it that our Father God comforts us with songs from the 80's??? :) Who would have thought!
Today we spent a lot of time baking. We made little goodie boxes for all of our neighbors. (We live in a small addition...only 11 houses so far!) My kids delivered the boxes while I watched from our warm home! (Daddy drove them.) I can see almost every other house from one of our windows, so I watched them as they blessed others. They were so excited to be able to do this. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off this year, but God gave me the strength today. I want our neighbors to see us as more than the family that lost their child. I want them to see us as the family that God has provided for and healed by His mercy and grace. Anyway, I had hot chocolate ready for them when they got home...they were so funny. I have great kids.
I know this post hasn't been very "smooth" in it's readability, but I wanted to update you the best I could before Christmas. I look forward to 2009 with all God has planned for us. I am ready and willing. Are you?