Monday, August 31, 2009

Getting off the roller coaster...

Well, at least this one!

I did not go to court today. "E" called yesterday morning and everything was still on for court today. A few hours later, she called and totally changed her mind...the cousin that has the baby was with her. She was high again.

And I was at peace. I cannot tell you how I began to enjoy my day after that phone call. I wasn't upset, or sad, or anything. Just at peace. I know that God spoke to me about the promise of our Emma this past week. He confirmed and told me that Emma would be mine. I believe Him.

I did talk to the DHS worker today and she was in shock as well. Evidently, "E" had called her on Friday and told her she was going to pick us today. The worker doesn't think the judge is going to allow "E" to choose ANYBODY. She will have her rights terminated and the baby will be adopted out through DHS. The cousin will be looked at first, because she is "family". (Not the kind of family that supported "E" throughout her pregnancy, but, whatever.) Now, if something happens and the cousin is not allowed to keep her, then they will call us. I am not holding my breath. I am moving onward. I am not going to keep on trying to figure out what the purpose of this process has been. Maybe it was to teach me how NOT to be used by crazy drug addicts!!!

I know I keep getting you all excited about all of this and I feel bad when I have to come and tell you my crazy life has changed, ONCE again. I am really not a dramatic person...I hate drama. It just seems I can't get away from it right now!

I appreciate all of the prayers. We are going back online with and we will also be filling out our adoption paperwork for DHS. I want to be ready no matter what God brings to us.

Thanks again for praying and thinking of us today! Now I must clean out the garage!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Whatever He wants to do, He does..."

so He will do for me all He has planned." Job 23:13-14

WOW! Where do I start. Monday was the start of a new day...a new year. No more "firsts" since Jacob died. We were moving on (again and again). Then the phone rang. This is the conversation that took place:

DHS: May I speak to "E"?
Me: She isn’t at this number, may I help you?
DHS: Well, this is her DHS worker and I need to get in touch with her so I can go over her plan.
Me: Well, she is homeless and has no phone. (I gave her Northcare’s…the mental health counseling place she goes to… info and told her about E always getting her check there on the first) But, E is not going to do a case plan.
DHS: Oh, I know. I’m not offering her one, but we would like to see if she will relinquish. How do you know E?
Me: We are the couple who were supposed to adopt the baby.
DHS: OH! I know who you are. Well, it says in my notes that you are not interested in adopting through DHS. Is that right? Are you wanting to be totally out of this?
Me: Well, when I said that, I was a little emotional and no, it would not be my first choice. Besides, I didn’t think there was any possibility of us adopting this baby at this point. If we did decide to adopt, it would have to be a pretty much done deal…I can’t have her again and then lose her.
DHS: Well, we are going to tpr E and I just need to know if you are willing to adopt the baby.
Me: Is she still at the hospital or in the shelter?
DHS: No, she is in a kinship home…with a cousin.
Me: Is the cousin not wanting to keep her?
DHS: Well, we don’t know yet, but I wanted to see where you stood in case. When we TPR, we need an adoptive home ready to go.
Me: Yes. We will adopt her if that option were to open up.
DHS: Okay. That’s what I needed to know. I will let you know when I find something out.

SERIOUSLY??? And my first response is "GOD????? WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME????"

So, I put out a fleece. Confirmation...whatever God wanted to give me. And I asked Him to show me what to do, how to move forward (and then I got bold) through a phone call.

That was Monday. Yesterday was Thursday. I was helping at my sister's garage sale. I had run home to get a few boxes of girl baby clothes. I was going to really thin them out and give some things away. I loaded up my truck, and headed back to the sale. I took in the box of boy things I had, and prepared to unload the truck. My phone rang.

It was "E". She needed me to take her to court so she could sign over her rights to me. WHAT????? She was told by the worker that she needed to be at court to relinquish her rights and choose who she wanted her baby to go to and she said she wanted me to have Emma.

Well, she had some of her facts right, but court was not yesterday. It's Monday at 1:30pm. And I have talked to "E's" worker, and she has confirmed what will happen.

Basically, "E" will go to DHS court. She will tell the judge that she wants to give guardianship of Emma to us (or whomever she chooses) and she can sign right then and there. Guardianship means that we will be OUT of DHS!!! We will still be under the judge's eye for a year, but guess who the judge is??? JACOB'S JUDGE!!! The one who shut his court down to come to Jake's funeral! He loves us!

After a year, we can file tpr on "E" ourselves and proceed with the adoption. This option is TOTALLY fine with us. No DHS involvement, we get our baby, and "E" will be finished with her part of all of this.

"For I have stayed in God's paths; I have followed His ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from His commands but have treasured His word in my heart. Nevertheless, His mind concerning me remains unchanged, and who can turn Him from His purposes? Whatever He wants to do, He does. So He will do for me all He has planned. He controls my destiny." Job 23:11-14

That was my passage of the day yesterday...rather fitting, don't you think??

Here are my prayer requests:

1 - "E" will remain sober. (She spent 3 weeks in detox and is now in outpatient rehab...and doing well!)
2 - The court will recognize that DHS should not have stepped in at all.
3 - We will have peace no matter the outcome.
4 - "E" will follow through with her plan this time. (I am confident that she will show for court...she gave me her ID. She has to have it on Tuesday to cash her check. This is her way of letting me know she is serious.)
5 - That "E" will have clarity of mind on Monday. She gets flustered easily.

No matter the outcome, there will be closure. And for that I will be grateful. "E" and I have talked in depth about what happened at the hospital and some things that went on that I had suspected, and now have will be addressed to the higher ups, but not until Emma is safe at home.

Please feel free to ask any questions you have and I will try and answer them!

Oh...and I didn't sell any girl things at the garage sale!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One year ago today...

I have thought a lot about what I wanted this days entry to say. Some days it was going to be a very strong post about how God has pulled us through this tragedy. Some days it was going to be a very weepy post with me feeling very sorry for myself. Some days, it was going to be filled with pictures of Jacob...and I mean pictures until you puke! LOTS of them! But now that the time has actually come, I really don't know what to post. Maybe the truth would be the best way to go with this today.

A year ago today, as we were preparing for a day of celebration, Jacob Levi Phillips, was climbing on his dresser. It fell and caught him between the dresser and the end of the bed. He breathed his last sweet Jacob breath before falling into the arms of our Savior.

Two days before Jacob died, this is what I underlined in my Bible:

"The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord had taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!" Job 1:21

A year ago today, although I knew that God would see me through the worst day of my life, I wasn't sure exactly HOW He was going to do that. I remember being afraid of how I would view my Savior. Would I be angry? Would I blame Him? Would I be able to breathe again? Will I be able to sing praises? Will I be able to tell others about Him? Will I ever stop crying? Will I ever be joyful again? So many questions.

As I was reminded this week by a dear friend, Jacob's life was never meant to be any longer than it was. As his mommy, I had great plans for his life. As his maker, God's plans for his life were completely fulfilled. As his mommy, I wanted to watch him grow up. I wanted to listen to him learn to talk. I wanted to watch him learn to ride a bike. And read. And give me chocolate grand babies. I wanted to hear him pray the sinner's prayer asking Jesus into his sweet little heart. I wanted to watch him on stage singing with the children's choir. How CUTE that would have been. How he will be missed.

But God has been faithful. He is a good God. He holds me in the palm of His hand each and every day, gently guiding me through my own personal hell.

I want to take time in this post to sincerely thank all of my friends whether in real life, or in the blog world, who have lifted us up and interceded on our behalf. I know that this day...the year anniversary of our baby's death...could not have come and gone in such a sweet way without your prayers. I will forever be grateful and have asked my God to bless each and every one of you.

I know that our recovery will not be complete until we are in the arms of Jesus ourselves, but in the meantime, we will allow the grace of our Jesus to cover us. There will always be a hole in my heart where my baby belongs, but I am extremely grateful that God allowed that baby into our home for the time he was here.

We love you, Jacob Levi, and we will not forget you!

I would love to hear your thoughts...if you knew Jacob, a memory would be nice, or a thought you have had since reading my blog. I would really like to end this year with a time of reflection and remembering. I appreciate you all! (Even if you have never posted...this is your time!!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

He was a little baby...

We started school today. For writing, I require my kids (who are old enough) to write me a page each day about anything they want. Then I make corrections and they rewrite the final draft. As I was grading Ashlee's writing today, I happened to look back at something she had written a while ago and would like to share it with you. Ashlee was 13 years old when she wrote this.

"He was a little baby, not yet a boy, but for some reason we do not know, God called him home. He was the light of our life, a star shining throught the mist. And like everything else in this life, we took him for granted. He made us laugh when he laughed, and we became sad when he was sad. He was not perfect, but in our eyes there was no better. We are comforted to know that he does not miss us, but that he will know he is missed. My little brother, our shining star.

Life comes and goes. When it comes, people rejoice, but when it leaves, people don't always know what to do. Some people hide and cry, others aren't that subtle. A few choose, or cannot cry, for their grief is so great. A lot become angry. Angry at God and at people, but they shouldn't, for if you don't have God during these horrible times, who do you have? Family? Sure. Friends? Perhaps. But they will all fade away and leave you. God will not. So, don't be angry at God, or even other people whether or not it's their fault. For anger leads to bitterness and bitterness leads to death...or worse."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I could feel it coming...

And when it did, I found myself curled up in the little's room, on the floor, in front of the dresser, where Jacob died. I have one more week to go until he has been gone for an entire year. I didn't just cry, I wailed. I am not even sure I have ever cried like that before. I suppose it needed to be done, and I am quite sure I have been avoiding it like the plague. There was some screaming, too, and my sweet husband, who probably wasn't quite sure what to do with me as I wigged out, just sat there and cried with me, as I was reminded I wasn't the only one who had lost our baby.

I want little two year old chocolate arms to hug my neck so tightly, the way Jacob did. I want to hear the sound of his little voice. Did you know that I can't remember what he sounded like? I happened to find the video of pictures I had made to play during his adoption know...the one we were preparing for the day he died?? I hit play to see if I could watch and had forgotten that I recorded his little voice saying his name on the video. It wasn't the same voice that I had remembered. I have to really try hard to remember his laugh...and it was a hilarious, chipmunk like laugh. How could I forget that? Sometimes I have a hard time picturing him in my head.

I WANT MY BABY BACK!!! I want my LIFE back. I want to stop crying. I want to go a day without being reminded of what I have lost. I want to be satisfied with what I have. I want to sleep through the night. I want to have energy during the day. I want to enjoy my kids. I want to be a good wife. I want to stop having to drive past the @#$% cemetery every stinking day. I want to be able to walk past little chocolate kids without feeling that knot in my stomach. I want to be a good friend...the kind that you all have been to me. I WANT OUT OF THIS!!!!! I AM DONE!

And then I am reminded...that none of this is any surprise to God. I know this in my heart of hearts. Patrick knows it, too. And I know everything is for my good. I also know that without suffering, there can be no mercy.

And mom...I will be fine...please don't call me because I don't really want to talk about it. I am going to bed early and will fine tomorrow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One more thing...

I know...two posts in one day is truly a record for me! (Don't miss the post below from earlier today.)

Sometimes I forget what I pray for. Then the prayers are answered and later I suddenly realize, "Hey...I prayed for that!" Such is what has been happening today. A few days ago, I prayed that God would show me encouragement and confirmation regarding His promise of adoption to us through my friends. I was also searching the Word, but I needed it from all sides.

Yesterday, several of my dear friends were talking and revealed some things that confirmed what we are doing and also encouraged me greatly. Today, I received a phone call from a dear friend and we had almost the exact converasation as I had yesterday. Yet more encouragement and another confirmation. And here within the last 15 minutes, I have had two different emails of encouragement. I am going to share one with you as it has touched my heart in a way I cannot express and now I just sit here in awe of our Father and His love for our silly little needs and desires.

Hi Tracy,

I just read your blog and I thought of this devotional that someone sent to me recently. This is your time for rest and healing. God will strengthen you in due season, but for now, rest in Him, just like the prophet Elijah had to rest right at the height of his ministry.

God bless you,

Contradictory Truths, Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
1 Kings 19:9-21

God often delivers His best gifts to us in unexpected ways . . . with surprises inside the wrappings. Through apparent contradictions. Somewhat like the therapy He used when Elijah was so low, so terribly disillusioned.

How did the Lord minister to him? By an earthquake? In a whirlwind? Through a scorching fire? You'd expect all the above since Elijah was such a passionate, hard-charging prophet. But no. The story from 1 Kings 19 makes it clear that Jehovah was not in the earthquake or the wind or the fire. Too obvious. Too predictable. That's not the Sovereign's style.

After all the hullabaloo died down, there came "a gentle blowing" and shortly thereafter, ever so softly, "a voice" came to him (vv. 12-13) with words of reassurance and affirmation. Not, "You oughta be ashamed of yourself!" Or "What's a man of your stature doing in a crummy place like this?" None of that. No blame, no shame, no sermon, no name-calling, no blistering rebuke. In contradiction to the popular idea of confrontation (and surely surprising to Elijah himself), the Lord encouraged His friend to go on from there. He gave him a plan to follow, a promise to remember, and a traveling companion to help him make it through the night.

Another mysterious back-door delivery . . . another victim of despair rescued from the pit. No wonder Paul burst forth in praise of God's wisdom and knowledge by exclaiming:

How unsearchable are His judgments . . . [how] unfathomable His ways! (Romans 11:33b)

About the time we think we've got the whole picture in finite focus, an infinite hand quickly grabs the camera, changes lenses on us, points in another direction, and has us take an entirely different picture. Yet to our amazement, when everything is developed, we get the one thing we wanted all our lives through a process we would never have chosen.

It's like the anonymous poet's profound admission:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for,
But everything I had hoped for.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, Copyright © 1985, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

Dear God...thank you for my friends and may your blessings fall on each one of them.

"The Lord merely SPOKE...

and the Heavens were created."

That's all. So why do I doubt that God can give us the baby He promised us? I don't know. That's why I am asking all of you blog stalkers!! Is it true that I have already forgotten, after only 3 months, how God brought "E" to us out of the seemingly "blue"?? Her situation was not one that I had to go out and hunt after.

"He breathed the word, and all the stars were born."

Patrick and I had a talk on August 7, our 16th anniversary, about how to proceed with our lives after our failed adoption last week. I was fully prepared for him to say, "Tracy, we have been through enough this year. I can't watch you lose anything/anyone else. We need to be done." I was ready for this answer and was at peace with whatever Patrick said. But, this wasn't his answer. His answer was, "I still want to adopt a baby girl. We are not finished."

As many of you only know Patrick through the little bit I write about him (it is MY blog you know), you probably have no idea of the impact of his statement. While God promised me Emma Claire almost 4 years ago, now, God had not changed Patrick's heart to be on board with this until recently. Until Jacob died, we were not even sure that Samara and Josiah were to be ours forever and now I wanted to add yet ANOTHER baby to the mix. Patrick has always been my Mr. Steady. He wants whatever makes me happy and don't think I haven't used that to my advantage! And yes, all you people who are much better than me...I know it was wrong!

But this time, I just shut my mouth and prayed. I finally matured enough to know that I needed to hear from God, through my husband. And last week, God spoke through Patrick. I have also been asking God to reaffirm that promise. Let me know if somehow I misinterpreted what has been going on. I'd like to share with you some of what God has been speaking to me this last week.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

"How can we understand the road we travel? It is the Lord who directs our steps." Proverbs 20:24

"I trust in the Lord. I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemy but have set me in a safe place." Psalm 31:7-8

And I was praying for a Word to tell me we need to keep moving forward with adoption and the promise I was given:

"For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything He does is worthy of our trust. The Lord shatters the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. But the Lord's plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken." Psalm 33: 4, 10-11

We will go back online with in the next couple of weeks. We are waiting until we get past the one year anniversary of Jacob's death to move forward with this.

As far as prayers, you guys are so good at it, I don't even have to tell you what to pray anymore! :) I would appreciate prayers for strength. Since coming home from the hospital last week, I am just exhausted. I want to sleep all the time. I am pretty sure it is my body dealing with the emotional stress of the situation, but still...I hate needing a nap 2-3 times a day!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The day after...

I am still okay. God has intevened in a mighty way here in my life the past few days, a way that I am having trouble comprehending. I keep waiting for this tragic turn of events to hit me in a way that would leave me unable to function. I just don't think that is going to happen. Today, I woke up without trembling. I am able to eat. I am able to think about the future and am excited about the planning that will involve. (For those of you who only know me as the mom who lost her 2 year old, I used to be quite the organized planner type person...enough to make you sick!!) My kids are still color coded, but that's for another blog.

As I look back on the past week, I can see now that God protected me from attaching to that baby. Sure, I held her, fed her, changed her, loved on her, comforted her, but today, I am not mourning that loss. I don't even miss her. What's wrong with me? Maybe because I knew she was never mine? I suppose I had been looking forward to the IDEA of Emma for so long, the IDEA is what was lost. I have absolutely no attachment to that baby. I am sad that Emma will be forced into the foster care system, just a number, but God is ultimately in control of her life. I did not conceive a baby that was born addicted to cocaine and marijuana. Just like my other kiddos...I did not give Jacob his Sensory issues, Josiah RAD nor did I give Samara attachment issues. Fortunately, God has used me in their lives and I am thankful for that, but a lifetime with this little baby was not the plan. God used us for whatever purpose He had for us and that purpose has been fulfilled.

I have had many people say they think DHS will call us for this baby...I don't think so. I also do not believe, unless God were to change my heart, that I could take her even if we were called. She is a DHS baby now. I am out of DHS with no regrets! My focus is on my family that is here, living in my house daily. I don't know what God has in store for us, well, I know SOME things, but they do not involve a new baby. And still, I am at peace. TOTAL peace with how this turned out. And here is what God promised me today in my Bible reading:

"Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14

And then right after:

"Don't say 'I will get even for this wrong.' Wait for the Lord to handle the matter. The Lord despises double standards; He is not pleased by dishonest scales." Proverbs 20:22-23

Lest you think God has forgotten me.

About 8-9 years ago, I was in a Bible study. I don't remember the details, but I do remember popping off in class, saying "I am totally fine being a mediocre Christian, if it means I don't have to go through any heartache." It must have been a Beth Moore study, but I was thinking along the lines of Anne Graham Lotz, and some other very spiritual people that I looked up to. Each one of them had gone through some sort of tragedy in their lives. I didn't want that and if that's what had to happen to become "spiritual", then I would pass.

Ummmm...yeah. Well, God obviously had different plans for this "mediocre" Christian! The journey has been very painful, but I am reaping what has been sown. There is a song by Point of Grace called "Heal the Wound" that I hope to sing one day as I give my testimony...somewhere...because as painful as this journey is, God has shown Himself to me in a mighty way, in a way that I know whatever comes my way, God is good, all the time. God does EVERYTHING...not just some things, but EVERYTHING for OUR own good. Knowing that makes the process a little easier.

Heal the Wound:

I used to wish that I could rewrite history
I used to dream that each mistake could be erased
Then I could just pretend
I never knew the me back then
I used to pray that You would take this shame away
Hide all the evidence of who I've been
But it's the memory of
The place You brought me from
That keeps me on my knees
And even though I'm free

Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar

I have not lived a life that boasts of anything
I don't take pride in what I bring
But I'll build an altar with
The rubble that You've found me in
And every stone will sing
Of what You can redeem

Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar

Don't let me forget
Everything You've done for me
Don't let me forget
The beauty in the suffering

Heal the wound but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Call to me and I will answer you...

“This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is his name: 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

I have called out to Him and He has answered. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, His answer is "no".

We will not be adopting Emma Claire. It's done. I am done.

"E" showed up at the DHS office, with a family member (whom I didn't know existed after spending the majority of my time with "E" for the last 12 weeks) and said she would NOT relinquish her rights to us, she did not want me to have her baby. Now...before I get anymore "anonymous" comments about what I should or shouldn't say regarding "E", all I have ever done is try to help her. It hasn't even been about the baby most of the time, it has all been about "E". If you are trying to be a friend to me and are worried about my well being, please sign your name.

I have not ONE regret as to how "E" was treated by me. God is my judge, and while I am sure I didn't do everything right with "E", I did my very best to care for her. My only regret at this point is the time she took away from my family. I will not allow that to happen again. My children are just now getting their "mom" back since Jacob died. We cannot put them through this rollercoaster any longer.

As far as pursuing further adoptions, I really can't say. Today, at this time, I would say "no", but I am exhausted. I do know, however, that I will not be working for one. God will have to lay it in our laps. And who knows, my promise was that when we got "Emma Claire", we would be done. We had maybe we are done.

How is Tracy doing? I am at perfect peace. I can't tell you what a relief it has been to know it's over. I am disappointed, of course, but I know God isn't finished with me. I have a new ministry in the wings that I am excited about, I get to spend time with my kids without interuption (oh how I have missed that!), I don't have to worry about all the phone calls, worrying if "E" is going to show up for her appointments, worrying if she is safe, and DHS is still out of our home! I will have time for my husband, who has been so supportive and helpful in all of this.

It's kind of strange, but there is also a bit of excitement. I believe the not knowing is the hardest part. And now we know.

Please pray for my kids...they have been through more than they deserve. They have planned for Emma as much as we have. I feel like this whole process has been so much about ME, that I have ignored their needs some. I am finished! I am the mom!!

And due to recent events...our school year will start SOONER than planned...sshhh...don't tell my kids yet...remember...they've been through a lot! :)

It has taken me awhile to write this post due to interuptions, but since I started, I am even MORE at peace. We have already started making some plans as a family and I am excited!

Do I feel like I wasted my time with "E"? Well, yes, as I have nothing to show for it, but I am sure if I could see the BIG picture, God would show me that kindness is never wasted. "E" was brought into our lives so we could be Jesus to her. That has happened and cannot be changed. A couple of weeks ago, when "E" was at the mental hospital, one of the nurses was laughing at her because she calls me "mama". The nurse told her I couldn't be her "mama" because I sounded too young on the phone. (We are the same age.) We were laughing about that and I said, "E, why DO you call me mama?" She got a little embarassed looking and said, "It's because you treat me just like I'm one of your own and nobody has ever treated me that way before." She knows. I believe Satan has her mind right now, but ultimately, "E" knows I loved her and tried to do what was best for her.

"In my distress, I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me." Psalm 120:1

"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act." Psalm ??

"Don't be impatient for the Lord to act! Travel steadily along His path. He will honor you, giving you the land." Psalm 37:34

"As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now." Psalm 40:17

I found these verses in a notebook I grabbed to write down a number this morning. I had written them down 2 years ago. God can use just about ANYTHING to speak to us!

Monday, August 3, 2009

No weapon formed against you shall prosper...

Amazing how a phone call can change your day, your plans, your life. But that's really all it takes.

After being told the hospital just needed our paperwork faxed, we were still told Emma would not be released to us until they went before the asstistant district attorney (ADA). So, I came home last night, intending on staying here with my family for the evening, and then going back today. I no more than got out of the parking garage that I couldn't leave Emma. I I could take my bath and grab some new clothes, but I went back to the hospital to be with Emma. I was gone maybe 2 hours! I just couldn't do it as much as I wanted to be home. People were praying and we had a really good night, with Emma sleeping about 3 hours at a time. The best part was because she has been released medically, nobody came into our room to mess with her at all hours of the night.

Then we awoke today, hoping the ADA would look at our paperwork and say we could take Emma home, then get the relinquishment paperwork to them when we got it. This is a totally normal thing to do as birth moms aren't even out of the hospital this quick sometimes, and sometimes they go home on heavy medication and are not up to showing up in court right away. It was a slam dunk...what they always do.

Well...if you have been reading my blog for long, there ARE no slam dunks! ADA said that as soon as they received a copy of the relinquishment papers for "E", then they would release the baby. So we got a court hearing this afternoon. Problem "E". She got her check and no telling how much of it she spent on drugs. I spent an hour praying and driving around looking for her before going up to court hoping she would show. (Her brother was looking for her, too.) About 10 minutes before court, she called me yelling...she was high and is a mean druggie. Needless to say, she was in no condition to go into court. So, no Emma today.

At this point (my attorney is STILL working on this, bless her heart, as well as the DHS workers involved...minus the ADA...nobody understands why this is all happening and really want Emma placed with us) we have two options to get Emma into our home.

1 - "E" calls me and shows up sober to relinquish her rights. Emma would automatically come to us.

2 - DHS would open our home as a kinship foster placement. Then if/when "E" shows up to relinquish, DHS would dismiss the case and we would go on with our adoption.

#1 would be the best outcome...easiest/quickest for all involved, but #2 seems the most likely outcome as "E" won't likely call for a few days, if ever again. Worst case, "E" never shows again, Emma becomes a foster/adopt placement and we adopt her through DHS. While in some ways, I am tempted to go this route. I know...I hate DHS...but it's for Emma. Also, I am worried about "E's" behavior in court. No telling what she might say, plus if she decided to change her mind, the baby would go into DHS custody, anyway. If Emma is ALREADY in DHS custody and "E" comes around saying she changed her mind, it won't matter. "E" would be considered an automatic termination case due to her past DHS history (which I just found out about.) Same result, would just take longer.

Our next issue. We need DHS (our county) to approve us to open our home back up. I have spent this afternoon talking to many higher up people regarding this and am hopeful. Our prayer is that those in control will open our home and be done with it. We can bring Emma home tomorrow if that happens. Please be in prayer about this (I know you all have prayed enough for me already to last my whole lifetime.)

My "old" workers in our county are on top of this. One person (the hardest one to reason with) was out today, but will be back tomorrow. As long as she okays it, we can open our home again. I just wanted to mention that my licensing worker has been a God send...she has been so helpful and encouraging and she didn't even have to take my call. I love her. (I did the whole time she was our worker!) The OK county workers want us to have this baby. They are making calls like you wouldn't believe and trying to get around the ADA's ruling (as is my attorney tomorrow.) So...I left Emma tonight at the hospital. I am almost sick because of the stress and not being home since last Wednesday. I need to be home. I felt a peace leaving her tonight (after talking with the hospital's social worker for an hour in our room...she thinks we are the perfect placement and can't understand all the crap.)

I think I am also letting go a little bit. A couple of days ago, I wasn't ready to let her go. I wasn't okay with this being God's plan. Today, I am. Maybe because I'm exhausted and have no feelings left in me, I don't know, but I do know (mostly because of all you facebook friends who have encouraged me daily) that God has a plan...STILL! So, whatever happens, I am okay. I think. Don't get me wrong...I want more than ANYTHING to bring that tiny baby home. How will I tell my kids that we lost ANOTHER baby? I can handle me...I can't handle my kids grieving anymore.

So...I come home. I spend some time with my husband who I missed terribly, ate some real food (lost 5 pounds at the hosptial) and took my bath. As I was ready my "Power of a Praying Parent", today's prayer is on protection. Fitting, huh? And I read the first verse...then the second...then...well, read them:

"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 judgement 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

And earlier, I chose to read Psalm 31, because it's the day Emma was born and I didn't have my regular "through the year" was perfect for me today.

So, I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I have many people to call, but I am so weary. My prayer is that those in charge will do all the work and just call me to tell me it's time to pick up my baby.

In the meantime, I am still aware of who is ultimately in control and tonight I will "both lie down in peace and sleep".

Sunday, August 2, 2009


The morning didn't start out well, as I was told that we would have to stay another day because - guess what? DHS didn't do their job. I know you all are SHOCKED!! As am I! :)

Needless to say, I was in tears. I haven't slept since Wednesday and Ashlee is leaving for camp tomorrow. I need to be home TODAY! So, I am reminded that God is in control of all of this and is and will always be, bigger than DHS.

I told God that He was going to have to intercede because I can't stay here again and I need to be home with my kids. (I know...I'm such a baby and I know there are lots of worse things that could be going on...but sleep since Wednesday and I am an eight hour a night kind of gal!)

About 10 minutes later, the nurse came in and said she had talked to the hospital social worker (who started all the mess) and said all they need is a copy of the signed by the judge order giving us temporary custody. We did this on Friday and it was faxed to the worker already. (By the way...the hospital needing a copy of the order is totally normal.)

The next prayer was that I could get in touch with my attorney. I did within about 30 minutes and she is going to take time away from HER family (thanks DHS) to get the paperwork from her office and faxed AGAIN to the hospital.

As it stands now, as soon as the paperwork is faxed here, we can go home. PRAISE GOD!!! Our prayer now is for no more bumps in this rocky road! Tracy needs her recliner!

As for Emma, she is a miracle, as we all know. The doctors keep saying how amazed they are that they can't find anything wrong with her. Just from the things I DO know about her life in the womb, she should have major problems. But this baby has been bathed in prayer (and know in pink Johnson's lotion) for the past 10 weeks, so we shouldn't be surprised.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Meet Emma Claire

We had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, July 29, just a regular visit. Because of "E's" behavior and addictions, the doctor decided that Emma would be safer outside the womb. We had an amnio done to check for lung maturity and were back at the doctor on Thursday for the results. Lungs were good, so they sent us to labor and delivery to be induced. WOOHOO!!!

At about 11:00pm, the doctor came in and said "E" was in a latent phase and would not deliver until the next afternoon. I decided, in all my wisdom, to go home and sleep. The nurse was to call when "E" was at a "9". At 3am, I got a call that "E" was at a "6" and her water broke, I had better get up there. As I was walking toward the room, "E" called to tell me she had had the baby. I called her a liar and she laughed. When I got to the labor and delivery floor, the nurse said that not 5 minutes after she called, she couldn't find the baby's heartbeat, so she lifted up the blanket to adjust the monitor, and there was Emma's head already delivered! So, I missed it. But I am okay with that. I am a results person, I don't really care for the process. Oh...and "E" slept through the entire thing...the nurse was in shock!!

So, Emma Claire was born at 3:04am, July 31st, weighing 6 lbs, 5 oz, 19 inches long. She is perfectly healthy, other than some tremors that are getting better. We were moved into a room by ourselves to start our lives together.

All was going well, when DHS decided that they hadn't interfered with our lives enough. Evidently, they are afraid that "E" will not show up to sign the relinquishment papers next week. I have no doubt that she WILL, besides the fact that I know where to find her. SO, we had about 5 hours of DHS telling us that they were taking the baby into custody and going to try and get us approved as a kinship home. WHAT???? I told them in not very kind words that there was NO way we were doing DHS again, all the while trying to explain to them that we had a lawyer and all the paperwork in place already. Well, the worker enjoyed her power and also had very little knowledge of the system. (That last statement is purely my own opinion.) I proceeded to call my old licensing worker (remember...we closed our home to DHS a couple of months ago!) and she was all over it. She couldn't believe the gall of the worker, stating that there was NO reason to take the baby if there is already a plan in place. Our county called the OK county director to have this stopped, and the county director agreed. The worker here at the hospital was still demanding a bunch of crap from us, but in the meantime, our fabulous attorney filed the paperwork for temporary custody to go to US. Last I heard, the documents had all been faxed to the appropriate people, so PLEASE pray that when we go to check out of the hospital tomorrow morning, that everyone has done their job and we can go home. It's one thing to sit in a hospital room when you are sick, but I AM NOT SICK!!!! And my family is doing things at home like ordering pizza and having movie night...WITHOUT ME!! (I have a fantastic hubby...who happens to look HUGE when he holds Emma!) So....if I have to stay one more night because of DHS...Howard Hendricks WILL be hearing from me. (As a matter of fact, my worker told me to call him yesterday! He's the director of DHS!) is a better day. I also found out (since writing that last paragraph) that social workers do work weekends here at the hospital, so that is a huge relief.

"E" left the hospital today. She was scheduled to have her tubes tied, but backed out last minute. And by last minute, I mean laying on the table with the IV already in. Please continue to pray that "E" will turn her life around and surrender fully to Christ. She has the information, she just has to choose to follow. She did not hold Emma, but she did come and visit us frequently and talked/touched her. She said she is very happy with her decision, and she genuinely acted happy and relieved. But somewhere, deep down, she has to be sad. I have seen a sadness in her eyes she can see a life that could have been. I love "E" for the gift she has given our family. I would also ask that you would continue to pray as "E" will need to show up for court sometime next week to sign her relinquishment papers. I don't doubt she will do it once she is there, but I am pretty sure she is anxious to get back to her lifestyle. I will see her on Monday and promised her pictures of Emma.

I want to thank you all, again, for your continued prayers. I wept as I read all of your responses when I would ask for prayers for different issues yesterday on facebook. I am amazed at God's family and how He has designed His children to pray for one another. I have spent the last year of my life being fervantly prayed for and I feel a little guilty that there has been so much for you to pray for me about! I want to be the one praying for YOU! But, God has kept me in a place of healing and used you all to intercede on my behalf. How glorious is the family of God! I want you to know that God is allowing me to come out of this state...I can feel it.

I suppose I should sleep while Emma sleeps...I just wanted you all to see God's promise fulfilled in our Emma. This song from the new Selah CD explains how my heart feels...we have not been "unredeemed".