We said goodbye to our sweet boys this past Thursday. Wow. What an experience. We had been doing the reunification process for almost 7 weeks, so when we finally got the call that they would be going home, it was not really surprising. In fact, it was welcome considering the rigurous visit schedule we had been doing and the horrible effects it was having on the boys. That said, it still hasn’t been easy. Warning: this is going to be a long post, but I want to tell you of the amazing provision and grace the Lord gave us on our “goodbye day.”
We woke up Thursday morning ready to have one last day of fun. So, we did one anyone would do: we made chocolate chip pancakes! And yes, I let Big Dude eat chocolate chips straight from the bag. And yes, he got as many as he wanted. So did I. Then, we went swimming! Big Dude loves him some pool time, and although the summer weather in September has been a reason to complain lately, on this day it was a reason to rejoice because it meant we got to do his favorite activity one more time.
We spent some time at the pool and the neighboring playground and when we’d milked all the fun out of that, we headed to another favorite place: Phil’s Icehouse! The great things about this place are that 1) they have awesome burgers, 2) there is a playground, and 3) it’s attached to an Amy’s Icecream. It’s pretty much a taste of heaven here in Austin. So, we ate burgers, played on the playground, and yes, ate icecream. I’m pretty sure it was the best morning ever.
Although we selfishly wanted to keep the boys awake to play longer, we knew it would be best if they had a nap before their transition home. We put them to bed and then finished the packing and loading up of their stuff. That was not as much fun obviously.
The original plan was to take them to the typical meeting location where we usually drop them for their visits, put them in their mom’s car, load all their stuff in, and then leave. Even though that’s what we knew had to happen we had never really felt comfortable with it. We wanted to be able to make the transition as smooth as possible and didn’t feel that would be best. So, this where the story gets awesome.
We drove to the meeting place and their mom texted me that she would be a bit late. No problem. So we sat there. Then, she called. Her mom, who she is living with, was held up at work and had the carseats in her car. So, mom asked us if we could just bring the boys to the house. Really?! You mean we can take the boys to their new home, help unload all their stuff (a way to serve their mom), and be comforted by being able to see where they are going?? Of course! We began the short drive to her house just amazed at this provision from the Lord.
When we got there, Big Dude immediately began to cling to Daddy Jeff. Y’all, kids are smart and they know when something is about to change their lives. Anyway, Jeff went ahead and let Big Dude help him uload the car. This gave me the perfect opportunity to talk to their mom. I asked her how she was feeling and she just poured out all of her fears to me. I had been praying for an opportunity to speak Truth to her, share the gospel, and verbally tell her all the things I had previously written to her in a letter. Here was the time. She shared a lot with me and I was able to encourage her and offer her my prayers and support all while Jeff unloaded the car. Awesome.
Then, their grandmother got home and began to share with us how thankful she was for us and knowing that the boys were being well taken care of. She has always been sort of scary to me, for a variety of reasons, but being in her home allowed us to communicate more freely. No courts. No CPS people. Just us. It was amazing.
Because Big Dude was so attached to Jeff, we engaged him in some fun stuff in his new room, said goodbye, and slipped out so there wouldn’t be too much drama. We left their home floating with love from the Lord and talking about how there must have been prayers going up for us during that time, and how the Lord was there with us the whole time.
We are struggling with some negative feelings which are expected. But each time we feel those, the Lord has used us to comfort each other and His word to provide truth when Satan whispers lies in our ears. He has used our friends and family to wrap around us through this whole process, and this is truly a time in my life where I can see the Lord working. I’m unbelievably blessed, and we are both so thankful for all of you for your prayers, notes of encouragement, and love. I can’t count the number of texts I’ve received giving me scriptures to think on and loving words to make me smile.
Thanks all of you for your support on this crazy adventure. As Jeff says, this story is not over. It’s just the close of a chapter.