Parenting is wracked with goodbyes!!
Well, in our case it has been. We have spent a great deal of time saying goodbye to our kiddos … like the first day of kindergarten (times four), those times that Brent and I have gone away by ourselves and left them with friends or family, student trips/sporting camps, sending the girls to colleges far from home, and even sending them to foreign places (Nepal, Africa, Indonesia).
But now we face a new kind of goodbye. I am so thankful that our goodbyes until this point have been what we consider just a “see ya later”. The assurance of life beyond this relatively short season on earth gives us peace, joy and hope that it’s never really a final goodbye. To be honest, though, with this upcoming goodbye I am feeling less assured, and that leaves me much more vulnerable.
While I know that God is control – and I believe that truth in the very core of who I am – I can’t help but being a little hesitant right now. The future has always been beyond my total control, but now more than ever I must face that reality. I knew that becoming a foster mama would give me many opportunities to strengthen my trust in my Abba Father, and with this goodbye (for the first time in our lives as foster parents) I am so aware that I am absolutely powerless to control the destiny of one precious little 4 year old whose name is Bryson.
When we return from our July 4th vacation/road trip to visit family in the south and pick up the Frys who fly into Nashville, our little fella will be officially adopted by someone other than us. Although life with him around has become our new normal, and saying goodbye is going to be so painful, we are grateful. We had the opportunity to meet his adoptive parents a few weeks ago (Bry stayed with them while we were in Indonesia). They seem like they will be a great fit for our little buddy and because they are somewhat local, there is a great possibility of seeing him and keeping up with his life. Because of more recently-enacted and restrictive policies concerning native children, the likelihood of us being able to adopt him was basically non-existent. So, all in all, we are feeling so thankful for how it has all happened. In reality, he could have been placed in a native family who lived across the country. [Due to privacy issues, I really am hesitant to go into much detail about the adoptive parents, but I can tell you that the wife is actually a member of the same tribe as Bryson. Although she doesn’t appear to be native at all, because she has connections to his tribe she was at the top of the list to adopt him (after all attempts to place him with family were exhausted).]
So what is the problem?
Well first, he is leaving us. Yes, we knew the day would probably come. But that will not make it easier. And our children have come to love their little brother just like he’d always been part of our family. Josh is especially feeling the sting of saying goodbye.
The second reason for it being so difficult is the fact that my human doubt/fear strongly wages war with my faith in God’s power to “keep” Bryson in His care. We don’t know what the future will hold for this little guy … will he remember the songs sung with and to him, the prayers prayed with him, the Bible stories told/read to him, the spoken name of Jesus heard in our home? Will he continue to get to know the Jesus we have shared? Or could this possible be a forever goodbye?
These are the unknowns that could paralyze me with anxiety if I let them. But, God being my daily (and hourly) Helper, I will not sink to the agonizing question “What if?” God created Bryson. And God has a purpose for him. When God begins a work, He finishes it. In fact, this is the case whether it’s a child we birth, or adopt, or foster. It is the work of God in the heart of man … always!
I will repeat the truth to myself moment by moment. And will speak it out loud, if needed, to still my soul. With SCC I will sing … and will be reminded and comforted …
Can I form a single mountain? Take the stars in hand and count them?
Can I even take a breath without God giving it to me?
He is first and last before all that has been, beyond all that will pass!
Oh, how great are the riches of His wisdom and knowledge. How unsearchable!
For to Him and through Him and from Him are all things.So let us worship before the throne of the One who is worthy of worship alone.God is God and I am not.
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man, so I’ll never understand it all.
For only God is God.