Writing out my thoughts has always been my tool for coping with things. I know that in our age of social media, blogs and articles pop up on my feed pretty constantly…all different topics, from all different authors…some useful, some insightful, and some heartbreaking. As you read my words today, just know that this really isn’t me trying to motivate you or inspire you or preach at you…this is for me, this is my pain that I feel very protective over, yet I know my healing will come with shouting it out to the world…I want to yell at the world keeping nothing of its poison left to harbor inside of me…only the scars etched in my heart to keep me focused, grounded, and strong for the battles ahead…battle wounds.
Not everyone has a heart for the orphan…we all have different gifts and missions in life…orphans for a lot of people, are just a category under the subject of charities or non profits. If we could just put more perspective on this though…for anyone that cares about the future of this country, of this world…if you have a passion for a cleaner earth, you should care about the orphan, if you have a passion for sex trafficking, you should care about the orphan, if you care about equality for all, you should care about the orphan etc etc. Here’s why orphan care is bigger than just a child in need…these neglected and abused little people from newborn to the age of 5 years old have brains that are growing and molding by the environment around them…this is science, not just a cute way for people to understand how substantial this need truly is. They have done studies of children who have been loved and children who have not, and the significant difference in the brain sizes when compared as teenagers is truly remarkable. You can read more about that here:
These children, with these fragile growing bodies inside and out, are the future…they are the ones that will be sitting next to your adult biological children one day on the Metro Transit on their way to work…they are the ones that will possibly catch the eye of your son or daughter while walking the mall aisles with their friends…they are that stranger thats the only one around when your chest starts to tighten and you begin to go into cardiac arrest and need immediate assistance…they are the future teachers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, and artists. They are the future and they deserve a chance…they can be separated one by one, each one with their own story, their own needs, their own gifts, and their own name. They matter.
Some people (without knowing how insensitive they are being) have said to Justin and I “well, you signed up for this” as our hearts felt like they had been ripped open and stomped on. We did sign up for heartache…we knew it was coming…it was a chance we were willing to take to help save just one life. We did sign up for loving a child and giving him or her back to their family they were born into…we were prepared for this. What we did not sign up for was a system that crippled us from making a difference in these little lives, from a judicial system that cared more about keeping a black child with people that looked more like him than with the only family he has ever known. We were not prepared to have a team of people who you work with for months and months, CPS and CASA, preparing the best plan of action for this child only to have a prejudice judge ignore all that work done by this very unbiased team of people (who would be the only people in this world who could adequately advocate for this child)…all that work in all that time done by all these people meant nothing to a judge who only saw the color of our skin. Not one person in the world could prepare you for losing your baby TWICE. Not one person could have warned us that the child calling you “mama” and “daddy” would be ripped from your life only to be given to a criminal, a pathological liar, a great, great “aunt”, who had never spent one day with your baby boy…not one day. Training for foster care prepares you to love kids and let them go but what it does not prepare you for is to keep a child so long under your roof with no other possible family members to take him that eventually he is your family, he is your blood, he even starts to have your mannerisms, he has his dads humor, his sisters wit…to unofficially adopt your son into your family only to then have him taken from you to be given to someone who has no right to him…other than sharing a little bit of DNA…and thats even a maybe (I still don’t even think they’re actually related)…is unbearable at times.
This pain we have endured is why people don’t foster…and I get it…I wouldn’t wish this heartache on my worst enemy…but here’s what I want everyone to know who has followed our story…
he was worth it.
Every tear that was shed over the loss of our son was worth it. Every night I screamed into my pillow from the complete agony that I felt over losing him, was worth it. Every time I saw the pain in my children’s eyes longing for their brother, their pain was worth it.
Love comes at a cost and no one deserved that sacrifice more than our boy. Each one of us would do it all over again, even knowing the grim outcome… the only difference for me would be that I would have given him my heart a lot sooner…much much sooner…gladly handing it over to him.
Before government, before churches, there was family. Family was Gods first institution…it matters so much to Him…family is such a gift so many of us take for granted…and the guy I confess to love the most out of everything in this world, Jesus, Him, He asked me to invite His orphaned children into my family, into the home He gave me, into the life He graciously allowed me to have and now I know why…He knew in this journey I would have to trust Him more than I ever knew was even possible…He knew that He was enough for me…He sustains me and He gets it, more than anyone in this lonely journey, He gets it.
Dre…my boy…you have been the greatest thing I have ever lost…you have been my greatest heartache yet my greatest accomplishment…you are so much to me that words are not worthy to describe it…and because of who you are, we will never stop fighting for the orphan…because of you, we will go further with our mission than we ever had planned to before you came back into our lives…
You have been adopted into this family wether the courts see that or not, and I know without a shadow of a doubt, son, that we will have an eternity together to catch up on what we missed..I know this…I’m secure in this because God gave us just enough time with you to lay that foundation in your heart baby…He was strategic in His plan for your life and I trust He has chosen you for something great and we are just so honored to be a part of it…we love you Bubba…bigger than the skyway, longer than the highway.