Detoured But Not Deterred

I asked you not to sanctify me. I begged you not to sanctify me. When you do,  it makes telling you even harder, letting you down like this. It makes this feel more like failure than it already does. I’ve been reminded by my wisest advisors, my husband and best friend, that I’m not on the defense so I don’t have to explain the decision to anyone. Still, you’ve been walking with us, heck, practically wheel-barrowing us through this process at times so you deserve to know main pieces.

The kiddos were picked up by their social worker yesterday and driven back up to Riverside County. To a home without other small children. To a home where they can make  small mistakes and big mistakes safely. To a home where every ounce of attention is about them. We were prepared for tantrums and can get through those fairly well. Behaviors are only the flailing arms of the octopus. The need is at the core, the brain telling those arms to move. As weeks progressed into months and the behaviors increased and intensified it became evident that what we are able to provide these two did not meet their needs. You don’t know what you don’t know. We did become fairly attuned to their intricacies, so I am praying communicating that knowledge can help guide their future placements. I’m scared they are on the road to becoming statistics, but I am reminding myself that I believe in the One who can grow beauty in the midst of mess.

What do you do after you buckle the child you thought would be yours forever into the back of a social worker’s car on their way to destination unknown? I walked inside and started rearranging furniture. First things first, sort out the physical mess then I can deal with figuring out the emotions. Outside in, in this case. As I mentioned in the last post this hasn’t been a time for emotions because we’ve been living in crisis. Crisis is about action. It’s survival. So don’t ask me how I’m doing. Beyond the immediate layer of confusion and relief (can I say that without you hating me), I don’t know what I feel yet.

Next steps. Rest. There will be no steps forward until we simply rest well with sleep and family down time and outings filled with laughter. Heal. Mend the little chunks of our hearts that have been torn. Possibly provide some play therapy for the kids. Give. Once we feel rested we’d love to provide respite care for other families, taking their foster children for a few days to week at a time. Try Again. Stand up, square off, and start again. We are detoured but not deterred.

Borrowing the mantra from Glennon in this season: Next Right Step. The dream is the destination but haven’t found footing yet on the road and definitely can’t see the whole path. We just have to keep taking the next right step and pray we will make it eventually. I’ve never been one for being on time anyway.

10 thoughts on “Detoured But Not Deterred

  1. Jenny, I’m so sorry for the pain you are sitting with but I’m sure you listened attentively and were guided by sound judgement to make the right decision for everyone involved. I’m praying for you. You clearly have God’s hand in your life. Rest in that.

  2. Jenny. It’s been too long, but I want to say that I think you are a super-mom. I still remember all of my friends in awe of you at my ordination party a few years ago. That awe doesn’t stop. Thank you for your honesty, and know of my prayers for you all in this time of transition!

    • Thank you Mike! That was a fun day, even if baby Josiah had some funky virus that made his skin look leprous. Listened to Nickel Creek for the first time in ages yesterday, which for some reason always makes me think of you!

  3. There is a hug waiting for you the next time our faces see each other. I very much appreciate the realness of the hard things you’ve told all of us. Continuing to pray. 💜

  4. Your ability to pour your heart out onto the page is continually inspiring, refreshing, and healing for all of us. Way to go my dear friend.

  5. Your raw honesty and humility is so vulnerable and real and inspiring and scary and heart-string-pulling. I cannot imagine what your heart and mind might grieve and believe in the coming days and weeks.

  6. Jenny, I needed time after I read this to respond, bc your beautiful post gave me all the feels, but then I nearly forgot to actually write out my words to you. So I’m sorry this is long overdue. Gosh, you are such an encouragement. You are such a light. Because you are so kind and brave and strong, but especially because you are so real and truthful and vulnerable, and you allow people to remember that life is so very hard and there is no easy, straight path. That is a breath of fresh air for all of us. I know without a doubt you and your family were a light to your precious foster kids. Thank you for making the tough decisions and being kind enough and brave enough to share some of that. Praying for rest and laughter and more rest and lots of delicious food for your whole family as you move forward and find the next right step. Much love to you, sweet friend!

    • I knew the moment that we sang Tori Amos in your car that we would be bosom buds for life. So grateful we get to be real life grownups these days who both feel too much and really like this writing thing. Thanks for making me stronger through the boldness of YOUR life, Grace!

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