Oh.my.heart. Grab a tissue and sit down for a minute. Life is getting real.
My heart has gone up and down all week. I feel like all I have done is cry. Don’t worry, it ends well.
It all started with Mother’s Day weekend…I was feeling so tender already with my conflicting emotions about Mother’s Day and knowing that what is meant to be celebratory can also be such a painful day for many women. I was keenly aware of how blessed I am to both celebrate and be celebrated. I was especially honored by my older brother who offered to help Daniel watch all of our kids so the Moms could have a girls night out. It was such a treat and the men did a great job keeping all the little people alive.
Monday night when we were getting ready for bed we realized that our beloved dog Mojo was on his last leg. Now this dog… man… he’s been through a lot in the (almost) 12 years we have had him. I even named him Mojo fully expecting he wouldn’t last long in our life and I could say, “we lost our mojo”. I know, I’m crazy.
I had hoped we would catch his decline in quality of life early enough that we could intervene and save him from suffering. By midnight I realized we were probably not going to make it through the night. Daniel found me cuddled in his dog bed, petting his formerly-golden-now-just-grey coat as he struggled to breathe. I wanted him to know he wasn’t alone, he has been a great dog and I forgive him for peeing in my shoes two weeks ago. He didn’t seem to be in pain, just confused as to why moving and breathing was so hard. I could feel his body relax as we spoke gently to him of our love and all the fun times we had together. I have never seen a dog love a man as much as Mojo loved my husband. His heart beat stronger just with Daniel near. And I felt it as his heart gave up and his breath stopped. I cried as if he was a child…. because let’s be honest… that is what he has been to us. He was our first child and I had to let him go.
I was so incredibly grateful that we were able to be with him in those last moments, to share our love and comfort him in what I can only imagine was a scary stage. He died so peacefully and he looked beautiful. And for the first time in his life, he was still. To be honest, I always expected him to go in some dramatic blaze of glory… but it was so peaceful, like he knew there was nothing left to be said. Just our “I love you” was enough. It was over.
Since I am clearly unstable, you can only imagine how much crying we did. In the middle of waiting as Daniel was digging a really big hole on Tuesday morning, I received a text that our sweet blue-eyed girl would be moving the next day. Seriously? Do you know my dog just died?
What’s a girl to do?
Well, I did what I signed up for. I washed what little bit of clothes she came with, I packed up her things and prepared to let another piece of my heart go. When we picked the girls up from school we explained again where Mojo went. We let them put flowers on his grave and waited to see him “fly to heaven”. Because… all dogs go to heaven. And then we talked about miss blue-eyes and that she would be leaving tomorrow. We wanted to have a fun night together and savor the time we had left with our sweet girl.
This morning we woke up, got dressed and took the sisters to school. I let little miss blue-eyes say goodbye to her sweet teachers and hug all the sisters. She and I had a breakfast date at Chick-fil-A where she gave three random strangers hugs. She lights up a room with her smile and her eyes are just the icing on the cake. Her ringlet curls are to be envied and her sweet spirit will be missed. I struggle with not knowing what her future will hold, but I rest in knowing the One who holds her future. As I took her to meet her family my heart couldn’t help but be excited when I saw her feet break out in a happy dance at the sight of her brother and grandmother… it was priceless… and I could let go knowing I had loved her well.
Driving home through the island I marveled at the beauty around me. It is a stunningly beautiful day. I thought about the date, May 11th; five years ago we put our roots down in this place. Five years to the day, we bought our house and said I wonder what God has in store for us here. It didn’t seem real. Why would God move us here?
I reflected on our journey in foster care. This was the first time I gave a child back and felt like this is what was supposed to happen. This is what foster care is supposed to be. Loving with open hands and trusting God with the rest. Then I thought about our girls and their story… and how God perfectly aligned us for this season, this place to be open and receiving of them. How different our lives were five years ago. How creative God is in his story. You can’t even make this up.
Through it all I have such a sense of God’s tender care for me. From Mother’s Day weekend, to being able to love Mojo through his last breath and letting go of my sweet blue-eyed girl – seeing her excitement as she goes home. Through it all he has gently met me in the joy and in the tears. Such a loving Father.
As I stepped into the busyness of my workday I received a text… not just any text… but the text I have been waiting for. Eight weeks of waiting…
WE ARE ADOPTING!
This story of a girl is about to get real!
What we’ve been waiting on… what we have been praying for… it has been cleared. We are moving into adoption as fast as we possibly can. Now friend, there are still things we cannot control and timing is one of them. But let’s just take a moment and scream!
Happy dance. Wipe your tears. Happy dance again.
So as with all things I share… this comes with a disclaimer. We are not aware of any other hurdles between us and forever, however I have absolutely no control over my life these days… so for today, we celebrate!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your prayers. We are reaping the fruit of your faithfulness. I truly hope you know what a huge part of our lives you are. Please don’t stop praying, we still have those legal hoops to jump through.
Sorry I had to put you through an emotional roller coaster before we got to this point, but hey, if I had to ride it the least you can do is read it 😉