Back in June A4 and R3 left to go to their “long-term” home. As that long-term home was deemed to no longer be suitable, the boys were supposed to be coming back to us this week. We’ve known this for about two weeks. We’ve prepared in a multitude of ways, including physical space, educational planning, and reopened hearts. I asked directly at least three times, “Are the boys for sure coming on Wednesday?” I was told yes each time. Wednesday came. No boys. “Oh, they ended up going to school today, so we’ll move them tomorrow.” Okay. Just tell me what time. Thursday came. No call. I pushed. I was ignored. I kept pushing. I kept being ignored. I finally pushed hard enough I got a call from a supervisor at DHS. The case got messy and more complicated. They aren’t sure now if the boys will be coming back to us or not. Oh, and they were sorry.
At the end of the call the bottom line was that the family member who has them wants to keep them. And we say that’s a good thing. We hope. Except the reason they decided to close the home in the first place likely will happen again, so what then? We were told that we would know by 5pm today if the boys were coming or not. At 3:30 I got the call just as I was pulling into the parking lot for Chloe’s last cross country meet in Shawnee today. I was on the phone listening to another explanation of why they still didn’t know what they were doing when the parking lot guy from OBU who was apparently trying to both teach me a lesson and tease me a little, decided to take that moment to lecture me about being on my phone while driving. He grinned as he punched me in the arm. Somewhere in the middle of that I thought I told the case worker I’d call her right back and I dropped the phone in my lap, stuck my head out the window at the retreating Mr. Smarty Pants and called out, “I was on the phone with my DHS Case Worker!” I then started crying as I proceeded to pull into the parking lot. Two minutes later I realized the case worker was still on the phone. I just hung up then and texted her back because, y’all, I was spent and sad and angry and embarrassed. We now won’t know one way or the other until “sometime next week.”
And here it is, several hours later on Thursday night and I’m left wondering why God would have us prepare to the extent that we did for something that is likely not going to happen. I knew loving these boys would be a risk. I stated in public just last week that anyone who loves these boys takes that risk because their entire future is staring straight ahead into the great big unknown. I knew that. I just didn’t know the heartache would happen before they even walked through our door.
So right now we have a bedroom set up, with boyish quilts and their names wikki-sticked to the walls (courtesy of my girls), with size 4 boy clothes in the closet on the left, and size 5 boy clothes in the closet on the right. We have two girls who have completely rearranged their household lives to move in together for this very reason. And we have hearts that grew two sizes over the past two weeks and are now aching from the stretch marks of disappointment left behind because our boys are not with us right now. And might not be coming back at all.
And all I can do right now is think, “Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me… let me be singing when the evening comes.”
Lord God, I want reasons and rationale. I want to know why you’d ask us to prepare like this and then not have it happen. I want to know you aren’t surprised by the broken system we’re in the midst of navigating in and that you care about these boys…even more than we do. I want to know the home they end up in is the one that will bring them up in a way that brings honor to you and restoration to their sad, sad stories. I want, I want, I want…what you want. Please shelter and protect and love on those boys and allow them to grow up knowing and loving you all the days of their lives no matter where they end up living. Please, God. Amen.