Friday, August 12, 2011

Sharing My Daughter....

Have you ever been in a situation where you were so excited but yet dreading it so much it made your stomach turn…and then you sit back and watch it turn into something surprisingly wonderful? This was our experience today. It’s an unpredictable journey we are on, yet the one who has us on it isn’t unpredictable in the least. He promised to bring beauty out of ashes. And you can hold Him at His word. I have proof: My Madison.

Yesterday we were informed that Madison would have her last visit with her aunts. This may not seem like such wonderful news to you, but to us it’s HUGE! There are certain things we knew we would have to tolerate during this journey before we began, but that doesn’t always make it easy. A lot of times it seems unbearable. And one of those things for me is sharing my child. On the days that she go for visits with her aunts I am reminded once again that she isn’t really mine. I didn’t carry her for 9 months. I didn’t give birth to her or stay up all night with her when she cried. I didn’t hear her first words or see her take her first steps. Yet, she is mine. I was a mother the second she walked in my door. I couldn’t love her anymore if I had given birth to her. I prayed for her before she was born. How is that possible? I have been praying for almost 6 years for our kids. I just didn’t expect them to come to us the way they did. Madison is everything I ever dreamed our daughter would be and so much more. She is beautiful, kind hearted, sweet, brilliant, funny and spirited. She gives her love freely to those she loves through kisses and hugs all day. She ADORES her Daddy and that is just as it should be. She loves all things girly and thinks there is nothing better than spending time with Granda and Papa. She loves to be read to and sings and dances all over the house. She asks to go talk to Jesus constantly. She is our world and we couldn’t imagine life without her.

I was overjoyed when I realized I wouldn’t have to share my Madison with anyone ever again. All day I couldn’t help but think about this chapter of our lives that was finally going to be closed and the next one about to begin. I thought about it so much I didn’t stop to think about the big picture….that this chapter of her life wasn’t closed for HER yet. She still has thoughts and feelings to work through….to figure out in her little mind and her heart.

We dropped her off for her last hour visit and when we picked her up I was still excited but there was this uncertainty. Foster care is unpredictable. I didn’t know how it had went when DHS informed her aunts that they would never see her again. I had to wait until 5 o’clock to call her worker and ask her how it went. At 5:00 my husband hadn’t forgotten…he reminded me very quickly, “It’s 5 o’clock!!!” I called the worker.The “aunt” who raised her from the day she was born until a few weeks before we got her…was broken hearted. She knew this day was coming but she had no idea it would be today. The caseworker informed me the next part was when she needed me to listen to everything before I made a decision to what she was about to ask me. I took a deep breath and in that instant I was terrified. What if it would change everything? The aunt asked for one more visit to be able to tell her goodbye and let her 3 sisters tell her goodbye as well. She wanted to sit down and talk to me and Ronnie. I had a million thoughts running through my mind at this point. What did she want to talk about? Was she warning us she was going to try and fight it? Was the bio mom going to decide to actually fight it hard. But anything that veers from us adopting Madison even in the tiniest of chances…terrifies us. I really thought I may throw up. ….The aunt wanted to sit down with Ronnie and I and tell us Madison’s story. 8*) She wants to tell us everything there is to know about Madison…her life from the day she was born until the day she came to us. She wants to ask if we will please tell Madison her story one day. I can tell you I cried then as I am crying now while typing this. I know you were expecting me to announce an unexpected pregnancy or something extremely different than this. This is better. And yet that doesn’t even describe it. It is handing me my Madison’s past…the 3 1/2 years I missed out on. The one thing I still couldn’t get over…missing THREE AND A HALF YEARS of her life…and they are being handed to me. No, it’s not the same as holding her the first time and her grabbing my finger with her hand…seeing her first smile. I know it’s not the same. But somehow…to us….it is a miracle of it’s own. Time given back. That’s a gift you never get. It’s hard to adequately describe to you what this means to us. It means EVERYTHING. I can’t imagine the sacrifice she is making. To raise this precious little girl for 3 ½ years and then having to give her up. And then sitting across from the people who are “taking her” and giving them this. This gift. I am not sure I could do this. I never expected to feel this much gratitude towards this woman…this indebted. In the beginning, we didn't know how this woman felt about us and we weren't sure how we felt about her. (Later, we admitted we were jealous of her...that she had Madison for the first 2 1/2 years and had Madison's love and adoration.) Now, I am thanking God for this woman who cared for my Madison when I couldn’t care for her myself. Thankful that she taught her Jesus Loves Me and she sings it all day…especially when she is nervous or scared. Today I felt broken hearted for the woman who was losing her child because I have been there. I know what that is like. Did I happen to mention that not only is she telling Madison’s story, but she is also making us a CD with pictures of Madison from birth until she left her at 3 ½? When God blessed us with Madison I was overwhelmed but this…this I am not sure how to describe. That He is thoughtful enough to not only bring us the child we asked for…but to give us back her first 3 ½ years we lost. He is a GOOD GOD!! My Madison is proof of this.

September 8th we will go meet with the aunt and Madison’s 3 sisters. We have decided to tell her we will leave updates on Madison for her through pictures and letters at the DHS office so she can still watch Madison grow up. We will let her know that she is welcome to leave her own letters to Madison as well as pictures of their family, especially her sisters, for us as well. These things will go in her box we have for her when she turns 18 and we tell her her story. We are also going to ask for a picture of her mom to save for her.

This may seem odd to you since I am finally able to not share her. But what I have realized is this: I will always share her. She is not my child. She is on loan to us from God.