Tuesday, June 9, 2015

An Unforeseen Ending

The afternoon sunlight of that day was simply beautiful. Early June days had arrived with a thick marine layer of gloom, but this day, like a gift, was beautiful.

The children all played together in the pool. The bigger kids stood on surf boards and competed with foam swords, or took turns running from the hard scape onto the boards and flinging themselves into the water. The two youngest of the bunch bobbed and flailed in the jacuzzi, showing off their recently learned tricks from their first-ever swim lessons last month. I stood by like a dutiful lifeguard and cheered at all their attempts to swim, amazed by how far they've come since they first arrived. Not too long ago, they were anxious of having their hair washed.

The afternoon continued on wonderfully. The three youngest warmed up beneath fluffy towels while I sliced up an entire watermelon. It lasted maybe 10 minutes before every last slice was consumed. I picked up a couple soggy band aids by the pool side, carried in wet towels, and prepped for dinner.

On one hand it was a pretty normal afternoon: kids, water, food, band aids. On the other hand, it was completely different. There were no outbursts or "episodes," no defiance and slamming of doors, no hateful words. And this would be our last afternoon together.  I will always remember it as a wonderful day.

Everything that has transpired over the course of the last several months is still so raw; I am having a difficult time knowing how to package it all into words. This is the post I wish I didn't have to write. It's a post I don't know how to write. I keep reminding myself I don't owe it to anyone to give an explanation here, but to some extent it is necessary if I ever plan on blogging again.

After an incredible amount of prayer and counsel from individuals and couples who are well-acquainted with foster care and adoption, and who love the Lord, we have decided not to proceed with the adoption of the two precious children that were in our care. It is a complicated matter, and I desire to keep the reasons private for the sake of the children. In essence, we are not able to provide the level of care they need and deserve.

After the decision was made, I agonized over how the last day would unroll. I imagined it to be the worst day of my life, with one child raging and the other in utter devastation, and with my heart absolutely shred to pieces. However, my imaginings could not have been further from the truth. The children took the news as very matter of fact, and within minutes they were completely excited for their next home. We spent the evening and the following morning preparing the kids for their transition, and the whole time they were happier than we had ever seen them before. Frankly, it was quite bizarre, but their response further confirmed we were making the right decision.

I broke the rules and tucked my phone number and address into the Bibles we gave each of the kids. I'd like for them to be able to reach us some day if they choose to do so. Surprisingly, I received a phone call the following day and I spoke with one of the kids. She had good things to say: she was settled in comfortably, she was enjoying her new surroundings, and she happily told me about her new friends. Amazingly, her brother's old school friend is in the same home, and the two boys were on the trampoline out back. She promised to give him a hug for me. I then spoke to their new caregiver, a very warm and caring individual.

On this side of things, we are confident in our decision and feel very relieved and grateful. The last four months have been the hardest trial of our lives. And yet, there is a certain sadness and grief over what could have been.

I'm not sure why things went the way they did. I do know with certainty that God's ways are not my ways. I may never know the "why" of this chapter of my life, but I trust in the surpassing goodness of God at all times.

I know I will battle a sense of failure, and wonder where we went wrong. I will question the strength of my faith in God, and I will fear being judged or misunderstood by others. But I know God is sovereign, and I trust God has His purposes in it. This is now part of the story He wrote for me before time began, and I trust Him completely to know what is best.

I am thankful for all those who loved them well, especially within the body of Christ. The children know the gospel, and they know we will love and pray for them always.



  1. Much love to you, friend.

    1. Thank you, Nelly. It's good to be catching up via email again! Thank you for your constant prayers!

  2. Grateful that you have been a huge example for me- especially when it comes to following the Lord in spite of how hard the decisions are. Praying for you, the family, and the two kiddos!!

  3. Hi Katherine!
    Thank you for being so honest, so bare and so real about the fost to adopt ministry! Please know that God is using this situation in our lives to prepare our hearts and minds for this very journey. We certified last year for the first time but needed to put it on hold this last Feb due to an aging parent with end stage Dementia (she is dying as I write this).
    We hope to recertify in the coming months if the Lord allows it.
    May the Lord Himself continue to be your peace Katherine!
    tony&vanessa zabala (from Mainstream at GCC)

    1. Hello Vanessa! It is so nice to get a little message from you-- thank you. The fost to adopt has many unknowns, but I trust the Lord will lead you and provide all that is within His purposes for you. I also know that the waiting period is difficult, so hang in there!

      I'm so sorry to hear of your situation with a dying parent. May the Lord comfort you and your family.

      Love to you both..

  4. Dear Katherine,
    I just wanted to leave a note of encouragement. I have been so blessed by this, your journal of sorts. Thoughts and struggles and cries to the Lord, as well as the joys and victories that you share. That your words and life always point to Christ is a testimony of your trust in Him and praise for Him.
    I am certain that those children will remember you for that - and that will speak volumes to them in the years ahead. You never claimed to be perfect, but rather introduced them to the One who is. You were faithful with the task in the time you had - and in God's plan was not a day short!
    ~ Carol

    1. Your comments are ALWAYS such an encouragement to me! Thank you!

  5. You will battle with failure and wondering what you could have done. But the Lord's plans for your family and these children are in His kind, sovereign hands. You have loved these babes the past four months and opened your home and heart to whatever may transpire. It is a beautiful testimony. You are not a failure.

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