Monday, March 30, 2009

When you have to let go

All of us take risks in our lives, some are big and some are so small I doubt if we even realize we are taking them.
We might risk lending a hand to a stranger not knowing if it will be appreciated or offend them… We might send our money to a ‘cause’ and not know if it ever got into the right hands.
But we know that each time we ‘step out there’ God knows too and it is always worth the risk if your heart was in the right place.

Always.

Life in general is a risk- because if we fail- if we fall, there will be pain.
And sometimes the fear of that pain keeps us stranded- afraid to move.
But as I look back over my life and all of the risks we have taken- some ended up working out and some ended us up in a place we never wanted to be…
Yet through it all God was there by our side, holding us through it, knowing that we knew He was always worth the risk.
God doesn’t always promise us a happy ending, but He promises that He will never leave us. And when we are finally able to stand again we can look back and see how we have grown and changed and slowly, ever so slowly we begin to heal…
Risk is often associated with the unknowns- and fear. Yet I have found that I have never once regretted taking a risk to help/love a child. That doesn’t mean that things always turn out the way we wanted them to, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be pain.

There have been so many times I have been thankful people have taken a risk on me. My husband, for marrying me and adopting Travis as his own. My parents for believing that I actually might grow up one day and learn to behave myself. My sister Jenny for sticking by my side through some pretty crazy risks I have taken in my life and always believing in me anyway. My kids, for supporting me, trusting me and cheering me on. My precious friends- you know who you are- who have listening to my crazy ideas, listened to me cry, whine and still answer your phone when I call! :0) I love you all and am so thankful you think I am worth the risk.

Blogs are a funny thing. Sometimes, we get to see glimpses of someone’s story- paragraphs perhaps- but not the entire book. And that is unfortunately what you will get here. I truly wish you could ‘read’ the entire book- or see the whole picture because I know that if you did you would be able to better understand. You would know what it was like to be in our position, you would feel the gut wrenching pain, cry our tears, and know our sorrow.
I think life is pretty much that way. God see’s the whole story- the BIG picture- we only get to see a part of His plan. We see what is going on in our homes, between our 4 walls, we pray, seek God and then make the best decisions we can from the information we have. That is all we can do. But God knows. He knows our hearts and He understands our deepest desires- yet all the while working things out for the good of those who love Him.
Francis Chan wrote in his book Crazy Love “Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending”. So that is where we are right now. Broken hearted, but knowing that God is all knowing and see’s ‘the entire picture', and understands the whole story in a way that we will never be able to comprehend.

This last week the sibling group of four we were hoping to adopt left our home. Out of respect to these children that we love with all of our hearts, children that we thought of as ‘ours’ and prayed endlessly for- I will not share ‘the whole story’. I know being on your end of the computer it will be hard to understand, and I am sorry for that. But I will tell you one thing- we truly loved and truly wanted these kids- and the decision was not ours for them to go. There was an issue of safety and with the advice of therapist and other medical professionals- and despite our best efforts- we were not able to keep all of the children in our home safe if they stayed. Because of this, CPS made the decision to move the children into another home in order to keep the children in our home safe. The choice was not ours. This is not, for one second, the way we ever thought this would play out. But we know that God knows our hearts- He knows that we were and are still willing to risk everything to love a child, even if the final outcome is not what we had hoped for. We are left now holding the pieces of our broken hearts and broken dreams. But I have no regrets. We loved these kids, rocked them, sang to them, took care of them when they were sick. We taught them about Jesus and they knew they were adored, wanted and loved unconditionally. And while CPS made the choice that their futures did not include us- we know that God knew all along.

We told Him to use us- and we feel privileged that He did...even when it hurts.

I won’t claim to understand or like this decision. I admit in the darkest of hours I question God as to why He allowed this to happen. But what I do know is because there is sin in this world, people make mistakes and those mistakes have long term effects.
I cannot change that. I can only be who I am and always be willing to take a chance and love.

We miss you our precious fabulous four. May you always be happy and always, always know how much you are loved.

Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see. ~ Corrie ten Boom

43 comments:

blessedmomto7 said...

I understand COMPLETELY. A similar situation happened to a close friend and to us. Blessings to you as you grieve your loss friend.

Amy said...

Sometimes it is so difficult to know why people have to go through the things they do. Praying that the Lord would comfort and heal the hurt of all 11 of you. For a short time these children were in a home where they saw the love of Christ lived out daily, I pray that the Lord places them in a home where they will live that again and that there will be healing.

Just want you to know that you are not a failure (and now hope I haven't planted that seed in your head). The Lord will use this to refine you and grow you closer to Him.

Praying for you,
Amy

Hope said...

I'm so sorry, I know your heart must be breaking. But God is in control! Praying for you!

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Amy,

Wrapping my arms filled with His love around you and your family.

Oh I know this hurts and there will be times when it doesn't make sense.

This is where God wants us to lay down all of our thoughts and put our minds in full trust to His plans...especially when life doesn't make sense.

Praying that God will comfort you and more importantly the children as they adjust to another move. Praying for the new family who will have to deal with the many issues coming into their lives - may they have full knowledge of everything they will be facing. May they seek God's wisdom and grace daily to handle the needs of these precious children.

May you never forget that God did have a perfect plan even in them coming and going - that the hurt was for His glory and to show you that He understands letting go of the child He loves!

May your heart be comforted by all the truths and promises He has given to us - that in them He will faithfully fulfill everyone!

May you never doubt for one second that His love for them is greater than all the situations they have faced and will face in the coming days and years. That He will use their pain and what the enemy meant for evil - He will use for good!

May you have peace in knowing He loves to turn ashes into beauty!

May you rejoice in knowing that every tear you have shed He has caught and He is proud to be your Abba Father!

Hugs and much love and respect!
Jill

Maia said...

I am sorry for your loss. Take care.

James 1:27 Family said...

We are a foster and adoptive family with biological children and adopted children. We just had a foster son removed from our home 2 weeks ago for the same reasons you mentioned. It is so tough to "let go." I struggled for several days and then felt God telling me that He needed us for a short time and He will take over from here. He needs us to rise up and get our bearings back so He can use us again. I feel very connected to you even though I've only read your blog a few times. My name is Amy too, among other similarities. Anyway, I pray that you feel God's touch and guidance during this time in your life.

Christine said...

Love you, love you, love you.

:(

Live to love and laugh said...

Oh I am so sorry.
I will be praying for your family.

Andrea H. said...

Wow Amy, I am sitting here crying because I wrote a very similar post just yesterday and went private to not get judged. Only my post of course was not graceful but bluntly just whats going on. Wow, I am contiously amazed by your grace. I will be praying for your family and the other kids too. You have no idea how much that post meant to me. You are still on my private list so please feel free to visit.

Love ya. Andrea

DawnS said...

I am so sorry that you are all going through this loss. You can be certain though that the love you gave to these children during these months with you will never be forgotten. You have shown them an example of Godly love that they will have to fall back on later in their lives. The seeds that you have planted will remain there. Ultimately they will decide if they will cultivate those seeds to use in their lives. You have clearly shown them a shining example of a Christ filled life. I pray that God will comfort them and you through what must be an extremely difficult time!

Amy Clemons said...

I am so sorry for your broken heart. May God give you strength and peace to deal with the things that are beyond your control or comprehension. Sending prayers up for you and your family. Hang in there.

Jman's momma said...

Oh Amy, I cannot begin to imagine what your family (all 14) are going through. Praying for the whole family as you grieve this loss and especially for the four as they grieve another loss. Praying God will guard their hearts against the evil one who will try to use their losses against them.

Suzette said...

My heart aches for the pain you are going through. I know there will be moments when it will seem like your heart will never heal and that is when our God will pick you up and carry you and wrap His arms around you. Consider yourself blessed to have been a part of their lives and know that God wouldn't have entrusted them to you if He didn't plan to see you all the way through this process. I'm lifting you up in prayer and asking God to bless you in a mighty way in the days ahead.

Laurel said...

Lifting you all up to our heavenly Father ...

... to hold you
... to love you
... to let you grieve
... to remind you that you did what He called you to do


Praying for each of you, as you grieve the loss of these precious children.

Laurel :)

Anonymous said...

I don't even know you but I am so sorry for you, my heart just hurts. I have followed your blog since just before you got the "fab 4" and have been so inspired by your will to follow the Lord. Once again, I am, although it hurts to watch this happen to you. I'm praying God will hold you and your family close to Him as you continue to follow Him. Thank you so much for being open. May God richly bless you as you serve Him.

MJMILLS said...

wow! that makes me so sad!

Leslie said...

I am so so sorry, Amy. I am praying for your family and for all your precious children.

Chantelle said...

I'm very sorry, Amy. I can't imagine how painful it must be for you all.

Recovering Noah said...

Oh, Amy. My heart breaks for you. You have been in my thoughts all week - and I just ache for you, your family, and those precious children.

I know this was an incredibly hard post to write. Just know that we all understand. We love you very much!

Leslie

brandyleewindham08 said...

I love you, I respect you, and I thank God a couple of times a week for making you so awesome...perfect..a perfect friend for me.

I thank you for being real. I know you all are hurting, I can't help to hurt with you, as I "stand" so close to your family.

Thank you for opening my eyes to so much, especially loving Jesus even through the difficult times.

Lee said...

Amy - I'm so sorry - my heart breaks for you and your family.
We will hold you in prayer and also your beautiful children that will always have a piece of your heart.

Leanne

four kids for us said...

Amy,
I was reading Isaiah 55:8-9 the other day and it just seems to fit this morning with your post. I don't always understand His ways but it does not change the love that he has for each of us or his forever goodness. He has not left you, or the fabulous four, nor will he leave any of his children. He just sometimes shuts doors in our lives that we want to remain open. It hurts and it is hard but he takes us each step of the way as he opens new doors. He will never leave us!!! That is a comfort and a help when we have such hurt and sorrow in our lives. As my good friend Nancy, who is a foster parent always says when children have to leave her home, "each day is a gift". Some children stay for a short time and some stay for a lifetime. We thank the Lord for for each day that he gives us with his precious children!!! I will continue to lift you up in prayer and your fabulous four and I am so proud of you that you took this risk and followed Christ down this path...

Sarah said...

Amy, God has certainly used you and your family in a mighty way to show his great love towards these precious children. I'm so sorry for the pain, but I am trusting with you in His sovereign plan for good! Praying for you to be blessed with the peace that passes understanding.

mica said...

I am so sorry to hear this. Just keep your heads up and be proud of yourselves for making yourself available when God and those kiddos needed you! I am so proud of ya'll and your willingness.
Love,
Mica

Wendy said...

My heart is breaking for you. God Bless those precious children and may the angels watch out for them as they also struggle with this.

Rhonda said...

I am so sorry to hear this, Amy! Please know that ALL of you are in our prayers!
Rhonda

Susarah said...

Amy
I am sorry for the pain you are going through now.Know that God's plan was in place to heal you and help the children as well. Loving your family from afar.
Susarah : )

Jenny said...

Amy...I adore you all! You continue to overcome all hardships and helping others grow by your faith! Love ya! Jen

Will and Aileen said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I love how you said it is always worth the risk to love a child. That's exactly how I feel about our daughter who died in Guatemala while we were adopting her. She was so worth the risk and the pain. Thank you for your beautiful words. I pray that God wraps you, your family, and those precious children of God that moved to another home, in His arms and holds you tight.

Phyllis said...

Amy,
I am so sorry to hear this. This just breaks my heart. I'll be praying for all of you. Sending you big hugs from Oklahoma...or better yet, maybe you need a trip up this way soon so we can give you a real hug :)
Phyllis & Kristen

Rebecca said...

I have been there and had to go through the same thing. I know how it hurts and I will pray that God heals your heart quickly!

Tessa said...

I am so sorry. I can't imagine what you are going through. I appreciate your entire post and your description of how we only get a glimpse into your life ... just as we only get a glimpse of what God's plan is for us. I pray for God's overwhelming peace to come over you ... and your entire family.

Sara said...

I am sorry for this loss in your lives. You are such a dedicated mother and I know you embraced these children and loved them whole heartedly. Praying for your heart and future.

Jenny said...

I am so sorry and completely speechless as to what to say. I've admired your families faith and courage, that will not stop. Reading your blog encourage me and my family! I'm praying for your family and the children.

Joyful Mom said...

Oh friend, I am just catching up your blog and read of your loss. I am so desperately sorry. No matter how hard I try to come up with JUST the right thing to say--I know that really, there are no words! I know the Father will carry you through this. I know He will give you the ability to move on with your lives, trusting in His sovereignty. It must hurt like heck though. I cannot imagine.

May He envelop you in His big, strong arms tonight.

Anonymous said...

Amy:

Hurting with you and praying for you!

Lisa H.

Stacey said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I have been up at crazy hours of the night praying for you guys. I pray that God would give you the time to grieve and in HIS due time HE will heal your broken heart.
God Bless you,
<><

Bingaling said...

Oh Amy...I am crying with you right now...I am so sorry to hear this news. Your words and your strength in this trial have truly touched me. Thank you for being such a great example of God's love. I've been dealing with loss and grief lately, too...and I have to admit that I am doing it with FAR LESS grace than you are. Thank you for convicting me of this.

I know you loved those kids so deeply. Please remember in all of this that YOU are loved ever so deeply, too.
Chanda

Audrey said...

Amy, I am so sorry - praying for those sweet kids to get the help they need and for your amazing heart to heal. God is ALWAYS in control and He is holding on tight to all of you!

Sending big hugs your way.

Michelle said...

Your blog has ministered to me in many ways today. I am so appreciative of your vulnerability to share your true feelings but also your obvious unconditional trust in the Father.He will be faithful to heal your broken hearts and he loves those kiddos more than you do. Thank you for opening your heart and home and for showing a little girl that she is a princess. As I read your posts today my heart filled up and spilled over in my eyes. Blessings to you.

Holly said...

Amy-
I am just praising God for all the amazing friends He has put in your life for such a time as this.
Obeying His call is NEVER a fruitless venture.
Love,
Holly

One Big Fat Sugar Mama said...

Amy, I am loving on you from afar and lifting you up to the most high. I wish I had the right words. I am sorry this has been so hard for you all.

Angel said...

I have tears once again for the road you have walked. I have always been been so proud of you and grateful that you are my friend. I have always been touched by your precious husband and children. Never have I been MORE proud of ALL of you than I have been watching you walk through this. My heart is with you in all of it. Not a minute of this was a mistake. Every moment you poured into those babies was like the good samaritan who found a man on the side of the road. He wasn't with the wounded man forever. He wasn't meant to be. He poured in everything he could and gave what he had to love that man and help him be healed. He took the risk of stopping and loving. That's what you've done. Love is dangerous and irreplaceable. What you do MATTERS and means something even when it looks nothing like we hoped it would or thought it should. Love ALWAYS, Angel