A beautiful set of bracelets that a friend from high school made me. I put their inititals on the inside of my wrist so it is easier to read. It is my reminder of the little people that I have the great pleasure of hearing call me Mommy. The first Sunday I wore this to church, I got multiple comments about how gorgeous it was and when I showed them the inside, many of the mother's clutched their chest and said how perfect it was.
Tonight, we clutch our chests for a different reason. We are heartbroken. It feels like someone has reached inside our chest and snatched our heart out.
The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind with amazing highs and incredibly low lows. To go from the mountaintop of being told that we have ICPC approval to being told that we cannot come get our daughter, is a long way to fall.
And we've both fallen and the landing was hard.
I'd like to say that we didn't fall into the pit of despair. But we did. Thankfully, we both have amazing friends that jumped in and rescued us and set us on the side of that pit, like a lifeguard does for a drowning swimmer. They breathed scriptures over us and told us that they loved us and that they never doubted for a second that we did all we could.
We have no idea who He has intended to have join our family.
But we stand on the solid rock of His Truth.
He has not left us. He is still with us. He is Father to the fatherless. He has called us to build our family this way. He is not done telling His story. At the end of His story, He will have the glory.
I'm enraged that we could be treated so callously by a social worker. The fact that I had to explain the importance of permanency for Annalise to an "adoption worker" sucks the air out of my lungs and leaves me speechless. I ache to know that a birthfamily trusted this agency.
Everywhere I look, I see signs of her.
Clothing I washed and folded
Hairbows that were bought for her curly thick hair
Diapers waiting to cover her sweet bottom
A carseat that her big brother sat in when he was a tiny baby that I washed especially for her arrival.
A changing table that was purchased.
A crib waiting for a sweet 10 lb baby to lay in it
A stack of pictures that I carry everywhere with me, so I can show my friends who we are eagerly anticipating and constantly praying for.
A stack of papers that we gathered and completed to complete this process.
A tiny suitcase with a coral homecoming dress, matching hat and shoes.
An email box full of messages about her.
A file folder with her name on it.
A blanket a friend crocheted especially for her and mailed and a tiny onesie sent from across the country.
The dress I wore when we met her.
I know God is going to turn these ashes into beauty in only a way that He can. He loves me. He loves Annalise more than is humanly possible. He saw that we loved her sacrificially, just as we love all of our children. We were willing to do whatever it took to bring her home and care for her the best way that we could. We were obedient.
We still carry her in our hearts. We look at her pictures with fondness. We are better people because of her. We will never forget her smile and the way that love took us in when we met her.
And so tonight I go to bed with tears and swollen eyes and hope that I dream about her.
Heavenly Father, please help us pick up the pieces. Guide us down the path that You desire for us as a family to travel. We thank you for the brief visits that we were allowed to have with her. Thought we ache, we trust Your goodness. We love You and we praise You. Amen.