A New Chapter

After days and weeks and months of praying for resolution in our case, just like that she is gone.

I haven’t updated the blog with our foster care story for a long time now because for so long nothing was changing and honestly the situation was too frustrating and emotionally exhausting to talk about. And now, after an emotionally draining weekend, I am not sure I should be trying to recap it either, but I will try because I know my regular readers want to know and I think it will be cathartic to write out.

On Dec 30th, our baby’s mothers rights were finally terminated after 1 1/2 years of basically no progress toward showing that she was capable of being a parent. It was bittersweet. It was obviously long (long, long, long) overdue, but it is never something to be celebrated when a mother and child are separated.

After that we expected that things would move quickly. But we should know better. Things never move quickly despite promises.

First up, we have to decide whether or not we want to adopt. To be clear, this had never been on the table because from the beginning there seemed to be a relative that she would be placed with. But now that was….. complicated.

I had to sign a paper saying that I didn’t want to adopt this sweet baby I loved so dearly. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Because if not us, then who. Ryan fully trusted that God had the perfect family in mind. I was struggling. I worried that they wouldn’t love her like we did. That they wouldn’t love Jesus. That they would be crazy weirdos. So much anxiety.

And then we sat. And nothing happened. Then more nothing happened. The more nothing happened the more we were lulled into this space where she seemed like ours. I don’t know how to explain it exactly. But before there had been visits and appointments and court dates. Now there was very little contact and all so we just went about life as our little family of six.

The time they told us things would surely be resolved came and went and nothing. We were getting frustrated because this sweet baby was incredibly bonded to our family and every day was just another day making it harder to say goodbye. In the meantime, our license was almost expired and no one seemed to be moving on anything.

Until last week. In a quick series of events that are too complicated to explain, we suddenly found out a family had been found. And she could leave as soon as we were ready.

The moment we had been hoping for and dreading both at the same time was here. Hoping for because our life had been so disrupted for so long  and we were so tired of being promised endings with no delivery. Dreading because it meant telling our sweet baby goodbye.

We chose to rip the band-aid off. We could have asked for two more weeks and it would have been more than fine. But that would have been two weeks of a tsunami of emotions and we just weren’t willing to put our family or ourselves through that. So we chose to move her quickly.

It was an incredibly gut wrenching few days. Hannah took it the hardest and it was heart wrenching watching her process through losing her “sister”. The other two kids fared much better but I know it was hard on them too. I have cried so much over the past few days my eyes are still puffy. I felt so much sadness over the space that would be empty in our house. But it was mingled with relief (and guilt for that relief) that we had some normalcy back in our life. So many mixed emotions.

Six hundred words and I haven’t gotten to why I currently feel so much peace about the situation. Her new family is beyond wonderful. If I could design a family, this would be who I would design. They are the same race as she is. They are strong Christians. And they adore their new little girl. They wrote us a note I will treasure forever thanking us the part we played in baby S’ life. And we sent along pictures and letters to let baby S know how much we loved her. I am hopeful we can stay in each other’s lives.

And now it feels like after 16 months of holding my breath I can finally breath again. I am missing her sweet giggles and kisses for certain. Today it was so quiet and I kept wondering what she was doing. How she was doing. But she is where she is supposed to be. I know that. And my life is forever better for having her in it.

Hopefully this post is coherent and not riddled with errors. I got through it, but I certainly don’t want to reread it. I hope it is thorough as well, but if you have any questions about how we are doing please don’t hesitate to comment. I am happy to answer them. 


  1. My heart is breaking for you. I can’t imagine the pain of letting that sweet girl go. I hope you will continue to find peace in knowing that she is loved and has a place to belong.

  2. Ah, Jill, I am crying along with you. You are such a wonderful person – you and your whole family.
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  3. What a gut wrenching, amazing, life giving experience for your whole family! So thankful you have happy closure. Thank you for giving us an inside look at fostering.
    Amy @ Finer Things recently posted…Just Reading, MomMy Profile

  4. You are just plain brave! I am so happy that things were able to go as God planned. Blessings. Susan

  5. Candace says:

    My heart hurts for your family! Your obedience to God’s calling is an inspiration. Praying for you guys and the baby as she transitions into her new family.

  6. Amanda says:

    Our son spent the first seven weeks of his life in foster care. We are so grateful he was loved as I’m sure your little girls forever family feels the same way. Praying for you and your family.

  7. I cannot imagine the kind of heartache that this is but I am so glad to have read about your experience and that you got to have it. What a brave thing to do and an amazing gift you have given to her (and your family).
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  8. Oh, Jill. So many emotions. What a gift you have given S and to her new family–a sweet foundation of God’s love! I feel like you can see God’s hand on her life to lead her to your family and now to her new family.

    (((hugs))), friend.
    ohAmanda recently posted…A Little More on the Sense of the ResurrectionMy Profile

    • We can see God’s hand for sure. The awesome thing was sitting across from her new mom and dad and having them tell us they have prayed for us as much as we have prayed for them. All before we knew each other. God is good.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I can’t begin to think I know what you’re feeling but I’m sure it’s a mess of mixed emotions. Thank you for sharing your heart and educating us. Hugs.

  10. What wondrous love is this? You out your lives on hold for another. You laid down your hearts. Well done.
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  11. Oh, Jill. This post is so honest and good and lovely. Thinking of you all so much right now.
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  12. Oh man, I can’t even imagine having to give up a child I’d loved that long. I’m so thankful with you that she has a wonderful forever home, but wow… hard!
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