Tales of Fostering

Tales of Fostering: The Unknown

bathing suit on step 2014

Typically, my day begins with me quietly tiptoeing into the kitchen as I do not want to wake up the three-year-old cutie patootie we have been hosting since January through the Safe Families for Children program. Once she does wake up from her slumber, I usually grab two bowls out of the kitchen cabinet, and we eat our cereal together as we talk about the plans for the day. After we slurp up our milk, we get dressed, play, and have lunch before she lays back down for a nap. Once her eyes pop open again, we play outside with sidewalk chalk, run errands, or I take her for a wagon ride around the block. At 4 pm, Daniel, or to her, Daddy Dan, returns home, and together they go for a bike ride to the park, or he pushes her on the swing until dinner is ready. I believe this is her favorite time of the day. And mine too.

But yesterday, as I woke up, I wondered what the next day might hold. I wondered if the daily routine I have had since she took her first steps into my home on January 10th would change. Would I go back to making as much noise as I wanted when pouring my coffee? Would I keep scheduling my activities and errands to occur before 1:30 and after 3:30 as not to interfere with her nap time? Would I need to continue to have dinner ready by 6 so that bath and storytime could be over by 8? Or could we go back to eating “whenever”?

You see, I wasn’t sure what my schedule would look like the next day because later that afternoon, at 1 pm, I would once again step into the courtroom and learn if Goldilocks (that’s the nickname we have given her due to those lushes golden curls) would return home with us or go elsewhere. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would walk up the steps to the courthouse holding her hand but walk down them a few short hours later without it tucked inside of mine.

As I began getting ready for our moment in front of the judge, I peeked inside her room, and as I watched her play, my mind went from wondering to worrying as I could see tiny question marks hovering over her head. There was the question mark as to if she would return to her mother’s care or possibly go live with a relative. There was the question mark as to if she would be court-ordered into a licensed foster home or remain in ours. After all, we were only approved to be a Safe Families home, not a home to house children adjudicated by the State. And there was the question mark as to if she would be reunited with her siblings in another home, far from ours. There were so many question marks and so many variables that swarmed my mind that I was starting to become mentally and emotionally exhausted.

At 1:28 pm, I sat down in my seat within the courtroom, and as everyone else slowly settled in, the case was called to order. For over 15 minutes, I listened closely as each lawyer discussed her future, her mother’s future, and the future of her siblings. Once all options and opinions were expressed, the judge sat quietly for several minutes before making his ruling. And as he looked to the mother and then scanned the courtroom, he ruled that until the next court hearing, which would take place in thirty days, Goldilocks would remain in our care. And with his words, I knew that for the next four weeks, my schedule would remain the same. I would continue to tiptoe to the kitchen for my morning coffee, grab two bowls for cereal instead of one, and plan all daily activities before 1:30 pm and after 3:30 pm.  Dinner would also continue to be ready by 6, and bath and storytime would be done by 8.

As a planner and having a type-A personality, I often feel emotionally and mentally exhausted as I live in the unknown and wonder what each day could bring; but I shouldn’t feel this way. I know that I belong to the One who holds me in the palm of His hands. I am the daughter of the Most High, and He has plans for my life that will not harm me, but rather give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Therefore, I shouldn’t be wasting the precious moments of my day worrying about what tomorrow, next week, or even next year might look like. I shouldn’t allow myself to become emotionally and mentally exhausted as I continually dwell on the different question marks I have hovering over my life or the lives of others. Instead, I should follow the instructions of Philippians 4:6 by not worrying about anything and instead pray about everything; and once I have done that, I should rest in His character, for He is good. He is faithful. He is love. He is trustworthy. And He is my provider. I know that even if I can’t see it, He is making all things come together for my good because I love Him and He loves me (Romans 8:28). I may not know what my future holds, but I know the One who does. And at the end of the day, that’s all that truly matters and all that I really need to know.

(Please keep Goldilocks in your prayers as her mother continues to work hard to get back on her feet.)

With Love

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41 thoughts on “Tales of Fostering: The Unknown”

  1. I think she’s fortunate to be with you and your husband. I do hope her mom pulls up. Keeping all of you in my thoughts.

  2. Elisha! Glad to hear an update! Trusting God is sovereign over all these plans – including these 30 days! Praying for energy for you and for her mom as well – for her to be completely restored!

    1. amen! I need the energy and so does her mama to keep pressing through and overcoming any obstacles placed in her path. xo

  3. I don’t know her past or situation, but I can’t imagine little Goldilocks being in any better place for the next 30 days! It is obvious how much love you both shower her with…she is a blessed little girl. God has her there for a purpose. So thankful it worked out this way and so grateful for your kind, caring heart. Much love to you, Daddy Dan, and little Miss Goldilocks. 🙂

  4. Praying for Goldilocks and her family. She’s very blessed to have you and your husband in her life right now.

  5. So glad to see another update on that sweet girl!! I can’t imagine how emotionally exhausting that must be but I’ll keep you in my prayers! You are already such a wonderful mother! Also thanks for the lovely note!

  6. This type of situation always leaves me so torn. On one hand, it seems as though you and Daniel have been such good parents to her and I want her to stay with you forever, she is your family. On the other hand, of course we all want her mom to get back on her feet so that she can finally go home with her. What you and your husband have chosen to do is amazing, wonderful, brave, and still heartbreaking. I would love to be able to do this but I honestly don’t know if I could. You are a seriously amazing couple. I will be praying for all of you. I hope that you get to thoroughly enjoy your next 30 days with Goldilocks.

    1. Thank you so much Shelby and I don’t know how we do it either. Typically we only serve children for short periods of time so it’s easier…but this one is going on 7 months. It’s tough and I wasn’t prepared but I am thankful for Gods strength to help me. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  7. I really needed to read that message about worrying today, so thank you.

    What an amazing opportunity you have had to have that little girl in your house. It must be hard not to stress about the future, and to be living life in 30 day increments, but how fortunate she is to have you. It must be such a relief for her mother to know she is safe and happy.

    1. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Yes it is so hard living month to month and not being able to plan for trips and vacations but God is seeing me through and giving me grace. Xo

  8. I don’t know how you do it Elisha, I really don’t. We have our goddaughter who spends time with us a couple days a week and lives a 5 min drive away. I think my heart would break all over again, if it were a permanent goodbye. (The other day, I got a glimpse that she is growing up, when instead of sulking, she agreed cheerfully, took my hand and walked me to her gate when I said I was going to run home for dinner. She stood there watching, smiling and waving as I ran around the corner and away, and I suddenly thought of her thirteen years from now, going to college and felt like bawling!). You are a brave, good woman. So inspiring.

    1. Some days I don’t know how i do it either. It can only be explained through the answer of prayer as I am constantly praying for strength and guidance during all of this. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Xo

  9. Totally grateful for the stability she will have until her mother is ready to have her full time. I know it can be difficult to have our routines shaken apart. But you said it will we need to be anxious about nothing and pray about everything …. And trust in his character. That really ministered to me!! I am praying for all of you Elisha. God is doing his best and I know it’ll be great.

    1. Awe thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers Charity. I have been praying for you and trusting God for Baby A’s healing. Xo

  10. I am so, so, so happy that Goldilocks gets to stay on with you longer!!! Hug her tight, hold her even closer, and just keep giving her the best days ever.

  11. Thanks for this lovely and encouraging post. I’m really glad that Goldilocks gets to stay with you and Daddy Dan until her mum is ready to have her home, and praying that will be in God’s timing.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. Thank you also for your prayers and sweet and kind words! They mean a lot to me 🙂

    1. awe thanks sugars but I’m not awesome! God and His strength is the ONLY reason I am able to do this. He is awesome.

  12. Continued prayers for Goldi, her mama and you guys. I pray she’ll be back with her family soon, and that her mama will be able to overcome her struggles. Blessings and love for you all.

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet prayers Alisha! I’m praying for her mother’s salvation and for her to be free from the strongholds that are upon her.

  13. I think she’s very fortunate to be with you and your husband. your home is filled with so much love, its such a lovely thing you are doing for that little Angel. Much love to you Birdy xxx

  14. Wow. What a heartwrenching, emotionally taxing situation. Wishing you, Goldilocks and all the players involved all the best as you navigate through the next steps of this journey.

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