Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a God appointment

i know i haven't mentioned our former foster boys, R & P, much lately but that doesn't mean that i'm not still thinking about them.

in actuality, i think about them a lot. it's funny how a song on the radio {the country song about the dog named ole red} can remind me of R or a particular shirt {the light blue and white striped one that reads "happy camper"} now hanging in greer's closet can remind me of P. sometimes i find myself laying in bed at night thinking of how we would rearrange our bedrooms to accommodate 4 kids or what kind of vehicle we would need for 3 car seats and a teenager.

it's almost been a year since they went back with their mother, but they are still with us in the little things pretty much daily.

i just took the last picture of them in the house down a few weeks ago. i didn't really want to, but ryan asked me to take them down, so i obliged. i understand his feelings...sometimes it's just easier not to have such an in your face reminder of what our family once was.

when we're praying together, R & P, are a very common topic of our petitions. ryan and i have both moved past the whole bargaining with God to bring them back to us phase, and now we typically just pray for their safety, salvation, and general well-being.

i struggled a lot when school began a few weeks ago. i wondered where R would be going to school this year, if he'd have uniforms that actually fit him, if someone was there encouraging him to wake up on time so he wouldn't miss the bus, and if anyone would be there to ask him what he learned that day.

we haven't heard from the boys since february, when everything happened that caused us to decide to stop fostering. this was partially our decision and partially not. at that time, our SW advised us for our safety to step back from the situation and cut communication ties with the kids {mainly just to avoid their families}. since i was pregnant and already riding the emotional roller coaster of waiting for greer's homecoming, we agreed that this was probably necessary too for the time being. since then, we've tried to reach out to R on occasion but solely through email and f@cebook, rather than calling his mother directly. we never heard anything back from either of those channels so we unsuccessfully just tried to let it go.

last friday night as i was rocking charlotte before bed {in the same glider where i rocked little P for almost a year}, i got the urge to pray for the boys, as i often times do. however, on that night in particular, i remember being moved to tears when praying for them. as i held my sweet little charlotte, i thought about how much i loved her and how it was the same type of love that i felt for R & P. i asked God that night to please let us know somehow that the boys were safe and doing alright. my heart was so heavy for them and i was worried for them but wasn't sure why.

i shared about my request with ryan and a few days later brought it up in conversation with my mother-in-law as well. i've had a lot of times when i felt urgency to pray for the boys but i don't recall ever pleading with the Lord to show us that they are alright. in fact, even as i prayed for it, i'm pretty sure i doubted that we'd actually hear concretely how they were doing. i figured the sense of peace i received after praying for the boys was God's way of showing us that He's still in control and is taking care of the boys.

little did i know, God had bigger plans.

as i left my work on monday night, i was a little miffed because my mother was bringing the kids to my office and was running late. i had a hair appointment at 6:00 p.m. and it was already 5:15 p.m. and my mom wasn't there yet. as i rushed out of the office and was locking up the door, i saw my mom pull in the parking lot. i was so busy looking at my mom pulling in that i almost didn't hear my name shouted out from the road behind me.

when i turned to see who was shouting for me, i realized that there was R standing on the sidewalk across the road. before i even had time to process seeing him, he took off across the street, full of traffic, and came over to where i was standing. i gave him a big hug and he received it just as awkwardly as ever, but he was smiley and looked genuinely happy to see me.

we got to talk for about 10 minutes before he had to head back to his friend who was still waiting for him on the sidewalk. while we chatted he told me that he is still going to the same school, just a mile or so down the road from my office, but that he's having to take public transportation to get there. i was glad to hear that he's at the same school and that he's willing to take the public bus to get there, although i wish he didn't have to ride the bus alone every day! he also told me that he's not sure if he'll get to play basketball this year because he's got high blood pressure, but i was just happy to hear that he had a physical and told him to keep me updated on what they find out with his blood pressure. i, of course, asked about little P and he told me that he was getting big and was pretty much all over the place. i asked him about doing all his homework and keeping his grades up, and he didn't seem too put off by my nagging for him to keep up with his schoolwork. i guess after 11+ months with us, he's used to my nagging about school!!

i was so thankful that my mom and nieces were there too because they also got to hug his neck, and told him how much we missed him. i introduced him to greer and charlotte too, and the introduction was a little surreal for me. R was with us during the first several months of the adoption process, and i couldn't help but to think back to our home study when he told the SW that if he was still around when we finished our adoption, that his role would just be being the kiddos' brother. it was also during the time when R was in the hospital for his foot surgery last september that i found out i was pregnant with charlotte. as i stood there with greer hanging by my feet, charlotte in her car seat, and R by my side, i felt like 2 of my worlds had finally collided.

before R had to go, i made him put my number in his phone and told him to call us sometime. i told him how much we missed him and loved him, and then he darted back across the street.

it was such a crazy few minutes but i immediately knew that it was the answer to my prayer. i had asked and God had coordinated the timing perfectly so that we'd run into each other. outside of God's providence, there is not really an explanation for us running into each other:
...on a typical work day, i would have already left the office 15 minutes prior. i also usually pick the kids up at my mom's house, not her coming to my office, so she would not have normally been there to see him. R was going to his friends house or would not have even walked past my office. the list goes on...

if i had planned a time to see him, i would have been a nervous wreck and would have over-thought the whole thing. instead, God knew that a random meeting like that was exactly what i needed. i got to finally see R in the flesh to see that he looks alright and hear that he is doing well. he didn't appear overtly dirty or sickly, and that made me very relieved. he was happy to see me and he also seemed excited about running into each other. in a few short minutes, many of the questions i've been pondering recently about the boys were answered.

what a gift that "chance" encounter was. i know many times through our experience with the boys i doubted whether or not God was listening to our prayers regarding them, and i feel like this is one last way that God has shown me that He was and is.


The Moore Family said...

Oh that is so cool Lesli! Wow. I was in tears reading your story... God is good. I truly can't imagine how tough it is to love two boys as your own and let them go... into a less-than-desirable situation. You guys amaze me and God amazes me how he's carried you all through it. Even if he's being a cool teenager and not revealing his emotion, I'm sure you mean more to him than he can even put into words and I believe you've made a lifelong (and maybe longer!) impact on him. I pray that. :)

Life With Lucy said...

Ah Les this just made my day! I'm so glad that he got to meet Greer & Charlotte. I thought back to what he said to your social worker as soon as I started reading the post. The Lord is so good! I hope you guys get to see him again sometime soon!

Jamie said...

Praise the Lord! whew! tearjerker! God knew exactly what the answer to your prayer would be! Crazy to see how powerful it is! So glad you were able to see him, for him to meet Greer & Charlotte, to hear how P is doing, and to see how he is doing!!

Brooke said...

Oh Lesli, that is just amazing!!!!! I am so excited to read that!! I know your heart is heavy for those boys. I was just praying for them the other day. I have friends waiting for a foster placement, and they have had to turn down a couple and have had a hard time. I have other friends who got their babies about a year ago and they will probably be reuniting with mom in about a month. Every time it prompts me to pray for you, Ryan, R & P. What a crazy journey, friend...but absolutely amazing that it is right from the Lord...

So glad that you are willing to do EXTREME things to follow the Lord's plan for your family...and your life. And that you are cool with being late to your hair appointment if it means building a special relationship. I agree... :)