March 13, 2013

Can’t give up.



  Tomorrow is a big day. 

We’ve had a lot of those lately.  Bella had her last chemo appointment on Monday, and will officially be off all chemo meds as of the 22nd!  Very.  Very.  Exciting.

  But tomorrow is even bigger.

  Tomorrow we will go to court and listen to everyone on the case testify.  We will see the good and the bad, and we will listen as a judge determines whether or not to terminate the parental rights of Bella and Tootaw’s mom and dad.

  When I think about it, I feel like vomiting. 

I know in my mind what, at this point, is best for the girls.  I know they need closure.  I know they need to be able to heal.  I know that they need their childhoods released from the anxiety of being in foster care.  But no matter what happens tomorrow, there is pain, there is loss, there is brokenness.  It is possible, and likely, that we will go to the court hearing tomorrow and sit with the mother and father of our sweet girls – and that when we leave they will no longer have any of the rights associated with being parents. 

  They won’t get to decide what their kids have for dinner.

  They won’t get to watch Bella graduate from Kindergarten.

  He won’t walk them down the isle. 

  She won’t sing them to sleep.

  There is hurt.  There is pain.  There is loss.  Loss that is at the start of every adoption.  Loss that will never be erased.  I hurt so much for our girls and for the pain they will have to work through.  For the loss that will follow them through life no matter how well we love them.


  We took their mom out to lunch with us on Monday to give her some more time with the girls.  It’s so easy to detach ourselves from the situation and to talk ad nauseum about all the things they aren’t doing, all the times they let them down, how there is no way it could ever work.

  But when I am with her, when I identify with her as a person, as a mother, as a person broken and in need of a savior -

I want so badly for it to work.

  I want it to get better.  I want to paint smiles on all of their faces and mend their broken hearts.  I want to fix the brokenness that this world has to offer and for goodness sake, see us all as we will be on the other side of this life.

  I think of how I have been changed by unrelenting love.  None of us is perfect, none of us get it all right, we are all broken, and we all mess up.  I think of how my heart has been redeemed by a savior that loves me no matter what – an unlikely redemption, a heart changed forever.

And I just can’t let myself give up.

  I can’t give up on her.  Not until the judge has declared it final.  Even if, and probably when, her rights are terminated tomorrow, I won’t give up.  I will still pray for her heart to find it’s way out of the brokenness and wreckage that it is in.  Out of the hard places that life has taken her.  Out of difficult circumstances that poor choices have left her in.

  I hope we will be able to maintain contact to some degree at least.  Because I can’t give it up.


  Simultaneously I am so looking forward to it being over.  I am looking forward to working toward healing with the girls without anything to take us backwards.  I can’t wait to finally work toward being a true and legal forever family that nothing can erase.  I’m looking forward to the redemption that adoption implicitly brings.  To kiss the girls goodnight knowing that I will kiss them goodnight every night until they are grown, and that then I will worry about them every day until I die.


If you could be praying for tomorrow, I would so appreciate it.  That whatever is truly in the best interest of the girls is what happens and that we would trust no matter what happens.  And also that we are able to figure out some way to maintain contact with their parents if rights are terminated.  Pray.  pray.  pray.


  1. You said it so beautifully! I too know that my two kids would never had done well in their birth family. The older four birth siblings dropped out of school, are in gangs, drugs, jail for murder, and in the sex trade. Yet, when I see the birth mother, and her love for the kids, my heart breaks. I can't imagine the loss. Yet even though we have kept open a door that opened out of our control for the birth parents to have contact, they haven't been able to even follow through with that. But when I see the mom, I see a broken woman who didn't get the right kind of help when she needed it the most. I hope we can give to her kids, our kids, what she couldn't give, yet needed herself.

  2. I will keep you in my prayers tomorrow. We just went through this last week and parental rights were terminated. People were congratulating us and saying how exciting it was but they didn't see the loss. It wasn't a happy day. There were definitely mixed emotions for me. We also want to keep in touch with their parents but aren't sure what that will look like. Anyway, I'll be praying!

  3. prayers. such a heartbreak. I look at the foster kids i have now and with what little I know about the family I'm conflicted in my head and heart. They are her children... they deserve so much more. This was never plan A.

    blessings on your family.

  4. I really appreciated reading this today, Maggie. We're going to be at the same kind of hearing next week, and I am trying to work out how best to show grace to our little guy's birth mom while creating the least amount of confusion for him.

    I'll be praying for all of you tomorrow.

  5. maggie, loving you, thinking about you,m your girls and their mother, this is such a hard road we walk.

  6. What a small world! I thought your name looked familiar, and here you are! I'm Rachel Hillestad and I met you at the Engrams' foster get together. Small world! We said goodbye to our little girl after 11 months. :( Anyway, hello!


Thanks for commenting!!


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