Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Big- Time Update

Oh, hello there! Once again, I’m resurfacing from a too-long absence to give a quick update.

Guys. So much has been going on lately. Like… SO. MUCH.

That’s actually one of the reasons I haven’t written here in a while- I just haven’t even known where to start.

There’s one announcement in particular I haven’t shared because I was trying to figure out the perfect timing, buuuuuut….

Apparently I’ll be outed on national television this Tuesday, so it seems like the timing is now.

(Oh, p.s., I'm about to be on Fixer Upper. Nbd. I'll come back to that later.)

This was a super fun photo shoot that maybe never happened.


So rather than let HGTV make my announcement for me, I wanted to post it here. So....here it goes:



I’ve decided to petition for custody of Little Man.

When I tell people about this, the immediate reaction tends to be something along the lines of “That’s so great!!!”

And it is. It’s a very exciting decision.

But it’s also terrifying. And also sad.

Because it might not have the outcome I want. And because it means such significant loss.

Petitioning for custody essentially means I’m filing a lawsuit against his biological mom, asking the court to terminate her parental rights.

Deciding to do that was the easiest and most difficult decision I’ve ever made.

Easy because, of course, I care about my son, and I want to ensure he is safe and loved.

Difficult because I know his biological mom wants exactly the same thing.

There’s a big part of me that wants her to succeed. Although I don’t know much about her life, I know she’s dealt with losses and hardships I can’t imagine. I want such good things for her, because I really care about her.

But, at the same time and for many reasons, the best way I know how to care for my son is to try to terminate her parental rights.

And that weighs heavily on me- as it should, I think.

We’ve taken a few steps in the legal process, but we haven’t set up initial hearings yet, so I really don’t know what to expect in terms of an outcome. It’s  ultimately going to come down to a judge’s decision.

But, really, there’s no perfect option- whatever happens, someone’s heart will be broken. There’s a chance the judge will decide my son should return to his biological mom. And I cannot even imagine how difficult that would be to me. Honestly, I make an effort not to think about it.

But the other option is that the judge decides to grant me custody, and if that is the case my joy would be at the cost of Little Man's biological mom’s. There’s no sugar-coating or getting around it- it is inevitable that someone will wind up devastated.

And I’m making an intentional choice to invite that in, which adds a layer of guilt on top of the already thick fear and anxiety.

It helps me to remember the words Brené Brown wrote: “To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.”

And so I wait- trying to accept my own vulnerability and allow the uncertainty of the future guide me to gratitude. 

Some days that comes naturally. Other days fear takes over, and it’s really hard.

And that’s where I am right now. I feel this need to wrap things up on a positive note- saying something like, “but things are great, and I know they’ll work out!” But at this point, I just don't know.
 So in an effort to be authentic, I’ll leave it in this gray space. And I’ll wait.

4 comments:

  1. I hope the best for you and Little Man. I adopted my son at age of 5 after fostering him for 2 years. Yes, one of the easiest, yet hardest things I have ever done!

    BTW- I missed reading for the past few weeks. But was channel surfing and landed on the last 10 minutes of Fixer Upper, when they did the reveal. I excitedly said, "I know her!" Well, kinda! Anyway- such a cute house. Congratulations

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  2. Your post resonates with me so much. We have fostered the most precious little boy for over a year now and this month we petitioned to adopt him and it was granted by the judge. This has been the most joyous experience in our lives, yet one of the most heartbreaking. That day, I will never forget bio-mom signing her rights away with tears streaming down her face. I know I was given the opportunity to see that day so that I will never forget that this joy and beauty that is now mine came at a cost - one of much pain and sorrow. This is the beauty and tragedy of God's grace.
    On a lighter note...loved your HGTV appearance. Your house is precious and so is your little man!

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  3. Oh my goodness! You're my hero! Not only are you a single foster mom,you quote Brene Brown.

    I thought I'd swing by your blog after watching Fixer Upper and you've definitely reignited my passion for vulnerable children.

    Thank you for being brave enough to step outside of yourself to help precious children. And in doing so, you've inspired others.

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  4. Oh my goodness! You're my hero! Not only are you a single foster mom,you quote Brene Brown.

    I thought I'd swing by your blog after watching Fixer Upper and you've definitely reignited my passion for vulnerable children.

    Thank you for being brave enough to step outside of yourself to help precious children. And in doing so, you've inspired others.

    ReplyDelete