Last week we got some news, sooner than we had expected and not at all what we had imagined. There was no trial just a change in Bubba's case plan, he will be returning to his biological mother. The reason there was no trial was because the state did not feel they could satisfy the ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) requirements. Everything leading up to the past year and everything we were told kinda just got thrown out the window. The process didn't happen the way it normally does, but I guess in the world of foster care there isn't really a normal. Now that I have had a good few days to process everything it's easier to talk about and begin to plan things out. Our case worker came over on Wednesday and I was hoping to get some specifics on how long this reunification process takes and how much time we will have to begin to say our goodbyes. Unfortunately I didn't get any answers on what the plan is, just that it is expected to be a pretty quick move. So for now we are just waiting to hear what the next step is.
We have already begun to feel the process of grief since the day we found out he was leaving us. It's hard right now not knowing what the plan is because I want to be able to make this a healthy transition for all four of us and being in the limbo stage makes it rough. The toughest part was initially telling Ivy and holding her as she wept at the reality of losing her brother. I have been constantly amazed at her open and loving heart towards the little guy and I am so thankful that they bonded so easily. Some good news is that Bubba has two biological siblings that are both around Ivy's age and they will also be reunited with their mother. We are trying to do our best to stay positive and find the good in this situation. More than anything we really want Bubba to be loved in his new home and we hope and pray that is the case.
There have been so many reminders the past week that God is in control. I LOVE reading each day from Oswald Chambers' My Utmost For His Highest and the subject from July 16th was "The Concept of Divine Control." I want to share a few quotes from this day that have stuck with me and this situation. "Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, 'My heavenly Father knows all about this!' Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God's will is behind it. Therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him." Thank you Jesus for this truth.
It's been good for me to find stories on blogs and websites of families who have also gone through this process of saying goodbye to their foster child. Knowing we are not alone in this and getting ideas of how to make these last days special has been very important. I have begun to make a bucket list of sorts of the things we want to do together as a family before Bubba joins his new one. I have also began to finish his life book which is something we were told to do in our foster care licensing classes. I started making this photo book online from the moment I started taking pictures of his two-week-old little self because there was always the possibility of him leaving us and I want him to have pictures of his time with our family. I think it will also be great for his biological mom to see that he was truly loved in our home and that's also the purpose of this book which will be packed with his other items he will be taking to his new home. It will be therapeutic to finish the book for Bubba and to have one of our own to keep, remembering the good times is so important.
We would appreciate your prayers for this sweet boy, his new home and future, and for our family as this big change takes place. God knew this was going to be the outcome from the start and I see so many wonderful and life changing possibilities in it. God is good and this time with Bubba has been SO good. We will forever be changed because of him and he will always be a part of our lives. We are going to make our last few days together as joyful as possible.