It's April 2011...Sissy is three, Bubby just turned two, and Rowan is one. They're no longer my 3 under 3 and it hurts my heart a little, but I will say my days are ALOT easier. There are no more bottles, no more burpies, I only have two in diapers, and I'm no longer changing spit-up saturated clothes multiple times a day. It's still constant chaos at the Crook house, it just looked a little different. Biting replaced the bottles, and I had three wild walking, talking children. Life was good and we had a hearing that month that made life great. It was a pretrial for another termination hearing coming up...this was our 2nd time around. Both 'L' and one of the birth fathers ('M') had given our family case manager a verbal indication that they were going to voluntarily terminate their rights and sign consents for our adoptions. We were hopeful that this would be the case, but also guarded as we had a crazy emotional winter with all the termination talk. We were coming up on two years since the babies were removed, zero progress had been made toward reunification, and I had poured my heart out to both 'L' and 'M' in conversations that I felt were a bit counterproductive. We prayed and prayed and prayed that it would be God's will for our babies to become forever ours, and this hearing could be the 1st step to getting us "legally" there. The morning of the hearing I checked my facebook and a sweet friend had written the words, "God's got this". Oh how I wanted to feel that confidence...I treasured those words and it was off to the hearing.
When we got there, it was just like every other time...there were plenty of hugs, stories, and pictures shared. It was a blessing and relief to me that everything could feel so normal between all of us. The consents for us to adopt were signed before the hearing even started, the day from beginning to end was better than I could have ever imagined. That evening I sent an e-mail to our prayer warriors, I also posted it to facebook so many of you may have already read it. But it tells the story so much better than I could tell it today...it's authentic and in the moment. So here it is...I'm taking you back to April 20, 2011, a HUGE day in the life of the Crazy Crook Crew.
I really have no words to describe how we're feeling. I know that God's hands were all over this day. He already knew this was our forever family, and He might have been gitty in heaven just waiting for us to know that too. Consents were signed before the hearing even started (although we had no idea). The hearing itself was smooth, L and M handled every bit of it with grace and composure. V didn't show up as usual and the judge just decided to terminate his rights there on the spot!!! Um...Yay God! Once DCS files their petition to terminate with the court, V will have 30 days to file an appeal. I don't know if he will or not but we have absolute peace either way. By moving to terminate his rights on the spot without him being present, the judge basically skipped months of annoying and tedious court hearings thus expediting the process of finalizing our adoptions! My mind has been spinning all day...replaying July 22nd 2009, the day the DCS investigator brought Sissy to our (HER) home, July 23rd, the day we picked up a teeny broken Bubby from the hospital. We had NO idea what God had in store for us, that these precious children He was entrusting to us weren't just temporary gifts...SO thankful. Amazed really. Amazed at the journey, since and prior to their arrival. God is SO good! We are thrilled for us, for them, and for Rowan! Our hearts would break a little every time we dwelled on the idea that he could lose his big brother and sister, whom he LOVES and adores. They were here when we brought him home from the hospital, and they are his favorite thing for sure:) Blessed, blessed, blessed.
The kids had a visit with M and L after the hearing, I brought a comb, squirt bottle, and hair scissors and asked L if she would give Sissy her 1st hair cut (she went to beauty school). Her reaction was SUCH a blessing to me. I could tell it meant alot to her and she was SO glad to do it. The visit ended with lots of hugs, promises of phone calls and visits which will no longer be regulated and supervised through DCS...YAY!!! We can call L and M friends and I am so grateful for that gift. My heart is so full right now...to God be the Glory! I praise Him for His favor, for His plan revealed, for these amazing, beautiful, resilient children, for His calling to be foster parents, for the crazy show the Price is Right, for filling our home, hearts, and hands with 3 babies in a 6 month time span, for the endless amount of energy He's blessed JT and I with, for family, friends, prayers on our behalf...If I keep going this e-mail will go on FOREVER!
Please continue to pray for M and L, for peace and healing. The choice they both made today was out of love for their children, their decision was beautiful, nothing less. Don't get me wrong, they've made (and continue to make) quite a few bad decisions in their lives. But they didn't have to sign papers today consenting to our adoptions, giving up every right they have as parents. They could have faught until the bitter end and they didn't...out of love.
The Laura Story song 'Blessings in Disguise' keeps playing in my forever spinning mind. The words speak so true to our story. I think all of you know about the babies lost, through pregnancy, and fall through adoptions...the years we spent wanting so badly to love a baby we would never have to "give back". Ancient history, I tell ya:) But it's so clear now, the purpose, the blessings waiting, the family God was carefully and beautifully designing for us. I'm thankful for the trials, the heartbreak, and the renewed joy every day...it all lead us here. And here...at this moment, tastes a little bit like heaven I think:) Thank you all so much for your prayers throughout the past 2 years...it's been a wild ride, that's for sure!
In His Amazing Love,
Crazy Mama Crook