I love the way she claps when I walk into her bedroom. I love the way she takes off in her super speed crawl when she sees me walking toward her with a diaper. I love her weird nervous baby giggle she's had since I can remember. I love her baby smell. I love the way she goes into spaz mode and loses control of her limbs when daddy gets home. I love watching her constantly learn new things. I love the way she eats like a monster, even though the clean up process is a daily time sucker. I love the way she smacks her lips when you're eating something that she'd like you to share. I love the sneaky smile she flaunts right before she does something “naughty”. I love her backwards wave. I love her joy, her confidence, her cuddles, her enthusiasm over just about everything. I love the way she loves us back with so much faith...knowing we'll never stop loving her. And we won't. But today...that's the hard part. We still have no idea what the future holds for our family. We're sitting tight in our current chapter...love...completely and blindly. And if she leaves, I don't even know...can't comprehend what it will be like. Watching our children suffer will be devastating on top of devastation. But we'll be okay...somehow. We'll process the pain together and call on God to heal our brokenness. But the baby...I hate....hate thinking about what it's like for her. What is it like to be taken from all that you know, the family you know as yours, your safety, security, everything you love, your life as you know it, gone. Your every day, routine, home, the walls you've been raised in, the room you wake up in every morning, all of your people...not just your family. All of it...gone. And replaced with a new life that doesn't bare any resemblance with the only life you know. That's where I am today. Thinking about the thing that I hate. And I remember this with our kids, I remember visions I had in my head of them waiting at a window...watching. Because they know we will always come to get them. Praise God those visions held no truth and they'll never wait at that window. The unknown feels impossible some days. Loving her for a year...a year. And we'll continue to love every second we have...we wouldn't change a thing. This is where God wants us. It's just a hard day, the thoughts I hate, the ones I work to avoid, are hanging out in my head and heart. My love for her is so completely full. There's no “guarding my heart” (dumbest phrase ever). It belongs to her and she's given hers to us and she trusts us like a baby trusts their family. And it hurts today. Still so much uncertainty. And I think...I know...it would be different if efforts (by all parties involved) had been made to build a bond during this year...her first year. It would be different if we were blessed with the kind of relationships we've had in the past. That's a crucial part of this ministry. I need and depend on pouring into the people who love our babies...THEIR babies. I need to fight for them...as hard as I fight for their children. That's the only way to do this right. Trying to choose love on a level that seems impossible...and failing. And I know I'm not trying hard enough. Of her 13 months of life, we've been hers for 12. That's a lot of time gained, and a lot of time lost. And I'm striving for thankfulness instead of despair as we approach this anniversary. I'll get there, God is good.
Thanks for walking through this with me today. Thank you to everyone who's covered our family in prayer. We are so incredibly thankful for this year we've been given. Our family is crazy madly in love with our longest ever house guest:) And we're all better for it...no matter the ending. We'll see where God takes us from here. I'm thankful for the power of prayer and a sovereign God whose already got it all mapped out. I know that will be my safe place when and if she leaves. He's faithful.
In His amazing love,Crazy Mama Crook