I have a story to tell.
Wonderful story to tell,
To me, it is about God's faithfulness, mercy, grace, and provision,
It is true,
20 years ago, as I was teaching 5th grade,
the year of my son's infancy,
I fell in love with a student,
a little girl,
She tried so hard at math,
She was friendly,
Loaded with potential,
With an amazing attitude,
Considering the loving chaos around her,
Devoted big sister she was,
My son's first babysitter,
As I paid her at our school's Open House
To watch my son crawl around while I did my
"teacher thing" in the same room.
We, the little girl and I,
continued to create memories...
Summer after my son turned 2 or 3,
Was is after her 6th or 7th grade year?
I learned that she was in foster-care.
She was a package deal with her younger brother, so
I drove 75 miles twice a month (one way) for almost two years....
Became like an acting aunt to them both.
In the hallway closet, there waited wrapped Christmas presents
Remember the set of books?
That they all wished to give
To the yet TWO
Who were with their father, not in foster-care,
It was hard on the little girl and boy,
To see their biological family fragmented and scattered,
They searched and grasped
At HOPE and NORMALCY and
A DREAM for the future,
My husband and I felt not mature enough,
To do more than aunt and uncle acting,
For a period of time we had to say good bye til later
And move out of state,
During that time, something dreadful happened,
That caused ALL the children to be removed from that
GOOD FOSTER home,
It was so dreadful...
That with wet miserable tears
I cried out to God
And I cried out to God
And I cried out to God
I gave the little girl back to Him
I entrusted her to Him, and resolved
to LEAVE her with Him, and
Trust Him to move in her life
I knew He would be with her, and
If/when she looked to Him,
He would be faithful.
She went through a deep dark valley
A scary storm
She felt lost
She felt lonely
Sometimes hateful and resentful
The little brother
felt lost in a thick fog of uncertainty,
He had always loved and depended on his big sister, so much
Now they were separated
And his new foster home, though acceptable,
Was loaded with pesty, pesky,
Younger siblings that sometimes drove him crazy.
The teacher, aunt,
Still loved them both....
She had left the little girl with God.
She resumed a visitation pattern with the little boy,
When she moved back into state,
Not until two years after that,
Did she and her husband,
Finally feel mature enough,
Though it was the little girl
That had drawn her in,
Now it was the boy, now a teen-ager
Who she tried to adopt.
There was room in hearts,
A prepared a special place in loving home,
His own room, where could be his....
Finally, "permission" to INVITE
Him to be a part of the family, my family, forever and legally
He said NO
I will always love you, but NO
"I feel that it has taken me TWO years to adjust to the school that I go to now.... and I just can't change schools again.........."
"There have been so many times when he didn't have a SAY. This time he has a SAY. Be respectful Tammy," I said to myself.
I re-affirmed my consistent love and let him sit with that answer for a week,
Then I called him up and preceded to persuade with every logic and reason and assurance that I could muster.
For two hours I tried.
He still said NO.
We re-affirmed our love,
And I let him GO.
I thought, "He must be doing pretty good...."
I am tired of all the driving......
I'm not gonna do this anymore.
He must not need me.
I'm going to focus on my own family.
My own family now feels empty,
With out the teen-age boy that we prepared
He had said, "Why don't you adopt someone close to Charles's age."
"We don't want someone close to Charles's age. We want YOU!"
For the first time, since our only son was born,
Our home felt empty,
We asked God to give us a baby from our own bodies,
Nine months later our daughter was born.
Amazing, unexpected journey, life is.....
At that point, my former student,
SHE is still lost and scared and angry,
Her brother is at times lonely and unsure,
But he was settled and progressing in school,
Getting wiser, and stronger, than he knew,
She stumbled through many stormy paths
Sometimes windy and black,
He continued in a familiar home
At a familiar school,
And God brought him a loyal friend,
A peer, and another mother,
Another mother, who loved this boy, my boy,
He graduated from High School, and together he celebrated with his friend,
And this other mother,
She embraced him and loved him, and met a need.
His big sister's path was rougher.
Sin and storm raged around her and could not
Calm the hurt and anger
But God was always there.
He saw their trials.
He knew their thoughts and pains and fears
Good and bad, is the mixture of this world
Retrospect is easier sometimes
Flash forward FOURTEEN YEARS later and the BLESSINGS
I have a 13 year old daughter, a 21 year old son.
My former 5th grade student,
Has a flipping gorgeous daughter of her own,
Who inspires her to rise to a new level,
Her husband is HANDSOME and devoted,
His LOVE has helped her heal,
His extended family has become like her own.
One of the little sisters that she yearned for and ached for 17 years prior....
Is her neighbor now! Sister and sister in law!!!!
She has found her smile again,
He, son of my heart,
Just got married,
To an elementary teacher,
An absolutely beautiful, intelligent, charming lady.
Her hardworking, close knit family has embraced him, as their own.
And there is more......... WONDERFUL.........
Son of my heart, had three moms, two dads.... stand up as his "parents,"
My daughter was there, the daughter that I almost did not have......
Also in attendance his wedding day,
His oldest and REAL brother, stood up and read a scripture,
His brother's youngest son, was ring bearer and his wife and oldest son were there also.
He, this oldest brother is married to a teacher, and THEY have created books together, with her using her educational background to write, and Tommy using his artistic talent and skills to illustrate.
Their biological uncle was there. He is doing fabulously, with a beautiful wife and baby son.
I was there with my daughter, that I almost did not have, my 21 year old son who I have always adored, and all these people........... whom I love............
Our connections, our memories, makes me richer.
We are a RICH GROUP of PEOPLE,
Our HOPEs, DREAMS,
God has blessed us in ways we could not have imagined, 20 or 14 years ago....
His will be done, for these, your children Lord.
May we rest and walk in You.
* If you would be interested in buying the educational resources made by this family, look on facebook: Chalk, Paper, Scissors😊 Also there is a link on my Grandma Mary Martha facebook page.*
This story is a true one. I tell it because I am grateful for what God had done. He is faithful, and love heals. Loving the children and taking care of each other is our greatest mission. God bless those that do............ To read a bit more about the "wedding day" and my lesson learned, click here.