Over the past couple of months I have come across two families that have lost children after they spent years in their family. Both are strong Christian families and in both cases the child’s best interest was not considered when custody was determined.
Vanessa was one-month old the first time I saw her. She was a sweet, engaging infant that slept well through the night and slurped her bottles with gusto right before she burped about half back up all over you. She was in our home for foster care but we loved her dearly. When reunification efforts failed after about a year, my parents were asked to adopt her and moved forward to make her part of our family forever. Six month later the nightmare began.
A new social worker and a new direction; reunification was the only path that would be pursued. A year of court dates, traumatic visiting schedules and confusion followed for our family. We prayed, we fasted, and we wept. There were doctors and specialists and lawyers galore and after two and one half years we were given four days to say goodbye forever.
I cannot imagine anything worse. Crazy things go through your mind. The grief is so heavy it hurts to breathe. And I was just a sister, a close sister, but not her parent. All the promises of hope and joy felt empty, only the absolute faith that God is in control allows you to survive.
My family and my faith were forever changed by the events of October 2005. There are wounds so deep I am not sure they will ever heal before heaven. I learned that real faith believes even when God says no. I was in a deep dark ocean clinging to God alone. The courts, the system, my parents had all failed to keep my baby sister safe.