it has always been our feeling that we are a temporary home for the girls--that our main priorities are to keep them out of foster care (aka. "the system") and to find them a permanent loving place to live.
their exposure to a real family in atlanta, instead of our fRamily, created in the girls an intense desire to have that kind of love permanently. they really hated coming back. who wouldn't? they were living the dream of any 11 or 12 year old, or any 30 something. swimming, biking, movie watching, game playing. no school, no schedule, no structure. they loved it. and in part, they hated us for having to come back.
as their discontent levels continued to rise, lindsay realized that we needed to involve shelia (the girls' mother) more in their care. and the next time someone was upset enough that they needed to go somewhere else, that somewhere would be their mother's. so around midnight saturday night, paulette, lindsay, and i made a trip to shelia's nursing home with the hope that shelia could help paulette be less angry. it worked, but only after the drama of a missing person's report, some serious lecturing from the police, and a number of trips to take paulette back to the nursing home. the good thing is that we learned that paulette can figure out how to get home from almost anywhere and is really skilled at riding the dc metro buses.
all of this made clear the necessity of finding them a good home. through a number of clear miracles, it seems that we are on our way. we have been praying intensely that God will help us, and that He will pave the way for these children. they are His, after all. and it seems that He has moved this process into mach speed. questions we have been struggling with for months have been answered, a lawyer is in the process of being retained (something we have worked on for about 3.5 months), people are contacting us, from the most random of sources, because they heard about the girls and are interested in taking them. i am astounded by how many people have considered this. most of these people don't know them, they simply hear the story and think "huh, maybe i should take them." there are people out there who are so full of love that their homes are created to help kids in these situations.
we have talked a family that's had over 20 foster care kids in their home over the last 10 years. this family has permanently adopted 2 of those kids. and they feel like they are missing one. and what is even crazier, is this is not unique. we have talked to many many people who are in similar situations.
i am astounded by the love these people have. it really is inspiring. we hear so much of how horrible people can be to each other, and we rarely get to hear how loving and wonderful we sometimes are to each other. these people are amazing. and i am convinced that we will find the place, which God has prepared, for these girls.
it is tricky to write about all of this stuff--it is sensitive.