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A New Kind of Kid

goat

Meet Cramer. Cramer is our new kid and finally one who will stay. We have no plans to sell him but instead to have him “fixed” and let him be our pet whether. soldes timberland As he propped his forelegs on my knee yesterday and asked to be picked up — I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging and calm. Bottes UGG Pas Cher France In that moment, I realized that I could tell you about what happened with our four foster children.

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As you may have read, we got a phone call in early December of 2008 about a sibling group of four who were up for adoption and who matched the preferences we put in our homestudy. We didn’t have a long list of preferences:

  • Age 8 or younger
  • No fire setters
  • No Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • No birth parent visits
  • Legally free for adoption – no foster children
  • Safe around animals
  • Safe around younger children
  • No sexual abusers (victims of sexual abuse were fine but we didn’t want any children who acted out on other children)

We double checked on the phone with our caseworker, “You’re sure they don’t have FAS? You’re sure they are legally free and we don’t have to take them to see their birth parents?” The answer: “It’s all good. timberland They are perfect for you. Let’s pick them up in an hour.” We were ecstatic. peaches iphone 8 case I think I called thirty people in less than thirty seconds. Josh and I wept with excitement, relief, and the most incredible joy I have ever known. We borrowed a friend’s van and hit the road to pick up our beautiful new family. Within the first ten days, we learned that only the first two of our preferences had been met. The others? Well, let’s just say that on day ten the oldest boy left our home permanently. The children entered our home and our care so that they would be safe. I know that some of you wondered why I never showed pictures of the oldest boy except for the first few days. Now you know. timberland homme Soon after, we learned that the children were not legally free and still had regular visits with their birth parents which we were expected to shuttle them to and from. These were foster children. But they were foster children with a court date. We struggled to prepare them for the court date which loomed ahead. As they asked questions, we quickly realized that we had no answers and apparently our state was just as clueless. iphone 8 case fulham We knew that we were only willing to adopt three of the four children but had no clue if the judge would agree to split the group. The court date was canceled just a few days before it was scheduled to happen. chaussures puma The defense needed more time to prepare and the birth parent visits continued — each more ridiculous than the one before. Examples? We have lots. On one visit, the parents brought the entire family (who had not been drug tested or authorized) and on another visit the nine month old baby was permitted to crawl around on the floor of a filthy fast food restaurant. During this time, we also noticed that the baby was regressing developmentally. gear 4 iphone 8 plus case He didn’t meet his milestones and forgot important things like how to swallow almost daily. I made all of his meals into smoothies so that he would at least maintain weight. As the next court date approached, the State’s attorney suddenly remembered that s/he had a conference to attend and the date was canceled. Not rescheduled: canceled. On went the visits. I took the three children to see specialists. iphone 7 girls case Something was wrong with them. All three of them. The school year was winding down and the parent visits were getting more and more abusive. hello kitty iphone 7 case Our phone calls were ignored. Our emails never received a response. It seemed that no one in the state really cared about these children. As the last of the doctor’s reports came in, we realized that the children were not going to get better and we were told that the damages could not be held against the parents in court because they were done before the children were born. Fetuses do not have rights. The children, we were told, would probably be going back to their birth parents. spigen iphone 6 case glitter Unable to cope with turning them directly over to their parents and teetering on the edge emotionally, we asked that the baby be moved to another home so he could get daily therapies and we could spend the last few weeks with our girls. I’d missed out on a lot of time with the girls because I spent my days taking the baby to the doctor. We spent the last few days with our girls coming to terms with everything. We tried to prepare them for returning to their birth parents. We feared that the children would be beaten for talking about our home for daring to utter sentences like, “Josh and Lacy baked all their bread and we got to help.” or “Josh and Lacy read to us and prayed with us.” It was then that we decided to have them leave our home a bit earlier and go to another foster home in hopes that they would transition with greater ease. moncler We couldn’t live with ourselves knowing that the girls might get abused talking about their life with us. And then, they were gone. The house seemed filled with their ghosts. The shifting of the toys in their room would cause music to suddenly erupt and I would find myself sobbing in front of their door — unable to walk in to quiet the toy and unable to find any degree of self control. One of their tiny socks would find its way into our laundry and I could then be found on the ground under the clothesline with it pressed to my tear-stained cheek. Josh would hold my hand — helpless to comfort me or climb out of the depths of his own pain. iphone 7 plus brand case Were they happy? Were they safe? Were they all alone? As we drove back from picking up the goats, I held the baby on my lap. He snuggled up to me and sniffed the bouquet of sunflowers given to us by the wonderful goat lady. I felt familiar tears welling up in my eyes.

  • kerry - *hugs*ReplyCancel

  • Rita - I am very sorry you went through this extremely painful time. I teach first grade and use to be friends with a foster family years ago. Life isn’t fair. So very glad you are keeping this kid as your pet. Such a lovely little one. Thankful God sent just the right one to love you through all the sadness you suffer.ReplyCancel

  • Rosa - I’m sorry to hear about all that. Very sad and painful, indeed.

    What a cute “baby”.

    Courage and hugs,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Sophie - OOoooh,…I am sorry to hear about those nasty experiences,…

    I wish you a lot of courage & cyber hugs,
    from your friend:

    SophieReplyCancel

  • Christina - Blessings to you and Josh…. You have such a big tender heart….ReplyCancel

  • Julie at Elisharose - I know there are no words to comfort you right now. I also know you know that you are surrounded by many who love and are praying for you. I hope you know that you have made a permanent difference in those childrens’ lives. You may not know the extent until you reach the other side, but rest assured that you have.

    We have had several young people come in and out of our lives over the years. Some with good outcomes, some not so much. But I trust that it made a difference in some way.

    Tie a knot at the end of your rope and hang on. Good things to come. Many good things.ReplyCancel

  • YDavis - Oh Lacy, I heart really ache for you and Josh. I am sitting here at work reading this post and I am crying. Life is so unfair. I often wonder why bad things happen to good people and good things always happen to bad people? Shouldn’t that be the other way round?
    I’m glad that you got this little “kid” and he is yours to keep. He is very cute!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - I completely understand how you must feel. My husband and I have given up on pursuing adoption. I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you, but I hope you and Josh will push forward until the right match is made. You both seem like you would make absolutely fabulous parents.ReplyCancel

  • Matt Strand - thanks again for dinner last night, it was AWESOME! you and Josh are an awesome couple and i am glad that me and my wife got to know you and I got the chance to work with Josh! I know you guys will get the children you deserve when the time is right and i hope we can keep in touch!

    I do like the name of your baby goat as well!

    MattReplyCancel

  • Lucy - My Friend,

    Your story is so familiar… the system is such a frustrating one. We’ll be praying for you and your family.

    I’m assuming the children had FAS/FAE or fetal drug issues. What an unnecessary pain and misery for them to have to live with.

    The problem with friends and the internet is that you can’t reach out and touch them when there just don’t seem to be adequate words.

    Love and prayers,
    LucyReplyCancel

  • Dianne - Lacy,

    My heart aches for you and what you’ve been through. You will be in my heart and prayers…

    Love,
    DianneReplyCancel

  • Indian Lake Papa - Hi Cramer! You have a great home. I would like to visit sometime and kid around with you.ReplyCancel

  • Fay - Dear Lacy
    Thank you for sharing your story. I agree that you have made a difference in these children’s lives. You will truly be blessed for your generosity and love. The time will come for you and in the meantime I know you will love your new babies with all your heart.
    Keep strong and don’t be afraid to cry you are absolutely allowed.ReplyCancel

  • Jeni Hill Ertmer - I know I haven’t commented here in some time but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t following along with your stories about the children and then, that the had to be returned to their parents, etc. I can only imagine how difficult that had to be for both of you to do that -to relinquish them. Say prayers that the things you two taught them made some kind of impression on them though and also, that the mere mention of their time with you WON’T be held against them by their parents.

    Think positively, as much as you can, though about the experience and know that you gave as much as could be given to them.

    The goat is cute as a button and I’m sure having another “kid” to raise, one that won’t be removed from you too, will help heal your hearts. And who knows, maybe it will also work to allow your love and your hearts to expand and perhaps another avenue will appear before you too.

    Peace.ReplyCancel

  • Lynnie - My heart just breaks hearing this! You certainly did the best you could. I wish it had worked out differently. I hope you don’t totally give up on adopting. You will be such awesome parents! I wonder if it’s worth it to go through a different agency. Well, I hope the right thing happens for all of you! Hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • Michele - Oh Lacy, you and Josh have been through so much. There really are no words to express my sadness about your loss.

    Your new baby is adorable

    *hugs*ReplyCancel

  • Laura - You know and I know that ya’ll made a huge difference on these children’s lives. You showed them love on a daily basis, something they had never had before.

    Love and hugs!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - You know and I know that ya’ll made a huge difference on these children’s lives. You showed them love on a daily basis, something they had never had before.

    Love and hugs!!!
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!ReplyCancel

  • Heatherj - I’m still praying that you will see clearly why this all happened, and that someday those kids will come popping into your lives if just to tell you how wonderful they had it for such a short time!
    Praying…. and praying some more.

    Cramer is adorable, by the way! I can remember when we were “waiting” and wanted to get a certain puppy… the breeder was treating it like an adoption with required home visits, etc. I got in the car and cried like a baby saying I couldn’t even get a DOG without a homestudy and scrutiny!! Oh, you smooch that little kid for me, huh?ReplyCancel

  • Kath - Hugs!! Hugs!!! Hugs!!!

    Such heartbreak for you two! And for the children. Wishing you the absolute best in the near future!!

    Cramer is a cutie!ReplyCancel

  • AnnMarie Johnson - Thank you for sharing the story. I always wanted to know, but also knew I didn’t have the right to ask. I hope you continue to seek adoption through foster care. The right kids will come along.

    You might also consider asking your name and contact info be left in their files. My now-SIL came home 3 years after returning to her birth family because my MIL’s name and number were still in her file.ReplyCancel

  • Applie - Awww, he is so sweet looking.ReplyCancel

  • Dee - Lacy, my heart breaks for you & Josh. (((hugs)))

    God bless you both!
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    I love you new kid, he’s a sweety!
    I also enjoyed the pictures of your new flock of Caprine. ;D
    You should have many smiles out of the antics of the herd.
    Goats are such curious and comical critters sometimes. Cool!

    Wishing you a pleasant and relaxing rest of the week!
    🙂ReplyCancel

  • Landon - My dear Lacy,

    I know we had talked about this before, but I understand a lot better now. It hurts to be lied to in any proceeding, and the court system often seems callous, but when children are involved, it can feel downright cruel. Sadness is natural, but I think I know you well enough to know that sad experiences will not break you, but make you even stronger and more determined. Don’t give in to despair. Keep trying and you will get what your heart desires. I’m praying for you.

    Cramer is a cutie! He has beautiful eyes, and I can tell he loves you. – Ah, kids these days…ReplyCancel

  • TheCottonWife - Lacy,

    I am sobbing for you and Josh. It’s hard enough when my oldest girls leave to spend half the week with their dad… I cannot imagine what you’ve experienced…it’s unfathomable.

    I am deeply sorry for your loss and my heart is heavy with emotion for you and your family.

    – Jennifer

    Please take care of yourself.ReplyCancel

  • Paulette - Lacy, I’m so sorry. You know you gave the kids something they had never had before, and made a huge difference in their young lives. You and Josh will get your children.

    Meanwhile, I can’t wait to see more of Cramer, what a cute little thing!

    Hugs, PauletteReplyCancel

  • ellyn - I am so sorry to hear about this pain you and Josh are going through.
    I know the right kids for you are out there. Keep faith.

    Love the new kid. What a face.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - Oh Lacy, my heart cries for you. I’m glad to read your story as I was wondering about the children. The Lord is near to the broken hearted. He will cover you in the shadow of His wings. You’d never have this pain if your weren’t so courageous as to love. You’ll be in my prayers. I commend you for the insight you had into the safety of the girls. You were probably right and in your agony, you put their needs ahead of yours. Selfless love. The love of a parent.

    Little Cramer is so fun to watch. It’s amazing how these little creatures can evoke an amazing amount of love in us to care for them. Not much different than that of a child.
    XOXOReplyCancel

  • Rebecca of Sunny Morning Farm - I too am so sorry that you guys had to endure this pain. My heart goes out to both of you. God has a different plan for you.

    I love the baby goat. I have one that looks just like him and I have pictures on my blog. He was shunned by his mother, a first time freshener, and I am feeding him on the bottle. He is so spoiled already and looooves me. I am his Mom! I know how you feel about your baby goat too!!! They have a special place in our hearts and I know he can help you thru this difficult time.

    Thanks for sharing your story. You are in my prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Jana - Oh Lacy. I’m so sorry. I don’t know why this happens. How frustrating.ReplyCancel

  • CC - Lacy, I am so, so sorry I haven’t visited your blog in forever. And way more sorry to hear this follow-up to the children. This is so sad. On every level. My heart grieves for you and for them.

    Occasionally people ask me why we didn’t pursue domestic adoption. This is why. 🙁 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Robbyn - Lacy, I saw a picture online the other day that looked exactly like Andrew when he first came to us, only to find it was someone else’s picture. That frantic crushing feeling came back right in that moment, as did the tears. I can still thank God for writing their story His way, and for the perspective that comes only with time. But that place in my heart…it’s still there. I have a few things of theirs in a box stored away, and I only look at them every year or so.

    I pray for you often, and give thanks for the blessing you are to so many. Thank you for writing about these things as you’re able, and allowing us to share in your life, even if at a distance

    And for being you…Thank you, Lacy

    RobbynReplyCancel

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