The little life we were overseeing is gone.
Hard to write. Which is why I didn’t. I haven’t known how.
It’s never a straight run, life, is it? I think we are all geared to expect basic ups and downs. The categorizable. This one didn’t fit any of those. Maybe because it was so un-categorizable is the reason I found it so insanely difficult.
Nevaeh came to us by divine ‘accident’, and she left, it felt, by divine disaster.
I came home with four kids in the back of the van one day to find two strange people at our door waiting for me. From Children’s Aid Society. Never a good sign when you don’t get a date for coffee first.
There had been an “anonymous” accusation against us.
Anything you can imagine will do. Because the accusation was not the point, it was who, I worked out, had made it.
Let’s sigh together.
Apparently, people who go into fostering the normal way (we didn’t) are told right from the beginning to expect accusations. Because that’s the only power western-world, dependant poor really have – words. In this world, previous abuses within systems supposed to provide care mean that any word hinting of misconduct is taken absolutely seriously. As it should be. However I wonder if it doesn’t give the wrong type of power into the hands of people who have nothing to lose, and everything to gain if they abuse it?
But I digress. I believe I was stalling at describing how terrible the battle that ensued. Between Tim and I. Between CAS and us. Between us and others who were distressed at our decision.
The backstory: my very giving husband had worked with a man who spent a long time in prison at the hands of similar, baseless, and yet powerful words. In similar circumstances.
Our poor and accusing – yet lovely friend – had lived with us. (Here) She knows us inside and out. We loved her. Thought she loved us. And yet …. There was no reason – now – for us to expect she would stop with these words.
We – painfully, and, after battle – agreed we had to protect our home.
We had to let the lovely, intelligent, belligerent, sassy and sweet child we were holding, go. Not into the hands of her Mum, but someone else who we hope will become her Mum. Forever.
The weeks are a blur. It was like a death. We raged, mourned, felt fear, sadness and betrayal. All the key elements of a fabulous novel. Except, non-fiction, and non-fabulous.
Amongst the mess of those weeks was also a suspected heart-attack for a family member; a scoliosis diagnosis for Jesse (no words!); business threats for Tim and ….. and. It felt like running through a constricting tunnel and full force into a fury of molten drama.
It’s better now. We talk about Nevaeh every single day. Pray every day for her Mum, so hurt and so hurting. Last week I said to Jesse I was a bit scared I might see her shopping. He said “Why are you scared?”
“Because I don’t know what I’d say.”
“Why couldn’t you just say ‘Hi! How are you doing?” he asked sincerely.
I love our Jesse. But I want to give her more than that. I want to be able to honestly give her love and mercy.
I have worked in the developing world and to some degree, with the Canadian version of the poor. And I would say this: it’s easy to “love the poor” when they are not living in your lounge-room.
My experience would direct me to conclude that to love the poor, you need to be able to NOT really know the poor. Jesus would say that real love, the only kind that counts, is when the poor are fully known, and loved anyway.
Which is what he does with me. I am fully known. And fully loved anyway.
That’s mercy in all its unbelievable, astounding ASTOUNDING beauty and I hope some day I have opportunity to give it as good as Jesus Christ gives it to me every single day.