First, and certainly most important: all 5 of us are still here together. Baby 9's adoption has been paused for now. Despite several valiant efforts, the agency has not successfully been able to defend their desire to move her.
The fair hearing to overturn the indication is in March. That's our biggest hurdle. Having an indication means the judge has to decide to give us an exemption in order to adopt. We don't want to have to rely on that.
There have been more reports made to CPS that have come back unfounded. Allegations that I am drunk and high while with my children. That I come home drunk and "pass out" at night. One said that Brandon has pointed a gun at me. All are completely false and were made specifically to stop Baby 9's adoption and hurt me. Anyone who knows us and sees our children would never have legitimate concerns for their well being.
I have learned a lot about people in the past 6 months. I have learned a lot about myself. I honestly didn't know that people can turn so dramatically and quickly under pressure. I always assumed that someone's character was relatively constant. Now I know that even really good people can become horribly destructive and heinous in the right (wrong) circumstances. I've done it. I've made choices that I knew would hurt people I love because my own survival was my top priority. I've had it done to me. I've been lied to. I've been left by people who told me they understood and supported me. I've watched my story get tossed around and twisted to fit another person's vendetta. I've seen the moment where love starts costing too much and hate's affordability turns the people I thought would never leave. I know about being reckless and selfish. Those things hurt, but I at least get it. I've racked up quite the list of collateral damage from my actions. I'm still adjusting to the news that sometimes people do horrible things specifically to cause injury to others. I really didn't think that people- normal people, who hang out and go to church and raise kids- would go out of their way to destroy another person when there is nothing to gain for them. Hearing about the accusation that Baby Girl "is underweight, and not fed properly", when her pediatrician has been monitoring her weight gain to make sure she's not too heavy for her height, taught me quickly that I've been wrong about a lot of things.
So many times, I've wanted to quit. I really want to run. I want CPS and foster care away from my family. Why are we still here? What's the point of dragging my family through months and months more of trauma, stress, and fear when it may leave Baby 9 without us anyway? It's in these moments, I have to step aside and let God. I get still and He steps in, immediately reminding me He hasn't left us yet. He hasn't let any of my children go out of His sight. He has held us through every other horrible heartbreak that I never imagined surviving. I have been saved by His grace. I have been forgiven through His blood. There is no possible reason for me to believe that it was all so we could get to this point and God would say, "Alright, this is on you. Good luck.". My view of the world has changed, but God's view remains the same. My spirit has been crushed, but His Spirit is omnipotent. I fail daily, but He has never failed.
Baby 9 has people who will never leave her. She is healthy, and developing, and full of joy because God saw fit in His awesome design to use my family in her redemption story. He looked at her and let her path intersect mine. We are part of a good plan. We are here for His work.
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9
I'm holding on. It's exhausting. I take more breaks than forward steps. But I haven't given up.