I have this little buddy. He is so close to my heart. I know what he thinks and how he thinks and why he thinks it.

I remember the day he came. The private home he went to couldn’t handle him. We were still a days away from being ready, but there he was. So adorable. So defiant. So misunderstood. He wasted no time testing limits and revealing abuse. And then there was a connection. I don’t know why he picked me to cling to, but he did. No matter how great, loving, helpful, or friendly other adults have been, it’s me he wants. It has been a journey FAR from easy. His anxiety levels are constantly high, but he’s learned how he’s supposed to manage it. It’s still very difficult for him to do, but the knowledge is there. His story is the epitome of a misunderstood child. A child who doesn’t know how to communicate what is going on in his mind. Life has been a roller coaster with him in our care. Family teachers, school teachers, consultants, doctors, and therapists can see the troubled mind behind that cute face.

But the time has come. I’ve always known that he wasn’t staying. It’s something I’ve avoided in my mind because there’s so much more he needs to be successful. I haven’t had the strength to think of how he’ll function outside of our environment. But God is his Provider, his Defender, his Peace. God has used me to be those things. Until now.

I’m learning that letting go is a part of parenthood. But not like this. This is a dark place of the unconventional call to parenthood. We know these kids are not our own. We understand they move back with family. We truly want their ‘real’ parents to work things out to be a family once again. But my standards for getting kids back are not the same as the Court.

On Sunday, I was holding my buddy while we sang. He is just gaining enough confidence to sing along with me. And on this, his last time at church with me, he sings loud and clear ‘You make beautiful things/You make beautiful things out of us’. That is what I’m holding to. That is what my heart must cling to. God, and only God, makes beautiful things out of us – out of our brokenness, our sorrow, our anxieties, our craziness, our mistrust, our efforts. He makes it His.

(Spoiler: Our last date together, the night before he went home, he fell out of a tree at our house and broke his arm. I like to add insult to injury to most big emotional events in my life, usually involving the ER)

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