What a beautiful spring-y week it has been. Lots of bright blue skies and sunshine, balmy breezes, trees in bloom throughout the neighborhood. It's wonderful to be blessed with such lovely weather that makes you go outside and enjoy it, that motivates you to do things you just couldn't do if it were cloudy and gray. I love waking up to the sunshine.
Even in the midst of such bright sunny-ness, there are still clouds from time to time. That is the kind of week it's been: up and down, a roller-coaster of emotions, blue skies one minute and clouds the next.
Today is a big day. And as I write this, I have knots in my stomach-- the same knots that have been there all week long as we in our family looked forward to this day. My sister-in-law (who also happens to be my best friend) and her husband are in the process of trying to adopt two kids from the foster care system. There is a story I need to REALLY tell you sometime-- and I will, when the time is right. Anyway, today is the hearing to take away the parental rights of the biological parents. This is a BIG step in the process, and we have no idea what the outcome will be. But, needless to say, we are all hoping and praying with all our hearts that the ruling will be in favor of this happening. It means one step closer to adoption, it means no more bio visitations for the kids, it means that much less time until this whole thing is over and Luke and Jessica can really call them theirs. You don't even know the emotional strain this has been on Jessica-- there is so much that goes into this, and each week seems to hold new surprises and challenges. This week has been especially so. While we very much want to see this particular chapter closed in the process, it is extremely bittersweet. It is a wonderful, positive step forward in the adoption process-- but, it also means that a woman is faced with the fact that she is losing her kids for good, forever.
I won't go into much more detail than that, except to say that I love my niece and nephew with all my heart, and want what is best for them. And Jessica, who amazes me each day-- I can't even tell you how much I look forward to her kids really being HERS. All week long, it has all been very heavy on my heart, and I cannot stop thinking and praying about it all (a fact I am actually very grateful for, since praying is all I CAN do). Thankfully, I am reminded every day that no matter the outcome, it is in God's hands-- and His grace will be sufficient to carry Luke and Jessica and these kids through whatever else may come in this journey.
In other news, we are getting our backyard put in this week! Whee! We are so happy and excited. We've NEVER had a backyard before, in our five years of marriage, and there is just so much we are looking forward to-- BBQs, entertaining on our patio, gardening and making it beautiful, having a place for the kids to play. Oh boy, are we ever excited about that last one. My girls hardly know what to do with themselves, and neither do I. Sending them outside to play while I try to get some chores done is like freedom, sanity, and world peace all in one. Seriously! You don't think I would actually exaggerate, do you??
We will see how today goes. And your prayers would be much appreciated for this, if you happen to think of it. Praise God for prayers, and being able to trust in Him. Even-- no, especially-- in the midst of all these emotions, that sticks out to me. He is good. He is faithful. And we can rejoice no matter what happens.