Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!
Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Next Page
She closed the book. It was the same as that first day, almost 19 years earlier, when she’d written the first entry, placed the book on the same table, and walked out the same door.
“My Precious One,” she’d written on that blank page. “I haven’t met you yet. In fact, I’ve only known about you for three hours. The caseworker called this morning. ‘Mrs. King,’ she said, ‘We have a 5 day girl being discharged from the NICU today. Will you be her foster family?’ There was no need to discuss it. Of course we would.”
She smiled, placed the book on the table, and with a spring in her step, walked through the door to her car.
Her family fought over their precious little one; over who would feed her, who would rock her, and who would play with her. They gave her everything they could. The one thing they could not give her, the one thing they didn’t know if they should give her, was the one with whom she had bonded for those first 35 weeks of her existence.
“My Precious One,” she wrote in that book two years later, “We got the phone call we’ve been waiting for! At your next hearing, your goal will be changed from reunification to adoption. You are to be our daughter! Of course we’ve loved you as a daughter before I even left the house to pick you up. But there was always a sense of holding back, not wanting to ask, ‘What if?,’ but knowing it was a possibility. Are you really to be ours?”
She listened to the children playing outside, closed the book, placed it on the table, and walked through the door to join them.
But circumstances and perspective can change so quickly.
“My Precious One,” she wrote a few months later. “We went to the courtroom this morning for the termination of parental rights. We knew it would be a day of mixed emotions. Your birth mother was there and she held you and loved on you. She looked the judge in the eye and announced that she was voluntarily giving up her parental rights. She declared that she loves you very much but she’s just not in a place to raise you. She said that she knows you are loved in our home and that we will raise you to be the person you are meant to be. The judge looked right back at her and told her that she is a very brave woman. I didn’t realize that my joy would be another mother’s pain.”
She wiped a tear, closed the book, placed it on the table, and went outside to be alone.
The years went by quickly as they always do. As her precious one approached her high school graduation, they talked about the mother who had been there first. They wondered what life had been like for her. They finally put wondering aside and boldly made the first call. Plans fell into place and a meeting was arranged.
“My Precious One,” she wrote again. “Thank you for allowing me to be part of this momentous day. We cannot predict what this day, or those to follow, will bring. Only know and remember that I love you, have always loved you. You are becoming the person that you were meant to be. You are loved.”
Her precious daughter was in the car and it was time to go.