This was the end of a recent facebook posting. About me. Apparently, I'm "nobody." One more tidbit...it was written by the biological mother of my new sons. A woman that I've laid eyes on one time in the 4+ years that I've known and loved this man. A woman who has NOTHING to do with her children. A woman who has resided right across the street from them for months and hasn't seen them. A woman who hasn't had custody of them in ELEVEN years. (note....the youngest is 12. HER youngest is even younger....and not with her, either.) A woman who hasn't inquired about them, made contact with us, OR them....at all.
That above statement almost laughable. Until, you reallllly sit and think about it. Sad. Sad....is what it is.
I come tonight asking for prayers. I am wide awake with no sleep in sight. Prayers for an impossible situation. Almost like a "cancer".....and we all know that I know quite a bit about that. Prayer for my bitter heart and lack of understanding. For I will NEVER be able to understand or condone the actions of a bad mother. Being a parent is such a gift. A blessing straight from the heavens that should be the most important role one should EVER play. As a mother.....I would claw the eyes out of ANYONE who tried to hurt my children. Of ANYONE who would try to take them from me.
The day my children were placed upon my chest....My life was forever changed. While the road hasn't always been easy, I hope and pray that when I stand before my God, He WILL say to me "Well done, my faithful child....." My children and I have survived death, divorce, cancer, financial struggles.....all of it. But we are a team. They know to seek Jesus. Whether because of me or in SPITE of me....they know that they are loved. Motherhood is a job I've never taken lightly.
In addition, I've always respected not only the father of my children, but his wife as well. I've never wanted my children to be torn. I've always said...there is room enough in their hearts for all of us. And I believe that. Time after time, we can all come together for the needs of our children. We can share meals together. And Senior Nights. And dorm move-ins. Baptisms. All of their special moments. Its about THEM. Always. I'd like to think we have always co-parented well. I say all of that, to let you know my stance on dealing with "exes". All who know me....know that about me. And well.
I just don't get it. I'm trying not to judge....but how can you have children and not raise them? How can you walk away? How can you place greed and selfishness above them and their needs? How can you exhibit such ignorance as to post something so ugly about A) someone you've NEVER met and B) someone who is LOVING YOUR CHILDREN??? Lord, come quickly.
A few facts....for the need of specific prayers.
My David is a lineman. 10 years ago....he had custody of his children when he was called away out of state to work Hurricane Katrina. The children went to stay with their grandmother who became their guardian. While this was before I knew him, a part of me is angry at him for leaving them then. However, the man had to work and provide. So, I'm praying about giving total grace to that decision. He has paid his child support....enough that she hasn't had to work, mind you....and has loved his children very much.
Unfortunately, a single dad who has had to travel for work (home about 2-4 days a month!)....he relied on "Grandma." When I met him, he coached their ball teams, and his life was the boys. His goal has always been to work his way up in the company....out of having to travel.....so that his boys can come live with him.
I will admit. That when I began dating David....being a stepmother to 4 children wasn't in the cards. I even told him as much. I'm aware that makes me appear to be a monster...but, I had survived a messy failed marriage, with not the best relationships with my stepchildren. I had been burned. And hurt. I had my own "stuff". Made my own mistakes in that arena. I'm a "few" years older than David....and little ones were a job! FOUR? were impossible. I was struggling to make ends meet. I then got sick. Cancer took over our world. David stood by me, and even though he could have left, helped me to parent my own two. He shared with me a few months ago, that it was in the very beginning....that he began praying for God to change my heart. To OPEN my heart. He shared that one of the things he admired most about me was the kind of mother I am. He wanted that for his boys.
Know that I have tried to have the utmost respect for the boys' grandmother. She stepped in when David couldn't....and gave them their needs. Where was their mother, you ask? A mystery to me. No judgement. Just facts. Ok....I'm fibbing. Maybe, a little judgment. Again, I'm seeking to understand. My heart isn't ready to offer that grace to her just yet. That's a place where I need prayer. For I'm trying, friends.
When I made the declaration, 5 years ago...."I'll never date a man with children!".....I ate my words a few short weeks ago. We began the process over the last year, for the boys to come and live with us. They were begging and pleading. Every weekend when it came time to take them back....there were tears. We were in a position to have them. It was time. It had also started to become painfully to light...that while the boys were living there, they were simply existing. I remember asking once... what their favorite meals were? Nobody answered. They fended for themselves most of the time. Sandwiches. Cereal.
It has been a TREAT to have a home-cooked meal every night. To have a bed. One informed me that he had been sleeping on the floor. To be loved and have guidance and even discipline. Yes...I think they even love our routines. We have it like a well-oiled machine, my friends. I believe in my heart...that their homelife until now...has been one of survival. Not of nurture. Of love. Of family. My heart is simply broken for these precious children.
After months of getting the change of custody in motion....and lack of cooperation...we had told the boys that it may be a little longer and we would have to take extreme measures. We wanted to be amicable. To do these the right way. Now, I have found myself in a place of having to be an advocate for these children. THE DAY before school started.....the boys were told they were no longer welcome at Grandma's house. She left them a voicemail....kicking them out. A voicemail. To your grandchildren, after a visit to their dad's..."you don't live here anymore." Let that sink in for a second.
PRAISE GOD! Myself, and my village...got them enrolled in school, placed them in football, found them clothes and beds and school supplies and everything they needed to be a part of our family. Our world.
ALL of their information purposely withheld from us....birth certificates, social security cards, Insurance information, shot records.....all of it. And God's angels made it happen. Everything fell into place that day....and our little town brought them in and welcomed them home. Even their former school cooperated....and saw their best interests unfolding. God's arms wrapped around us all....sent so many to help....and brought our boys home.
To date, we have been made aware of the many things that these boys have survived. How food stamp money (If I told you how much...it would tick you off!) wasn't spent on food....but sold for cash. How their dad's child support was spent on everything BUT them....even used to pay for their mother's child support to keep her from going to jail. Outside of the clothes and shoes that WE and David's family bought over the years, their clothes and gifts and everything....hand-me-downs and donations from local churches. That their shots weren't even up to date. We have audio, video and pictures of their living conditions. Holes in the floor. A house that needs to be condemned. Their little hearts were just used. They weren't nurtured. They were simply a source of income. And even TOLD as much. When they were finally allowed to pick up their things....every bit of it fit in a couple of trash bags. They were barely allowed to bring what little they had with them. It's sickening.
SOOOO many things that cause me to question the integrity of those who had surrounded them. As I drove them to school the first day, and drove away in tears...I knew that God had opened my heart...and changed me. I love these boys. I want to save them. Each day, I see the sadness in their eyes slowly disappearing. When they call me in the afternoons to let me know they made it home? They say "I love you." (And they say it first.) When they need something they forgot at school? They call me. When they didn't have a ride to football and didn't know a soul? I was at the school to take them. When they scan the stands....(Just like my Sam used to...) to see if we are there? I get to wave to them. When I turn the corner in the afternoons....and the youngest spots my car...He lights up and waves....SO happy to see....ME.
Please don't misunderstand....I'm not expecting or asking for pats on the back. I'm simply pointing out, that the little things we all take for granted are EVERYTHING to some. I get the joy of being their bonus mom. I may be "nobody" to some. But, I get the honor of being "SOMEBODY" to them.
Not once have they missed their former school. Not once have they asked to visit their former home. The laughter and joy they are now experiencing in our home, makes my heart so full it could almost burst. They are thriving! Making friends. Settling in. Getting good grades. The best part? They are just normal.
The boys' grandmother has yet to sign the papers necessary to cease our payment of child support. She has EVEN tried to have his child support raised in the days since they came to live with us. You read that right. The caseworkers at both DHS and OSCE are both disgusted. David continues to pay her each week. Hundreds of dollars....while waiting for these proceedings to unfold. She continually lets him down....saying one thing while doing another. Lie after lie after lie. It is a struggle. To pay her....and to raise them. But we are making it. Please pray for this specific request. I know that God will protect us all. And that the system will not only work for the betterment of our family....but prevent her from getting away from this much longer. I'm holding tight to the promise of "ya reap what ya sow."
Pray for my heart. For I am so bitter. I am so angry. I just will never understand. It is my job, as a faithful Christian....to extend grace. And, I'm struggling.
In the eyes of the law, I have no rights to my new sons. Which is sad, really. But, I will love them. I will protect them. And I will let them know how precious they are. God has a sense of humor, kinda. Our family isn't perfect....but we are perfect together. These boys have blessed me FAR more than I deserve. And again....I hope to stand before MY Father...and He answer with "Well done, my good and faithful child..." This IS my family. And I worry about them daily. So happy to have them home.
To my new sons.... I'm sorry that those who should NEVER fail you...have. I love you. And I will never fail you. And I will tell you and show you every day for the rest of my life. Welcome home.
And...to them? Maybe. Just maybe...I AM somebody.
"Train up a child in the way he should go,