Friday, June 18, 2010

Empty Nest Syndrome


I have been so emotionally weary these last few days as I try to wrap my brain around what our summer will be like without Hannah Banana, Mark, and Samantha here in our home. Their mom came to pick them up a few days ago and they are now in a state far far away where they will spend the summer with her. I really feel like I am suffering from empty nest syndrome and every where I look and every thing I do seems to remind me that they won’t be back for a long time. Sammy has already been asking when Hannah is coming to our house again as he says “I want her mommy”, awww! I do too baby! This is going to be especially hard on him as they are so very close.

To make a long story short, Hannah and her 3 siblings came to Gainesville to live with their grandma and grandpa after living in a few foster homes. Hannah was I think 2 when they all arrived here. Their grandma said it was hard at first because they had been split up so they had to learn to all live together again. They have lived here with their grandma ever since. Sadly their grandpa passed away this winter so it has been especially hard on their grandma to care for them since then. The kids’ mom wants full custody of all 4 children again and so they have gone to spend the summer with her as a first step.

Please pray for all involved as they are getting to know their mommy. Hannah didn’t have much recollection of her other than when she came to visit for a few days last year and phone calls.  Please pray that this will be a summer of wonderful memories for the kids and that a firm foundation will be laid in their relationship with their mom and her boyfriend. Pray for those two specifically that they will have wisdom and patience and take great care of the kids as they adjust to going from their one child to 4 kids over night. Pray that Mark, Samantha, and Hannah will have a great time and develop a strong attachment and trusting relationships with them as well and that some pieces of their hearts will heal. Pray that they will also have a great time with their new baby sister and get to love on her and make up for lost time. I think this summer is a critical building block for them to develop a strong foundation if they are to ever live full time with their mom in the future.

Please also pray that they will have some special quality time with their dad. He lives a few hours away from where the kids are staying with their mom. Sam and I have been in contact with him a lot of the years and think he is a great stand up guy and Hannah and all the kids love him to pieces. He has made many changes in his life, the biggest being that he became a Christian while in prison. He truly wants to be in their lives each day and I have no doubt that he will as soon as he possibly can. Hannah wants to spend time with him this summer more than anything. It was all she was talking about on that last day with her. In fact, we gave her $$ so that she can treat him to a special trip to McDonalds, just the two of them. Please pray that this trip can happen, it would literally mean the world to her.

Those of you who know the family may have noticed that I didn’t include Krista. Unfortunately Krista had to stay here since she is sick and the doctors said she can not travel.  Krista is the oldest of the 4 has had no energy for a while. After a recent visit to the ER they found a lump and she was sent to the Shands radiology unit where they ran some more tests and confirmed that she has a suspicious mass. We are waiting now for her to have a biopsy (will be in two weeks) so please pray for this to not be anything serious and for her to be restored to perfect health. She is only 12 years old so naturally it is scary for her to go through all of the testing.

Lastly, please pray for us. It was heart breaking to say our goodbyes and it has just torn me up. I feel just sick inside and it has only been a few days. Hannah thankfully has called us a few times so talking to her helps but I honestly can’t imagine what life around here will be like without a house full of 5 kids each weekend! Especially without our Hannah Banana. She is a huge part of us and it honestly feels like my heart is in that truck way across the states at this very moment.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that God knows what He is doing in their lives. His timing is best. He knows what is best for these kids AND what is best for their parents. We have prayed for so many years that He would direct their futures and hold each of them in the palm of His hands so I am trusting him completely with the entire situation.

I Peter 1:6-7 says this :

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Ultimately, God is in control of it all and all I can do is have faith that He is working it all out so that they can have the brightest futures. I have to trust Him with them, it is all I can do. I know he is capable of doing exceedingly more than I ever could dream up for these kids and He loves them more than Sam and I ever could. He will come through for them and I don’t have to figure it all out, thankfully.  Thank you for praying with our family on this! We love these kiddos more than I can say.