2.06.2009

Twins Birthday




Today is the 3rd birthday of Alex and Avery - twins who changed our lives forever.

The boys came to us early last spring at two years old.  We had two hours from the time the social worker called to the time they appeared in our driveway. We spent that time rushing to Walmart to grab some clothes, pj's, and bath items. We literally only had a few children's books and 2 stuffed bunny rabbits when we got the call. They slept together in our guest bed for 2 weeks until we could get toddler cribs. They came with nothing but the clothes on their back (and those had to be thrown away because no matter how many times I washed them they still stunk!). They were filthy, bruised, tired, hungry, and scared.
  The first week was unbelievably emotional and stressful as we got used to each other. But, by the end of a month it was as if they had always been with us - they had become our sons in every sense of the word. We learned their adorable 2 yr. old vocabulary and they learned that we would feed them every day, sing to them every night, pray at meals, and snuggle them constantly. They were happy, filled out, and tanned from tons of "fun in the sun". There were no more dark circles under their eyes, they had clean clothes, and most importantly - no more bruises!  The loved to hold hands to pray before meals, they could sing the ABC's along with us, and they loved to sing "I've got the love of Jesus down in my heart." They brought us so much joy and filled a place in our lives that had been missing.
  Then, one summer day, a phone call came that informed us that the boys were going to be returned to their biological parents and we had just 3 hours to be ready to say goodbye. We knew that once they left we would never be allowed to see them, so this day was an extremely difficult day to say the least. We took them to the park and pushed them on the swings. We had their favorite french toast breakfast that morning. We read stories, and had lots of snuggle time. During their small nap John and I tearfully packed up their clothes, toys, and books that would go with them. We kept a few things for ourselves as a reminder -- (later I would go into their closet and get them out and cry for bit. I needed the release to work through my grief.)
   Then the Van from social services pulled up and it was time to say goodbye. We tried to explain to them, but at 2 years old they just couldn't understand. We cried and told them how much we loved them as we buckled them into their car seats. Then an amazing thing happened... Avery looked at us and said, "It's OK - Jesus with me when I go bye-bye in car." They drove off as we cried in our front yard, watching until they disappeared from view.  
  The place in our hearts they had filled with joy was now taken up with pain and grief. But, as we reflect on Avery's words that last day, we know that we are also filled with hope. We may never see our boys again on earth, but they know the name of Jesus - and we have abundant hope that we will see them again in heaven. In heaven God wipes away every tear from our eyes and there will be no goodbyes... until then - Happy Birthday Alex and Avery - we'll love you forever...

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"
Matthew 19:14

8 comments:

Michael Edwards said...

Lauren, I got sort of choked up reading your blog about Alex and Avery, but thanks for sharing it. I don't know how you and your husband did that. But what a beautiful reminder (out of the mouths of babes) that the Lord goes with us no matter how difficult the circumstances. Bless you, and congratulations to your husband on getting into Regent University!

Lauren said...

Thank you Michael - it was definitely hard, but God always has a plan. I'm just thankful He wanted to use us in this way. Our God is Good! :)

Carla said...

Oh boy that was a hard read. Its so hard to say goodbye...especially with such short notice and with such uncertain circumstances. You will always be a part of their story a part of who they are.
We are caring for our fifth foster baby right now. We've said goodbye to four already (ranging in age from infant to 3 years) and each one has taken a piece of my heart with them...I think its looking like a piece of swiss cheese sometimes. God Bless you for loving with out limits...even when it hurts!

Faith Imagined said...

Oh! This just beaks my heart! I can't imagine how hard that was for you! But I know showing the love of Christ to the boys will impact their entire future for the better.

Stephanie said...

I was referred to your post by Jennie Allen. We are about to become foster parents...just waiting for a call. We have been so focused on what we'll do when we get them, that we have hardly considered how hard it will be when/if they leave. God Bless you for your service to them and your encouragement to us!

Stephanie said...

I was referred to your post by Jennie Allen. We are about to become foster parents...just waiting for a call. We have been so focused on what we'll do when we get them, that we have hardly considered how hard it will be when/if they leave. God Bless you for your service to them and your encouragement to us!

Christy said...

My girlfriend, Jennie Allen, sent me your link to this particular post. I cried as I read it. My husband and I are getting certified to become foster parents. I'm both overwhelmed by reading this and excited! May the Lord bless you and your husband and these precious boys!

MamaMimi said...

Oh Lauren...I am so heartbroken to read this. And yet so thankful. So thankful that they had YOU to show you the light of Jesus in such a dreary situation. Hopefully something they will hold dear in their hearts for the rest of their lives - no matter what trials they face. So thankful you let God use you in this way.