It was February 2013 when Jason came upstairs into the mom’s group at church and asked me to speak to him in the hall. I knew the call had come. Sure enough our social worker had called Jason to tell him that there was a little 19 month old girl that needed a forever home. She was currently with family friends, but now that it appeared to be an adoption case, they wanted to find her a good permanent home. Our social worker emailed me a few pictures and I melted into this baby’s huge and beautiful brown eyes.
After some prayer, discussion, and meeting with mentors we decided to meet the baby to see if we all clicked. Before I knew it we were driving out to meet her.
We met her and fell, fell hard. The most adorable little girl ever. Weiland was only 9 most older than her so we were signing on for Irish Twins, but I didn’t care! I was so excited to bring this little girl home. I was excited for Jason to have a daughter and Weiland to have a play buddy.
On March 3rd, Bellamy Mercedes moved in with us.
The next 7 months were by far the hardest months of my life. There was continuation after continuation of court hearings for her birth mom’s pending termination of services. This was difficult because we were told that the decision for her to legally move into the adoption phase would supposedly take place 2 weeks after she moved in. In the meantime I had to drive her to visit her birth mom twice a week 80 miles round trip. I would drop her off at the sketchiest CPS office in a sketchy part of town and then take Weiland to Starbucks for an hour while we waited.
The mental and emotional toll became so unbearable that I decided that I needed some help. I got some anti depressants, cleared my plate of anything that I did not absolutely have to do, and asked Jason to do the visit transportation. The depth of pain was excruciating.
As the October 1st court hearing drew nearer, my anxiety level heightened. Panic attacks were frequent. There was not a candy bar or size of french fry serving that would take away the deep ache.
At the hearing the judge did a 180 and decided to give Bellamy back to her mom. We had 24 hours to pack up her stuff and have her ready for the social worker to take her “home”. I remember those 24 hours like they were yesterday. My life was forever changed October 2nd, 2013. This level of pain could only be touched, healed, and comforted by a BIG and capable God.
I am forever thankful to my sister, Jamie, who drove out to be with me that day. She went through the house and bagged up anything and everything pink so that I wouldn’t have to. Such a gift from Jesus to have her there with me.
We went on one last family walk that morning, gave her a bath and as I brushed her hair, I prayed over her and sang, “Jesus loves Me” through tears. At 1:00 the worker knocked on our door, we loaded his car down, and said our good byes. I remember Bella wiping my tears telling me in her little words not to cry because she was going to have fun. She thought she was going on a visit so she didn’t understand the magnitude of never seeing us again.
Jason and I watched the white county car drive away and then lost it in each others arms. Thankfully Weiland was with his 64 year old BFF, Chrissy so he didn’t have to experience the horrible, horrible moment. I remember being bent over the toilet throwing up and sobbing all at the same time. To date, the worst day of my life.
I miss my little brown eyed girl everyday. I pray for her and think of her all of the time. I feel sad for how abrupt it all was for her, but we were at the mercy of the courts. It was a solid year before Weiland quit asking for Bella. The confusion and hurt that he endured killed me. No 3 year old should ever feel that kind of pain.
Her mom did what she needed to do to get her baby back. She loves her little girl so much and for that I am so grateful. I know that she is with a mom that did everything in her power to get her baby girl back. Never missed a visit even though it was hours on a bus each way, never showed up without snacks or toys, did every class and training, and stayed consistent. Very sweet, just young girl that had to learn a hard lesson.
Last I heard Bella is doing great, going to a good preschool, playing t-ball, and a big sister to 2 little sisters. Friends sent us a picture of her and she honestly looked so happy. It was a relief to my heart to see her look so great.
I am still processing it all. What we did right and what we could have done better. I am so grateful to Jesus for the people he placed in my life to help carry me. His healing hands that were constantly wrapped around me. He is good. He can be trusted. He is hope. He is strength. I am living proof!
One thing I know is that I will always pray for God to put people in her life that will teach her what it is to know, love, and follow Him.
I love you my bella-boo!
Photo Cred: Katie McGihon Photography