The Hardest No

I said no to becoming a forever home for a little girl whom I love.
I said no over and over again- and it took every bit of strength inside of me.

Early in our journey an older lady asked me if I planned to adopt Nugget. When I told her no, her immediate response was “yeah, sometimes that attachment just doesn’t happen and she’s just not the ‘right kid’ for you.” I was taken back by her response because of how incredibly wrong she was. Attachment HAD happened, and attachment had absolutely nothing to do with choosing forever.

Nugget’s journey in foster care is still continuing, her future is still uncertain- but it is time to find her a home with the potential for forever. When I started this journey, I actively chose to live the bigger story for my life. Now, I am actively choosing to let Nugget live her bigger story as well. As much as I longed for her to be mine forever, when I quieted my mind, I kept hearing my heart say that the bigger story for Nugget’s life included me saying no. I don’t say this in a way that I think I couldn’t fulfill her needs, or be a wonderful mother to her, but I know in the depth of my heart that her bigger story is going to continue outside of my home. I am saying no through the painful, hopeful, trusting tears. I’m standing strong through the hardest no, knowing her story is bigger than me.

I didn’t realize the amount of guilt & selfishness that I could feel by saying no. I felt like the worst of people. I fought myself to come up with substantial reasons to say no. “I’m not married.” “My resources are stretched thin.” “I don’t know if I’ll ever move out of state.” There were a million excuses I could have said, but they weren’t true, because each of those could have eventually been overcome. What I had to accept in my heart, is that I’m not saying no because of the excuses, I’m saying no because I’m not ready to choose forever yet- and that in itself is enough. Accepting this didn’t make the guilt and selfishness disappear, but it gave me the confidence I needed to push forward with advocating to find her a forever home.

I prayed and pleaded for God to find her a good home. I cried in fear of her not having everything she deserved once she left me. I cringed at the thought of someone else seeing her as a behavior problem instead of a precious child who needs extra love, patience and nurturing. I prayed for a family who could discipline without yelling. A family without many other children who could devote their attention to her. I prayed for a home close to her school with lot’s of flowers and trees. I prayed she be an answer to that family’s prayers as much as they were to ours. And just to tack on one extra little prayer, I prayed that if it wasn’t too much to ask, that she have a dog.. or at least a cat.

In my uncertainty my prayers were answered- I was fighting a battle that had already been won. Every single one of our prayers were answered in bigger ways than I could have ever imagined.

This weekend, nugget is moving in with her new foster parents whom she’s loved since the day she met them. They have flowed effortlessly into a new normal over the last few weeks of transition. They think she is precious beyond words, and their kindness to her brings comfort to everyone around. They are patient and nurturing. Their home is surrounded by flowers and trees, and is within a mile of her school. To top it off, they have a dog AND a cat, whom Nugget has already claimed as her own. Even more, the biggest prayer that has been answered, is that Nugget is an answer to their prayers too.

I have loved watching nugget flourish in my home. I’m so proud of the resilience and kindness she has learned in the last 13 months. I am amazed that I barely recognize her as the same frail little girl that first walked into my home- but I can’t wait to see how much she can grow in her new home.  I can’t wait to see how her journey continues, and I pray everyday for her to keep walking out her bigger story for her life.

Stay sweet

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