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For those who have checked in on me following court, thanks for caring.

In a strange twist, I have actually NOT felt like writing in any shape or form following court last week. It’s very different to want to hide inside a shell and not let anyone in — but that is exactly how I’ve been feeling.

In spite of that, I’ve decided write a quick update. Maybe because I’m emotionally drained reliving my court experience over and over again for those who have asked. (I don’t mind that you asked, by the way. I appreciate the concern. I’m just feeling drained.)

So for those who don’t know . . .The plan is for Z to go home.

At court, the biggest cause of concern for me was that, for whatever reason (and I hope it was a good one), our social worker did not come to court. The difficulty I had with this is that Baby Z is entirely dependent legally on people speaking up for him. The right people need to say the right things. I was quite concerned that the fill-in social worker would not do an adequate job, but she is someone I knew from Youth for Christ and she did well enough.

That however, did not help the state of my twisted-in-knots stomach for the hour in which we had to sit through others’ cases, not knowing why our social worker was not there, or who would fill in for him. My prayer that God would be Z’s voice and judge was even that much more urgent.

My parents and Ryan came to court. It was nice not to be alone.

At the judge’s bench, bio mom asked if I was ok. Truthfully, I had just gotten over a flu, my stomach was empty and twisted, and the only thing running through my brain is “try not to cry. try not to cry. try not to cry.”

(You should know that promptly after court my mantra failed me inextricably.)

I answered bio mom with a shrug of my shoulders. I didn’t feel up for talking, though I did appreciate her show of concern.

In a nutshell, that was court.

I don’t feel comfortable with the permanency plan, and I am making my reservations known in the appropriate ways. But foster parents really don’t have much of a voice. I’m a tool the state uses to rehabilitate families.

As Deanna, Leyla’s first foster mom says, the system is broken, and we as Christians get involved to bring as much light and as much Jesus as we can to it. Even still, the system is not perfect, and feeling voiceless is not easy.

At this point, we don’t know the timeline for going home. But we are hoping to at least have him through the summer.

Here is where our little family could use support as we move forward.

For those of you who have been following along with our story, you know that Ryan and I just spent a year preventing pregnancy and trying to heal emotionally from our recurrent losses/infertility. Truth be told, the idea of handing Baby Z back is really bringing back some struggles and grief for me to that end. Pregnancy announcements are hard again. Triggers (while not yet as painful as they might be) are multiplying. I am trying to picture a life without Z in it, and it is very hard to imagine.

Please pray for Z as he has no words to voice his opinion on the matter. As he works through the hard feelings of leaving our home and going to a new home, pray that God would comfort him. A lot. Because I won’t be there to help him through it.

Pray for safety for Z — from hurtful people, from any abuse or neglect, from dangerous situations. Just pray a hedge of protection around him.

Please pray that if it’s in Z’s best interest, our family will still be allowed to visit Z or have some sort of relationship with him after he moves home. This will be entirely dependent on if bio mom WANTS us around. Pray for me as I work to have some sort of relationship with mom. As we balance the back and forth of parenting the same kid.

Pray for Madelyn and Leyla’s hearts as they say good-bye to their brother. Pray for our extended family as they say goodbye to their grandson, nephew and cousin.

Pray that God just never lets go of that baby’s heart. Just keep praying for God to chase him all through the years, through childhood and the teen years and as a young adult and on — that God would never let go. And that Z would find God and have a relationship with him.

And pray for me please. Some days I’m doing really well. And when when you ask how I am, and I say good, then I usually mean it. Besides this going home deal, life is actually pretty good. I’m thankful for my family I have, and my business that is going really well. And then there are days like today that are just harder, for no real reason. It just kinda hits. I long to do grief differently this time. To make it through the other side without losing my business momentum, or happiness, or the balance in my heart I have worked so hard to create. So pray for protection for me too.

And I suppose it needs to be said that bio mom could use your prayers too. Having her children come home will be quite an adjustment, and she could use all the help she can get.

Love you all,

Rachel