A Butterfly Affect

Being a teacher for the mPact Rainbows does a lot of things for me. For one it teaches me how to be patient. Two, it teaches me to loosen up. But, most of all, it teaches me the same lessons as I teach them every week. And this week, I’ve been convicted.

I’ve talked about the visitations for my little one a few times now. I’ve shared excitement and dread. I’ve shared my fears and heartache about the situation. Well, there is a new feeling that has surfaced: anger. 

The other week BM gave our little guy a toy and clothes. And please, before you judge, yes I do want her to be able to provide gifts to her son. As much as I’m not for the reunification plan the state has in place I am still for the reunification plan by sheer obligation. So, gifts are welcomed. Until I jump in the car and get an asthma attack on the way home because the outfit and toy is drenched in cigarette smoke. There are two things that cause me to have asthma attacks, bloody cigarette smoke is the biggest one. After I could control my attack I was immediately angry. I didn’t bother going to baby’s SW because I’ve not ever received a response from her. Didn’t bother going to the SW’s supervisor because he had yet to figure out an issue that has been ongoing since January. I took it above him and raised holy hell – politely (I hope).

Since that week I’ve held a grudge. I’ve recited words to BM in my head, “You want your baby but you bring smoke around our boy fully knowing of his health concerns!?” Or, “Some nurse you are, you don’t even know how to console his coughing spells.” I’ve been cruel and dark and a two-faced Christian. I’ve steered clear of those kinds of Christians – you know the ones claiming to love God but choose to be cruel and judgmental. And yet, I’ve been one of them this entire week.

This month in our Rainbows class the lesson is the Butterfly. The butterfly that grows from something plain to something so beautiful. The Butterfly lesson revolves around how when we are wrong and angry (the worm) we don’t match up to the potential that God knows we can be. As we learn to love and forgive we grow into the butterfly, so beautiful that people stop to watch it flutter by. As I taught my young charges about forgiveness I realized I was the worm. I was near tears in class knowing that mere hours before I sat next to these kids I was so full of indignation and contempt. How could I teach them to forgive even when I myself couldn’t?

The fostering process has been such a foreign thing to both Jeremy and I. I’d say about 90% of the time we have no clue what we are doing. All we know is that we were put in charge to love and care for our little guy. However, as evidenced in the last week, there comes a range of emotions while we tread international waters. But, no matter how unsteady this process is I don’t have room to be a hypocrite. And this last week that is what I have been. I hate it.

I pride myself for being loving and nonjudgmental. I’d like to think I have a pretty decent size heart. And I shouldn’t pick and choose who I make room for. God didn’t. Jesus walked next to prostitutes, liars and cheats. He gave them grace and love. And here I stand screaming inside because I want to find reasons why sending baby home won’t work. *sigh*

And that’s the crux of things. I don’t want to send baby home and yet I am required to morph into a butterfly. Lord, sometimes what You ask of me seems more than I have the strength to do. xoxo


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