January 28, 2009
Friday Buddy was scheduled to move. In the days before hand I had been struggling to find the right words to pray, the right hopes to hope for, I guess just struggling to know if it was ok for me to want him.
I was laying in bed one night and started talking to Ben about it. I have tried to keep my hopes for Buddy to myself because I get scared people are going to look at my hopes and judge me for them. Assume that I get attached way to quickly and that I am not cut out for the foster world. The funny thing is that is my biggest fear. Regardless, I finally opened up to Ben about my struggle to know what and how to pray. I told him I felt like I couldn’t ask for Buddy, I never really ask God for anything. Often the only thing I can bring myself to do it pray for God’s will to be done and I leave it there.
Ben then told me something that had never occurred to me. He said that when we pray we are really talking to Jesus, who then goes before the Father and brings him our cares and prayers. Ben then went on to say, “Do you think God ever wants to tell His son no?” and that was so eye opening to me because anyone who has a child knows the answer is no. We all always want to give our kids what will make them happy.
That night was the first time I was able to tell Jesus that I wanted Buddy. That is if God saw fit to put him in our family that I would be a good mom to him and we would love him like our own.
God then laid upon my heart to write the most uncomfortable letter I have ever written. He told me to write a letter to the lady who Buddy was going to live with. I included some pictures of Ben, I & Kobe in an envelope with this letter:
My name is Leah Wentzel. I have been married to my husband Ben for close to 8 years now. We have a beautiful son named Kobe who will turn 7 in May. We are a wonderfully normal family with a wonderfully normal life. My husband goes to work 5, sometimes 6 days a week and I work from home part time so I can be Mom 24/7 to our son.
In May of last year, right before our son turned 6, Ben and I sat down and talked about how we wanted to add more kids to our family. I am not a fan of being pregnant and have never felt the need to get pregnant since giving birth to our son, but I have always wanted more kids. Ever since our son was over one year old the thought of adoption has popped in and out of our lives but the timing wasn’t right to pursue anything.
Then, in May of 2008 we got serious and decided to adopt. We didn’t know how we wanted to go about it, but we decided that is what we were going to do.
Over the next month I looked into all the avenues of adoption and eliminated foreign adoption and even regular domestic adoption in the form of being a name on a list with 100’s of other names waiting for a birth parent to choose us. There are so many couples that can’t get pregnant on their own waiting for a birth mom to choose them; I didn’t see a need there that I could fill.
Then I saw Sherry with Buddy at church, and I knew that the right thing for us was to adopt through foster care. The idea was so scary and exciting, but we decided that there were kids that needed a wonderfully normal family to love them, even if it was just for a short time. So, we have done the classes, completed the paper work and will do our home study very soon. We are excited to complete our license and hopefully adopt through foster care as well as maybe help some other kids along the way.
About a month ago I found out that Sherry & her husband had officially decided not to adopt Buddy. I cried, I cried for Buddy, I cried for Sherry. My heart just sunk because Buddy has called Sherry “Mom” for months now, and it isn’t fair for a three year old to have to go through all this.
I am so thankful that Buddy has someone like you to take care of him. He knows you and I can tell from the little bit I know about you that you love him. To be willing to give him a home is such a wonderful gift and I am so glad that he has you.
Now, after all that, I want to tell you my reason for writing this letter. When I heard that Sherry wouldn’t be able to adopt Buddy, my heart sunk, but I also had other thoughts go through my head. I knew if the option came up, my husband and I would happily take Buddy and add him to our family, permanently. When I look at Buddy he makes me smile. He is the first child that I have ever looked at and thought that he is as beautiful as my own son. I know that I could be a good Mom to Buddy, I know we could give him a wonderfully normal life with a Mom & a Dad and an older brother – and hopefully younger siblings too some day. I am just saying this to let you know that if you would rather be a Grandmother figure to him than a Mom we would happily become Buddy’s family. If something changes and you can’t care for him, Buddy will always have a place in our home, no matter what, no matter how much time passes; he will always have a place with us. He is amazing, I know you know that because you love him enough to care for him and I think that is amazing. So, regardless of what happens I want you to know how thankful I am that he has you. I just wanted you to know my heart, so now you do.
If anything changes, if you ever need anything, even just a babysitter, my phone number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
Thanks for reading a letter from a stranger.
So, Friday I typed up this letter, went and got some pictures printed off and went over to Sherry’s house to give it to her and ask her to give it to the lady who was taking Buddy.
I went up to the door and no one was home. I went to my car to write a note on the envelope and leave the letter there when I heard a honk. It was Sherry in her big white van with Buddy in the back seat. God’s timing is amazing.
Sherry got out of the car and hugged me, thanked me for being there, and asked me to go out with her and Buddy for their “special lunch”. I gave her the letter to give the lady and we went out to McDonalds. It was hilarious to watch Buddy and his little 3 year old self. When an adult walks into McDonalds we see…well, something we have probably seem 100 times. A 3 year old sees colors and food and play places and just the sheer fact that it is different than home gets them all excited. Sherry ordered his food and we went and sat down. Buddy, took off his coat somehow by flinging and flailing around in the typical excited 3 year old way. He hopped up in the seat and Sherry asked him to pray. He folded his little hands and said 3 lines of jibberish that had me laughing by the time he was done. I had to have Sherry interpret the prayer for me. It was so funny. As we sat there Buddy ate and Sherry & I chatted about this and that. Then someone did something and Buddy said “Dee Choo”. For those of you who don’t know what that could possibly mean that was a “thank you” exactly the way Kobe said it when he was little. Funny how the tiniest words can make you want to cry and run out the door all at the same time. I cannot tell you how in that moment I wanted to scoop him up and take him HOME, to our home. I felt like screaming, “See! He’s mine, only my child would say that!” Oh it hurt and was beautiful all at the same time. I haven’t heard those little sounds come from a little mouth in so long, If I wasn’t head over heels in love before I was now.
Regardless of my “moment” I was having, time marched on and it was time to take him in the play place. He ran through the tunnels a few times stopping to ask Sherry to “take a picture of me” followed up with “let me see it”. There were no other kids in the play place so I went through it once with him to make him laugh, which he did. I could tell that gave Sherry permission to act like a kid as well and she hopped in there with him too. Finally, it was time to go, we hopped into the car and went back to Sherry’s house. I had to leave to pick up Kobe from school so I said I quick good bye and left.
That night the lady came to get Buddy. She stayed for dinner and she and Sherry talked about Buddy coming over to visit Sherry after he was settled in and also about Sherry babysitting him if it was needed. I guess there was a few things that were talked about during dinner that bothered Sherry, about who would be coming and going at the house Buddy was going to.
I saw Sherry on Saturday, she is basically walking around like a shell of her normal self. She loves that little boy so much. She has said a couple times that she doesn’t see where God is in all of this, I am confident we will see, we just haven’t yet. She said she read the letter I wrote and was glad I wrote it.