Coconut’s parents lost their parental rights today, and I have not the slightest of sympathetic feelings over it……..not even a twinge. Whatever sympathy I had for the parents who biologically produced our beautiful boy, went out the window as the pictures of his abuse were passed around in court this morning. After two long years, Coconut’s case has finally moved in the direction of adoption, and we are that much closer to keeping him forever.
Make no mistake, for a year I did feel for the parents. I prayed that they would show some sort of remorse, a feeling of regret, something that proved that their love for him would overshadow what they had done. Surely, they would move mountains to get their child back, letting nothing keep them from making restitution so that they could regain the privilege of raising him. When that didn’t happen, I simply wished that they would ASK about Coconut’s well-being, but that never came either. Instead, I was treated to an all-consuming selfishness from the mother, as she told me of all her troubles and hurdles, without any mention about missing her precious son. The father didn’t seem to care about anything, but seeing as he is in jail, I have never actually spoken to him…..and for that I am actually grateful, as I am not sure I would have been able to withstand a conversation with someone who is capable of doing so much physical and emotional damage to such a tiny child. A year and a half into this case, I finally realized that whatever tie they might have had with Coconut in the past, had most definitely been severed.
One by one, the relatives dropped off in that first year as well. This past fall, everyone slowly stopped showing up for court. In the end, there was only the father standing, who has to be there as he is transported over from the jail……all other family members, his mother included, didn’t even bother with an apprearance. I wept for that. Coconut has been abandoned by all who were supposed to love him the most.
My mother was in attendance……the same woman who never even wanted Dave and I to participate in foster care. The same woman who said she just couldn’t get close to these kids and risk her heart if we lost them…..yet, there she was today, representing a child who stole that heart within the first few weeks of his arrival into our lives. As a matter of fact, all of the people who Dave and I are blessed to have in our lives, have not only embraced our foster care ministry, but have prayed to our heavenly Father on these children’s behalf. They have taken the time to make a difference in their lives, in the name of the One who sacrificed all for us. It is humbling and appreciated.
So, as of today, Coconut is an orphan no longer. Dave and I have become his parents (not yet legally, but prayerfully soon). Our children have become his siblings. Our family has become his family. Our friends have become his friends. Our church has become his church……and all of that is a beautiful thing. Yet, that is not the best part…….Praise God, as our Lord and Savior has become his Lord and Savior! When we kissed all of our kids goodbye this morning, including my two nephews who spend their summer days with us, I asked the four oldest ones to be in constant prayer while we were in court. When I got to Coconut, I could barely choke out the word ‘goodbye’, but he asks me while throwing his arms around my neck, “I pray to God too Mama?” With the tears streaming, I look into his golden brown eyes and whisper, “You pray too baby”.
God heard that tiny prayer today, along with all of those who have taken his case into their hearts, and we couldn’t be more grateful. I pray for Coconut’s biological parents continually, in hopes that they will submit their lives to Our Father, but for today I will simply rejoice in this victory. Today, I will weep those sweet tears of relief.