Journal Entry: January 17, 2018
I love mornings like this. Gray skies, powdery snow gently falling, the world clothed in a blanket of white. It’s calm and so peaceful. My absolute favorite is if it lasts all day long- just gray skies and snow. When the snow stops, it’s not as cozy. And when it clears off and the sun starts peeking out, the magical snow day is gone. So for now, I’ll sit and soak in the snowy morning. The weather forecast is saying it will stop soon and the sun will eventually shine. But right now, I sit.
An hour later, I was on my way to work. We had just finished cleaning the first house of the day, and I checked my phone to make sure the next client hadn’t messaged me. Noticing the notification indicated a new email, I scrolled down and my heart slammed against my chest- “Commonwealth Decision Received”.
This was it! This was the news we had been waiting on for almost a year! I knew the timing wasn’t very good, but there was no way I could let that email go. I opened it and eagerly started reading… “I am pleased to let you know…Commonwealth Court has REVERSED the lower court’s decision…will be removed from ChildLine registry…” Wait, WHAT?!!!!
The rest of the day was a little blurry. 🙂 I remember telling my coworker and she squealed and hugged me as I frantically got in touch with Jay. Neither of us could quite believe the news and both of us admitted later we didn’t focus very well on our work.
And oh, the fun of telling family and friends! For so long, when we had big news, it was news that wasn’t good. And while the support and prayers lifted up for us after disappointing news is amazing, there is nothing quite like having others rejoice in good news. My hands were shaking as I dialed number after number, and then laughed as I shocked them all. I walked in circles in the living room when I got home, alternating between laughing and crying and praising God. When we prayed that evening, I had to pause before I routinely asked for vindication- it was second nature.
It is only now sinking in. We are done. Done with the legal process, done with appeals, done with the heavy burden of false accusation on our shoulders. We are really and truly done!
It’s been over three years since our foster son was taken from our home and an investigation opened. Two months later, we were both indicated. It’s been almost two years since court day, where a judge heard our appeal and months later cleared my name, but not Jay’s. And this spring would be one year since we started the appeal in the next court system.
We were both surrendered to the idea that this might be our life. When you’re stuck in a waiting season for years, it becomes your identity. It’s hard to see how things could be any different.
But now, that’s no longer who we are. In just a moment, our lives changed- in a good way. It’s awesome, and it’s the best news we’ve heard in a very, very long time.
The future is wide open, which is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. What now? Who are we?
Both records will now be expunged, which means it’s like it never even happened. But, it did. And it changed us. Mostly for the good, but we are different people than we were three years ago. There’s fear to battle, and emotions to work through.
So, as we rejoice and thank God for working this miracle, we also sit back. We’re in no hurry to make plans for the future. We would be able to foster or adopt, but in all honesty- that’s not even on our radar. All we know is that God is holding our future and we can rest in that.
Thank you to each one of you who supported us and prayed for us. This experience has opened our eyes to the power of prayer and encouragement from others. There were so many dark moments that were brightened by cards, messages, gifts, etc. We can never repay all the kindness shown to us.
Most of all, we are in awe of the way God has worked and moved in our lives. He is faithful, and He is good!
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all- oh, how well I remember- the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope. God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great is Your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God ( I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. Lamentations 3: 19-24 MSG