It’s taken me 2 years to bring myself to write this chapter of our journey. Not because it doesn’t end happily (it totally does) but because I have relive a day saying goodbye before we got to get our forever with our sweet precious Lilah. Get you some Kleenex ready your going to need em! We had just rung in the new year. She was still feeling bad from having the stomach bug since the day after Christmas it was suppose to be a new year of new directions but this year I wish would have never came. 2017 I hated you already and we were just 4 days into it. I HATED 2017 because of what I knew was going to happen in just a few hours. It was the hardest day in my life. It was a day I had dreaded for months. I had held out hope that the truth would prevail, and it just wouldn’t happen but as much as I prayed January 4th came just like it always does. There was nothing absolutely nothing I could do to keep her here and safe. I just didn’t prepare myself enough for the possibility that she would be gone. As I packed all her belongs in boxes to send her off to an unknown future I was feeling every emotion possible. I was mad, I was angry, I was sad I was heartbroken but most of all I felt like I had failed her. She needed me to protect her, but I couldn’t. The time came to load it all up and we tried to make it a fun outing, but she just didn’t understand why all of her stuff was in these boxes. Why was we taking all her things and putting them in the SUV? Here little eyes filled with tears and she said mommy where is my stuff going. Oh, how I fought back the tears. But I said baby you’re going bye bye and she kept saying “are you going too”? Nothing can ever prepare you for that. NOTHING! After handing her a snack and getting her nestled in her car seat. We were off on this journey that was going to change our lives forever! I kept looking back to all those sad faces and I had to choke back the tears, they’re hearts were all broken, there we were taking this little angel who came into our life so unexpected and we were going to have to say goodbye to her. All I could see was how sad all my kids were and there was nothing I could do to take away the pain. So, I did the only thing I knew I could do PRAY! I prayed and begged God to not let this happen. I even thought maybe we could just run away far away and just never look back. A lot of people do it why couldn’t we, we could just never look back and keep driving. Then reality would slap me “Jina you can’t do that, she isn’t yours!” You were just supposed to take care of her until her bio got better but then I would argue with myself about how wrong it was. I literally felt that entire car ride was me fighting good vs evil. But I knew I had to just get through it somehow! So, after a long sad drive we reach the destination and I had to give her a big squeeze hug and tell her that I would love her for the rest of her life and I would pray protection for her. I begged her to not forget me. And they ripped her out of my arms kicking and screaming. A part of me stayed with her that day. I don’t think I ever recovered from that moment. Somewhere I lost a part of me that I knew I would never get back. I gave her as much as I could to hold on to and now all I could do was pray!
For days I couldn’t drag myself to do anything. Either I was in the bed or on the couch. I was so broken everything inside hurt. My heart hurt the most. I watch all my babies mourn the loss of their little sister and try hard to navigate through their feelings of hurt. I watch my husband try to pick up the pieces, but he was only making it because he couldn’t break. He had to hold us all together. I feel like that was the only thing he felt he could do. Save us because he couldn’t save her. I learned to NEVER say to anyone who has ever lost a child “it gets easier” because it doesn’t! It doesn’t get easier you just find different ways to function. We found ways to function and survive without her. But deep down I knew I KNEW it wasn’t over! I knew the God I serve doesn’t leave things in confusion like that. I couldn't shake a feeling of SHE WAS MY CHILD and I wasn’t going to live my life without her. Did I think I had lost it! Yes! I did but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to hear “Jina you have to let her go” I knew God was working things out! I was anger at him for the first month after she was taken. I was anger and didn’t understand but I still felt His love I know that sounds weird, but I could still feel Him holding me getting me to the next day!
On April 30th Eric and I went to an OUTCRY concert with Pastor Steven Furtick, Elevation Worship, Lauren Daigle and Jesus Culture! I was so excited because I went with an expecting. I went looking for truth and healing of my heart! I went to find out if this feeling of her coming home was of Him or was this just myself! During the worship, you could feel the presence of God all in that coliseum! It was like a mist just pouring over everyone in that place. Pastor Furtick took the stage and he began to preach, and he said there is some people in here that have come for answers! Answer to problems Answers to situations and tonight God says if you will worship Him like you have never worshipped Him before you are going to get your answers! Tears fell down my face and I just wept because I knew I had to first become less of me and all about Him! As I began to worship, Elevation Worship began to play Here as in Heaven and Pastor Furtick said God wants me to tell you while your worshiping that Chains are going to break in this place! Worship Him! I went completely into His presence and He said Someone is getting that Job you have been praying for! Someone is getting that healing you have been asking for! SOMEONE’S BABY IS COMING HOME!!!!!
When I heard that I KNEW!!!! I knew she was coming home! So, I started speaking it and yelling it “she is coming home! LILAH is coming home! I left that place feeling like my feet hadn’t touch the floor! I was floating, and I floated that way for next 17 days! 17 days later I got the call to come and pick her up!
She came home and hasn’t ever had to leave! This January 4th is so much different, Happiness fills our home and its a joy that can't be found in just anything! It's a joy found in Hope, Faith, Love and Grace! As we start 2019, we are in our final step (just waiting on our court date to make it all legal)
Our baby girl will celebrate her 5th birthday this year as a LaFary and we cannot thank God enough! He took a situation that was meant to harm and turned it into a beautiful thing! 2017 and 2018 my word for the year was Restoration. For 2019 our word is JOY! Only God can give you the Joy that allows you to rest in HIM!
May the Joy of the Lord be your strength in all situations!