The Hardest Day

Just a couple weeks later, on Monday, February 22, of 2010 we received a call from Timothy's social worker that we had a court date on Wednesday. With no other details, we were unsure what to make of it. The next day, he called back to let us know a grandparent had come forward and said they might want Timothy. As far as the foster care system is concerned, a placement with a family member is success. As far as we were concerned, well, you can imagine. We were scared, hurt, worried for Timothy....why did it take this grandparent five months to decide they wanted him? So many fears flooded our mind, but we decided to not panic and see what they said at court the next day. Then, Wednesday morning, at 7:30am, as we were about to leave for work, my phone rang. It was our social worker calling to make sure we knew that the point of court that afternoon was to move Timothy from care to the paternal grandparents. A lump swelled in my throat as the image of Timothy fighting to not go on the visits filled my mind and now he was being sent to live with this man's parents. The cabinet had looked into the grandparents and, although their own children had been removed to foster care years before, approved them to take Timothy. Even typing this, my breath catches and my heart skips a beat. I thanked her then hung up and, Scott knowing something was majorly wrong, grabbed me before I fell to the floor in a heap of tears. Being the strong, thoughtful man he is, he stepped into action deciding first that we would take separate cars to work so he could leave and go to court and I would go get Timothy after work. While on the drive, he would call Timothy's GAL (the child's court appointed attorney) to inform him of the situation, fill him in on Timothy's behavior on visit weekends and plead for him to take action on Timothy's behalf, and I would call my Gram, who lives with us, and the rest of our family to let them know what was happening.

I had Timothy with me, so when I dropped him at the daycare with a tear streaked face and trembling knees, Ms. Callie put her arms around me and let me sob. Everyone we knew was in love with Timothy....our families, our friends, our church, our coworkers, our players, and Ms. Callie....she said she would gather his things for me to pick up that afternoon. Timothy, completely unaware of what was happening, hugged me and blew his sugar like he did every morning on his way down the hall to his room. A smile on his face and joy in his heart. The rest of my drive in to work was a combined pleading prayer that God would not let this happen and uncontrollable tears as I let those closest to us know that this would most likely be his last day with us.

I went straight to the assistant principals office when I got to work to let her know what was going on. Still unable to stop crying, she 'made' me go home. She insisted the only right thing to do would be to go get Timothy and be with him that day. I left her office so appreciative of the support we had received from so many people during this five months. I let Scott know what I was doing, we hugged hard, prayed harder, and I left to get Timothy and go home. As we played and snacked and played some more I willed time to stop. I focused on every move he made, how much he had grown and changed. The things he had learned in only five months. Just five months, but it felt like he'd always been there. My Gram came to see him, but only for a moment and she refused to say goodbye. I realized this wasn't just our hearts that were breaking.

From the first night we had Timothy I had a song I sang to him every night called Find Your Wings, by Mark Harris. At nap that day I sang these lyrics over and over as he slept, unable to lay him down. "It's only for a moment you are mine to hold. The plans that heaven has for you will all to soon unfold. So many different prayers I've prayed for all that you might do, but most of all I want to know you're walking in the truth. So if I never told you, I want you to know, that as I watch you grow, I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams. That faith would give you courage to dare to do great things. I'm here for you what ever this life brings, so let my love give you roots, to help you find your wings."

Scott had to be at court at 1:00, but then it's a waiting game for the case to be called, so we had no idea how much time we had. He called me at 1:30 to tell me I better pack Timothy's things and take him next door to his mom's house so Mimi and Papaw could say goodbye to Timothy. I took him next door to say goodbye, but I could not bring myself to pack his things. My mother-in-law and I laughed through tears as we recalled stories of the past 5 months while we watched him play. At about 3:00, Scott called again and asked if I had his things ready. He thought we would be called soon and I'd be expected to have Timothy there to, for lack of better wording, hand him over.

Playing in the snow with Momma

Daddy's little guy