"Life ain't always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart
Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day
But the struggles make you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has its own way of takin' its sweet time
No, life ain't always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life ain't always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride"
This is one of my favorite songs by Gary Allan. There is so much truth in these words. This past week has been hard, with the situation with Sam and the Stokes family. If you aren't aware, the Stokes family committed to Sam after we had to back away, and they left last week to get him. All of Sam's moms, aunts, and everyone who loves him were so excited to know that his family was finally coming for him. (He can't imagine the people who showed such love for him and all came together to help him.) He would get the family he had been wanting, and his new life would begin. But the unthinkable happened, something none of us would have dreamed. He said no. The link above will take you to the Stokes' blog, where you can read exactly what all happened, but basically, he had been fed false information by others for their own selfish purpose. Needless to say, my heart is broken, for Kim and Shane and their family, and especially for Sam. He has no idea what he's given up. A wonderful Christian family, a brother and sisters, a chance for college and endless possibilities in life.
Of course we're all wondering why. Why he gave up this chance, why so many of us felt led to him, to help him and try to bring him home, only to seemingly have it be all for nothing. Why?? Once we had to back away, I questioned God as to why He brought this to our doorstep, and then take Sam away again. Of course I did. What did this accomplish? And now the Stokes family are having to wonder the same thing. Why did God allow them to go over there, to see Sam face to face, and then make them come home without him? I honestly don't think I could have handled doing that. It was hard enough, going through what we did. Please keep Kim and Shane in your prayers to help them heal from this.
For anyone who hasn't gone through anything similar, you probably don't understand just how hard this is. Once you commit to a child to adopt them, they are yours. You picture them in everything you do, everywhere you go, in your mind they are right there with you. You make plans and preparations for them. You've already added them to your family. Then when that's taken away, your world comes crashing down. You've lost a family member. You grieve. I grieved for Sam and Duncan, and I'm sure the Stokes are grieving the loss of their son.
So, you might ask, why put yourself through that? Don't I wish it had never happened? NOT.FOR.A.MINUTE. I wouldn't change what I did, not one bit. These last four months have been the most stressful of my life. I've cried more than I have in the last several years put together. We've spent money we couldn't afford to spend. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. It's been a beautiful ride, and I can say that my life has been changed because of it.
Why do I say that? Because, by doing this, I stepped out in faith, not having a clue what we were doing, I just trusted God. He said, go, and I did. Because that's what we have to do. The Stokes did the same thing. Whatever the outcome, we did what we had to do. When God calls, we need to answer. Yes, it was incredibly hard for everyone involved. I pray this doesn't happen to the other kids from 39. Please keep all the families and children in your prayers, that the kids will know this is the right thing to do, that they don't let lies interfere with their chance for a family. And please keep Sam in your prayers, that things will go well for him and that somehow, this will turn out ok for him.