You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
The Lord has given me a beautiful glimpse into His plan, and I am so thankful.
After 3 hours of sobbing, I packed the kids in the car for the long drive to the DSHS where I was to hand Siddalee over to her aunt. Jo, Atticus and I were trying to lift our spirits on the way there by listening to some of our favorite worship music, and it was definitely helping. We talked about how God's plan is not always easy to be obedient to, but how we MUST be obedient ... even when it hurts. Atticus reminded us that Abraham took Isaac to the mountain not knowing how it would turn out. And I'll be honest--in my mind, I thought: "What a nice little Sunday School story. I hope it brings him some comfort." (Where is the faith of a child when you need it most?!?)
My phone rang when we were about 30 minutes from the drop-off point. Siddalee's social worker said she would be late, because there was some court confusion that she had to clear up. O.k., fine. I stopped and got gas, killing some time. But I had to get there eventually. Nothing was going to stop that.
When we arrived, the sw was already there. With her were two women and a young man. Not having any idea who was who and still grumbling in my heart about the whole thing, I slowly got Siddalee out of her carseat and bundled up the few things I had gathered: her hospital bracelet, the half-full can of powdered formula, the little knit cap from the hospital's auxiliary, her immunization record. The few pieces of this little girl I had been able to collect in just a few short days.
The sw came to the truck, and in a conspiratorial tone whispered, "This is Siddalee's father. Her real dad. The one listed on the birth certificate was wrong. He got a court order at 3 p.m. today and drove down here to get her."
As it turns out, Siddalee's birth mom had listed her current boyfriend--a convicted drug dealer--as the father. He had contested this all along, but the birth mom declined to name anyone else. So, at the hospital, they had taken samples from Siddalee in preparation for the inevitable paternity testing. Meanwhile, news had traveled through the grapevine that X had had a baby and Y said he wasn't the father. A man birth mom had dated briefly did a little backward calculation and figured he might be looking at fatherhood. So he called his lawyer to get the ball rolling.
How they worked through the DNA this fast, I'll never know. DSHS is notorious for taking months on these things. But today, at about ten a.m.--as one judge was granting custody to an aunt with a (ahem) checkered past--Siddalee's father got the news that he was, indeed, a new daddy.
So, instead of handing the beautiful Miss Siddalee over to her mother's sister, I got to place her in the arms of a trembling, awe-struck man who admitted that he'd never held a baby before. Who cried and actually thanked me for keeping her while he had time to hear about her and get things straight. Who laughed and commented on her chunky cheeks and asked a zillion questions about her. And those two women with him? His mother and her sister--both of whom listened intently and cooed over the baby and thanked me for loving their little one. The crowning moment, when I knew for certain that Siddalee was in the best possible hands, was when I explained that Siddalee seemed to have some pretty serious reflux issues.
"You hear that?" the aunt said, poking her nephew's shoulder. "You get that baby to the doctor first thing in the morning! That's not good for her to be uncomfortable like that!"
JEHOVAH-JIREH--the Lord provides
He sent a ram for us. He turned our wailing into dancing. Siddalee was only ours for a season, while the plan was being worked into perfection. GOD IS GOOD. ALL THE TIME.