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     Today, my husband and I walked the steps towards Judge Dohanich's courtroom for the last time. And no matter how many times we enter the courthouse, I still get a knot in the pit of my stomach. At the last ruling, our gracious judge granted us an unprecedented gift of 5 precious weekends with Baby Isaac. We couldn't figure out why he made such an unheard of call, but as time went by, we began to realize that it was more than likely his way of giving us time to come to some sort of peaceful terms with Isaac's biological father. Thanks to my husband's smooth people skills, he was able to befriend the man in a way that I am simply not able to. They talked football and kids, weather and general "man stuff". The relationship my husband built with Isaac's dad, as small as it seems, caused the man to offer to let Isaac come and stay with us for his 1st birthday. Naturally, I ran straight to my boss' office and asked to take that entire day off work. I plan to make the day a complete bash from start to finish. I will pump my baby full of cake, lavish him with presents, and take so many pictures that the maker of Kodak will be able to retire. It will be an amazingly sweet day.
     Sadly though, the thought of one last day with Isaac, as good as that day will be, sickened my heart. Saying goodbye for the last time on Sunday was an all too familiar moment, and it was one I had never wanted to repeat. I actually went with Pat to drop Isaac off after we let Cameron and Taylor say their tearful goodbyes. I was friendly; I smiled. I did what I had to do as I handed Isaac over to his dad. Baby Bear kept reaching back for us, and even as we were getting in our car to leave, he swiveled his head back and forth to get his last look of us. It was heartbreaking, to say the least. I didn't even make it out of their driveway before the flooding began. Needless to say, we barely made it two blocks before we had to pull over as neither of us were fit to drive by that point.
     So today, with raw emotions and grief over the finality that today's hearing was to bring, we sat and listened to the testimonies of everyone involved as they made their recommendations for Isaac to be removed from foster care. There was nothing left to be said, nothing left to be done. The judge then proclaimed the final verdict: Isaac is now to be permanently in the care of his birth father and child services are no longer necessary. He thanked Isaac's father for stepping up to take Isaac when most fathers wouldn't. And then he thanked my husband and I for wanting Isaac when no one else was there to want him. He stated that he hoped an amicable relationship could continue for us all.
     As we all walked form the courtroom, choking back sobs, we acknowledged Isaac's dad with congratulations and best wishes. He shook Pat's hand and then pulled me in for a hug. And then, something lovely and unexpected happened. The man that my husband had built a relationship with over the past 5 weeks offered us the best that we could hope for in a situation that seemed overwhelmingly unbearable. He asked if we would still be willing to do weekend visits with Isaac. He realizes that Isaac loves us, that we love him, and that he has a brother and sister that adore him. He also realizes that he gets free babysitting on the weekends! And we all realized that Isaac deserves as much love from as many people as humanly possible.
     And so, our second "final goodbye" turned around once more! It's not what we had hoped and prayed for, but what kind of God does what my puny little heart wills when He can see the biggest picture of all and knows what needs to be? Isaac is now able to be apart of two families... he will be loved and cherished doubly. He will get to keep going to church and singing his little baby heart out in worship each week, and he will get to take that awesome, Godly spirit into a home that may not have ever had the opportunity to see it any other way. Since the big picture in life is not who lives where or what name I'm to be called by a child, but in seeing each soul come to Jesus, then it seems that God has found a way to bless us all. How can I be angry when He's so beautifully and creatively formed a path where there seemed to be a dead end? Can this man go back on his word? Absolutely. At any moment can he decide to never let us see Isaac again? Yep, he can. But I believe that God used my husband to bond with Isaac's dad. And I believe that God knows what we all need, not just want. So when it comes time for me to worry and stress about this current situation, I'm going to choose to remind myself of this one faithful thought. Hope has no end when it involves a very Big God.... and in a very Big God I trust.