Kelly Marie’s gotcha story

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love to write, love to think, love to SLICE… please join our community

This was unusual for Dave…after a Sunday message at church he turned to me and said,

“I don’t know what, but I think God is going to be asking us to do something big- that’s gonna change our lives.”

I do remember thinking that this is definitely out of character for my guy that makes sure that he is well researched before making any big decision at all.  He checks the money, he checks the mood, he consults his mother, he wants me to ask my father… yep, God must really be talking loudly today for him to even be telling me this.

The next week, he came home on Tuesday and told me that he found you sitting at a table in the Media Center at school.  You had wanted to stop and let  him know that you wouldn’t be able to play for him this season because they were placing you in another foster placement out of our school district. Dave knew instantly that no…she would be definitely living at our house instead.

We got you and set you up in Jeff’s old bedroom upstairs.  Dave told you that he would paint the room whatever way you wanted. You chose ‘Pepto’ pink with stripes down one side of the wall.  I didn’t like hot pink.  Dave just smiled and painted away.  Your clothes were moved in.  I noticed you were a ‘keeper’ like me…a trunk of cheap stuffed animals and all the dresses and dried flowers from important events.   You said, not to worry, that you wouldn’t get in our hair.  You said you’d be off to college soon and that you were an ferociously independent type of girl.

You hung your pictures back from Jr. High…friends and more friends of every nationality, every creed.

Dave wanted to be your dad, he even looked like you.  You called him ‘Papa’.  You called me ‘Nanc’.

You gave your story to us that told of the day when you thought you were going on a fun mini-trip to a hotel.  You remember that you had your ‘swimmies’ on your arms when you were pulled away from your mother. You thought you were meeting a new friend in a giant building called ‘court’.  You’ve been waiting all this time to be back with your mommy.  It’s been years of waiting and now you are in another placement- my family…and that dream still continues to pulse inside of you.

Don’t worry sweet Kelly, “You can call me Nanc. I know you have a mom.”  I want that dream to stay alive- for her…but I’m fearful of all things big and little… realizing early that years in a group home and then in placements that hadn’t worked out had to have taken a toll.  One day I asked you if you had any pictures of your little girl self.  You said , “not a one…but you said you looked just the same only smaller.”  I tried to imagine, but didn’t want to imagine, a little curly-headed girl with swimmies reaching out to a mom that was walking away.

I think we’ve come to the place eight years later that you are my girl and I am your Nanc , and I’m very happy about that.  Now you have a different dreams that includes a vast array of friends and older folks that have fed into your life for many years…you hope and yearn for the day when you will be a mom, who will hold on tight and never let go….never let go…never let go.

PS because I like them….I am proud of my girl…tell your story…tell it to the world- a story of strength, of perseverance, loyalty and love.

Papa and KB

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About Judson RISE professor

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

20 responses »

  1. Wow…this was deeply personal and filled with emotion. Coming from something similar and yet very different, I felt very connected to your story. Your family is very special.

  2. Tears are streaming down my face. Dave said something big was going to be happening and it did – your love changed a young lady and you. Each has it’s place. I’m thankful for people like you.

  3. What a beautiful story you’ve told. It is heart wrenching to picture that little girl being taken and not understanding. You’ve shared your love so now she knows what a family is, a happy future for all.

  4. You weave Kelly Marie’s story exquisitely. Have you written much about this topic before? God has a beautiful, wonderful, perfect way of building families. I’m glad you allowed Him to build yours. Thanks for sharing…my heart is bigger because of your story.
    Love,
    Ruth

  5. Tears streaming down my face. Wow. ” I think God is going to be asking us to do something big- that’s gonna change our lives.” Not only your lives, but Kelly’s life too. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. I think news and newspapers should be filled with stories like these instead of all the bad. There are so many good people out there making our world a better place. Thank you for your lives and your story.

  7. A beautiful story. Amazing how God orchestrates our families. I’ve been surprised at how many of us- you, Ruth, me- have taken on older children. Ruth has inspired me to write about my guys…

  8. This is a beautiful, well written story. It leaves me feeling torn. Torn between the image you created of a little girl with swimmies and fear and the smiling image of a happy, loved girl in the picture [not to mention the proud papa next to her]. I’m a sucker for a happy ending…glad your story has one.

  9. A soul-stirring story packed with emotion. I am in awe of the courage and openness it took to bring this child into your home – I’ve thought about doing something like that but not sure I have what it takes. What a blessing it seems this decision turned out to be. I applaud you – she is stunning!

  10. Wow. This is a beautiful post, and a treasure. Your girl is beautiful, and blessed – as much as she must be blessing. Thanks for sharing so openly!

  11. This is such a deep and moving story about you and your family. It’s so amazing how God can weave together our lives and families with different people. Thanks for sharing this with us. BTW, I’ve finished Cold Tangerines and started reading Bittersweet!! Thanks for the recommendations! 🙂

  12. You are definitely the perfect Nanc for that fiercely independent girl! This is a beautiful story, beautifully told. I am amazed at the way you threaded all the details of your complex situation into this story, and I love that you wrote it to your girl. Somehow that makes the voice all the more personal.

    Good for you and your husband for being open enough to receive this turn in your lives.

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