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Broken Trail of Tears
by Elizabeth Hale
Not For Sale
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Sometimes this thing called life leaves me so cold and flat that I just want to run and hide until things get better. I do run and hide with God; still, I have to face things as they come at me--what choice do I really have? Death? I am anxiously awaiting the day that I will see my Savior face to face, yet, I also want to enjoy and be present for the life I have been given. It's just so hard sometimes.

Today I found out that three tiny members of our family will no longer be in our family at all. Their mother, who for reasons I cannot begin to explain, chose herself and what she wanted over her three little boys. She tried to play the courts and the social service agency, just as she has played her family members. She thought she could fool them. Surprise! She isn't the first and won't be the last to try to manipulate other people to reach her goal--her selfish goal to retain something she thought 'belonged' to her. She may have loved those boys but she didn't love them enough to make the necessary changes to get them back. The rest of us pay for her decisions. We lose too. I am heartbroken, to say the least. What my brother, their grandfather, is feeling, I can't begin to imagine. He blames himself and it is true, there is much he could have done to prevent this outcome. Yet, we all have choices in life. We don't always make the right ones. And, I'm on the outside in a way, looking in. It's so easy to say what should've been--I wasn't in the center ring.

I will put the babies pictures away, for a time, because I can't bear to see them. I have only seen them one time since they were taken away because I feared this would be the final decision. I hoped and prayed for the best, but deep down, I knew it wasn't going to come to pass.

The children have had normalcy for the past year. They have played outside in the sunshine, and not been closed up endlessly in a house filled with grown-ups having too much of their own fun to be bothered. They have worn clothes, and not just diapers, every day--clothes that actually fit them. They have learned how to talk and walk and play. They have learned about regular mealtimes as opposed to bowls of cereal or spaghetti-o's eaten on the couch in front of the television. They have learned how to pray--they have learned routines of playing, learning, and eating that they never knew before. They have, praise God, learned about being children. Ezekiel, the oldest, finally has many, many pairs of his beloved own shoes to wear, something he desperately wanted.

They have been bathed on a daily basis, and not just when the mood struck their mother. No more dirt encrusted necks! Just sweet baby and toddlerhood.

As much as we all wanted them back, how would any of us deal with the fall out if they did come home? Leave behind all that they have experienced and learned and put them back into the rotten situation of the past. The endless fights between mom and her boyfriends, fights that would cause the oldest boy to put his hands over his ears anytime he heard a raised voice. The constant stream of drug users and sellers. Never knowing just where exactly tiny heads would lay down to sleep or what they might wake up to find in the mornings. Never knowing if today they would even be fed. There is love, and then there is LOVE.

As much as it hurts, I am glad for those boys. They have a chance now, a chance to break the cycle, to be normal little kids, a chance to know the love of real parents who put their needs ahead of their own, a chance to be whatever God has chosen for them to be.

The situation is so complicated. How I would even begin to describe how it got to where it is, I don't know.

I am hoping now that the adoptive families may be open to the possibility of a somewhat open adoption plan, because I resent that all of us have to pay for, as far as I am concerned, the selfishness and stupidity of one. My brother may not live through this, as the babies meant everything to him. He hates his daughter, yet he loves her too. He is tormented, he is in a place that I wouldn't wish on an enemy, if I had one.

Please, whether he deserves it or not, pray for my brother. Even pray for his daughter, if you could incline your heart that way, though I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she doesn't deserve sympathy, and if she knew I had asked for prayer on her behalf,she would probably laugh in my face. God has no place in the world she inhabits. God does have a place in my brother's.

Tears are useless now. I am clinging to the knowledge that God is protecting my little nephews; indeed, He got them out of a bad, bad situation and gave all of us hope for their futures. They have a chance now, and I wouldn't take it away now for anything. Especially not my own selfishness in wanting them back in the family. There are some people you carry in your heart forever, even when they are no longer physically present in your life.

At least I know the little guys are safe now. They are well fed. They are warm. They will bless someone else's home.

They'll be okay.

It's the rest of us I'm not sure about.

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