Hannah's Story

I write this post with the hope that it personalizes the children in the foster care system. In Oklahoma, there are over 9,000 children in state custody right now. They are more than a name, a number and a file. They each have a story that deserves to be heard. This is Hannah's.

The first picture I saw of my baby girl. 
In October 2011, as we were finishing up our foster parent certification, I read a news story about a baby girl named Hannah, who was missing. I saw her picture and read that Hannah's mom was mentally ill and needed to check herself into the hospital, so she left Hannah with a woman she had just met. Once she was admitted to the hospital and asked where her daughter was, she couldn't remember. 10 month old Hannah was officially a missing child. I stopped what I was doing and prayed right then for this baby girl and her mother, who seemed like she was doing the only thing she knew to do at that point in her life.
My sweet, tired girl after they found her. 
By God's grace, the woman that Hannah was left with, was a good woman and took good care of her until she saw the news story about her being a missing child. At that point she was taken into DHS custody and placed into an emergency foster home.  She stayed there for a week, with an incredible family, until our certification was finished and we received the long awaited phone call with a list of children needing homes. They must have ran through 20 children with a short summary of their stories. We had been planning for a newborn, so when they told us that a 3 day old baby boy was available, I immediately told my husband that I wanted him. As I walked away, I started praying, "Lord, is that what you want?" He immediately told me, "Take the 10 month old baby girl." So I ran back and told Seth, "Tell them never mind,  I want the baby girl. Is it too late? I want the baby girl." I had no idea until we picked her up and saw her face that this was the same baby girl that I prayed for a couple weeks earlier.

You know most of Hannah's story from this point on. Her birth mom loved her very much, but was unable to care for her safely. She passed away close to a year after Hannah went into custody and after she had relinquished her rights so that we could adopt her. Hannah's birth father has adult children already and was not interested in caring for a toddler and forfeited his rights early on in the process.

I look at my precious, 2 year old girl now and she is happy, healthy and ornery. :) Sometimes I think, "What if we had said no? What if we chose being comfortable and safe over becoming foster parents? What if our certification had finished on time and didn't take an extra 3 months? What if we had taken that baby boy instead?" So many little steps of obedience and faith led us to our beautiful daughter, Hannah Grace. How much greater is HIS plan than ours? Can you even begin to imagine what His plans are for her life after a beginning story like this?

Thank you Father for every single delay and obstacle that turned out to be Your hand and Your favor on us and Hannah. Thank you for protecting my baby girl while she wasn't with me. She is one heck of a miracle. Glory to God.
Our big girl!

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