The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for us. After we experienced one of the most scariest moments of our lives (see previous post), the next day CPS was knocking on my door. Yes, you heard right, Child Protective Services wanted me to call them so they could schedule an appointment with me! This nightmare seemed to keep going. How was I supposed to get over the emotional trauma of almost losing my baby with the prospect of the government questioning my every move and investigating our family?
I've heard horror stories of CPS taking children away from good parents who were just a bit fanatical in the eyes of the common individual. We are considered fanatics too. I'm sorry but religious people who home school, don't vaccinate and who have large families are just plain weird. I personally don't think so, but some do. So after CPS tried to contact me, I laid awake that night having visions of being hauled off to jail!
To make a long story much shorter, I'll just give you a simple version to explain why I'm so tired. Because we called 911 the day Micah got lost, the police had to report it to CPS. He assured me it was just a formality and they would probably just do a phone interview. Not! We had a full on interview in person with a CPS worker who drilled us beyond what I ever thought. She had to interview all our children and we aren't talking about just names and hobbies but to our surprise, included many sexual abuse questions. Doctors names were asked, 3 references and a picture of our children was taken at the end.
This was a very stressful experience for our whole family but we learned many things through it.
1. I learned that even though so many of our friends were well meaning in their advice, we in the end had to do what we felt God wanted us to. Many friends, who maybe wouldn't have chosen to cooperate with CPS and give out all that personal information to the government, are still our friends. We had to make the final decision before God on behalf of our family and we felt if we cooperated it would help our case instead of hinder it. After all, we had nothing to hide.
2. God reminded me that a clear conscious before Him is what really matters. I love my children very much and take care of them to my best ability. A few comments from friends really helped me with the guilt of Micah getting lost while under my supervision. One friend said, " you can't keep your eyes on them at ALL times. Don't beat yourself up about it". Another friend said, " hind sight is always 20/20." These words of encouragement really stuck with me and relieved those accusations in my head.
3. God also reminded me that Satan is my enemy, not the government. This CPS worker is a human being loved by God just as much as I am. So I began to pray for her and against Satan instead. When we met, I saw a young Mom, weary from life and a depressing job. At the end of our interview, Rich asked her if we could pray for her and her face lit up and she said, "Oh yes! I can use all the prayer I can get!"
I don't want to go through all that again but I'm glad we had the experience. Our family once again united together and tried to help each other deal with fear and the emotional stress of feeling like we were guilty of neglect when we weren't. We are closer to each other because of it and our relationship with the Lord has been strengthened also.
Here are a few pictures Olivia has taken this week of the blossoms outside!
Olivia had a trophy festival last weekend where she had to play a piece from memory in front of a judge and then the judge would critique her and help her perfect it.
While I'm so glad that the CPS interview is over (we are now just waiting to hear if the case is closed or not) I'm tired from the stress of it. I want life to move on and get back to being able to focus on other things like house work! Mundane things are so much less stressful! But I'm realizing, I'm tired and need everything to just stop a while.
What I probably need is a night out with my husband! Maybe I'll try and work that into our schedule this week!