I hold you while you’re sleeping, swaying side to side.
Wondering what you’re dreaming, behind those big blue eyes.
What are you remembering? Who is it that you see?
Is it something beautiful? A happy memory?
How did you get here with our family? What lead you to our home?
Was it because someone left you, scared and all alone?
Did you cry and cry for hours, hungry and needing changed?
How long did this go on, before your placement was arranged?
Oh, the things you must have seen. The places that you’ve been.
How long will you be here, until you’re there again?
What about your Mommy? Does she miss your sweet, sweet smile?
Will she heal herself forever, or just a little while?
I’d happily keep you here forever, safe and loved and warm.
You would know we’d only love you, and we’d never do you harm.
How does your story end, sweet child? Where will you go and why?
Will you be forever in your mother’s arms, or forever be in mine?
Until then I’ll keep swaying and looking at your face;
And marveling in the wonder of God’s amazing Grace.
Written by: Kristal Hall – Foster and Adoptive Mother to Grace
Bringing Amazing Grace Home, Thanks to You
For several months, foster parents John and Kristal Hall had been faithfully driving the weekly one-hour trip with Baby Grace to a court-ordered supervised visit with Grace’s birth mother, “Tonya.” This week was Mother’s Day. Kristal gave Tonya a photo of her daughter.
Tonya stared in awe. “This is the only Mother’s Day gift I’ve ever received.”
Grace’s birth mom was leading a difficult life. She was trying hard to escape drug addiction that threatened her health, her future, and her family’s stability. Grace was the youngest of Tonya’s five children; she no longer had custody of the older siblings. On a cold February evening, a Lutheran Family and Children’s Services caseworker was called by Missouri’s child protective agency staff. They’d just removed three-month-old Grace from her home after finding signs of neglect and Mom’s drug abuse.
Kristal and John Hall had been praying about foster parenting. Then came a call from LFCS. The couple drove to an empty restaurant parking lot. “I saw Grace’s big blue eyes peering out of her car seat,” Kristal recalls. “And I knew it was meant to be.”
The couple brought their foster daughter home that very night. Along with their biological children, then 10 and 8, the family grew, if only for a little while, to five. Grace grew and thrived.
Months later, arriving for one of the supervised visits, Kristal was told Tonya wasn’t ready. After a time, an LFCS caseworker appeared. “Tonya is relinquishing her rights as a parent. She’s signed the papers. Grace is yours.”
“Grace is yours.” The words swept over Kristal as if they were God’s own loving hand, which she and John knew had been guiding them throughout the entire journey.
Kristal had the chance to speak with Tonya, who told her: “I made this decision a long time ago when I saw how much you loved her. You can give Grace what I can’t …”
John and Kristal Hall completed the adoption ceremony. And a brand new forever-family was born. Grace will turn three years old on November 20, 2017. The family shares their awe and gratitude in matching T-shirts that read:
ONE less orphan. ONE happy family. ONE faithful God.
Tonya’s name has been changed. Last year, generous donors to Lutheran Family and Children’s Services enabled the agency to facilitate 175 foster care placements and 42 adoptions across Missouri.