That old Tom Petty song just lingers on in my head. It started as I was sitting in the hospital for months waiting for Caylyn to get better from Leukemia, relapse and the ultimate cell-slamming chemotherapy. She did get better but not by my standards. Jesus came by on the 8th of March 2008 and asked her to join Him. We took the liberty of sending her off in the sunset as she was on life support, a corner we originally swore never to get backed in to. 5:16. Some things you will never ever go hazy in your mind over. The death of an angel is just such a thing. And yet in so many ways she lives on, in her story and in the path her passing has pointed us towards. We find ourselves in the trenches of paperwork to petition for a little girl named Marina who currently lives in the Ukrainian Orphanage system. But for Caylyn relocating we never would have known these kids exist. Anyhow Marina started out as a prayer project. Without a family committing to bringing her home, there is no hope that she will not spend the rest of her life in a mental institution. We never intended to adopt as far as I knew. I will never replace my Caylyn, it is utterly ridiculously impossible to even consider because it will not or cannot be done. She is a one of a kind deal. But within 48 hours of a good cry over Marina's plight to my husband, he stated that we were her family. Something like that anyway. Trust me, he probably said we would talk about it. I heard something about "let's do this thing". That is a privilege of marriage, you know what someone is thinking when they say only part of it. It took about a week to realize we were indeed heading her way. I felt joy the first time in over a year. I had something to look forward to and a reason to make plans on this planet. I found hope in reaching this child and throwing my arms around her, brushing her hair, introducing bubble baths. And these thoughts were just the beginning of the avalanche. Did she know what a pool was? the beach? Peanut butter? Was she allergic to anything? Did she have a good day? Was anyone mean to her (heaven help them!)? And why did it have to take so long??? I should have seen the scythe coming to take us down at the knees. I forgot we used to be stupid selfish people so long ago. As the trauma of the past began to surface, I realized what we had done. We had rebuilt the Berlin Wall to this child with something in our past that was ever so indicative of our idiocy. 13 years ago, we drank and we fought. When I got tired of the fight I picked up the phone and called 911. A hideous way to self manage a losing battle. The second mistake we made was paying the fine and thinking that was the end of it. The quickest way out never will be the end of anything. The third mistake we made was doing this again, 4 years later. The records of our inability to personally manage ourselves with the brains God gave us indicates we are problem people. And yet nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus has left a legacy that we dearly embrace in a way that could never have been expected by the former us. Having Caylyn drop in as a 6 year post-it note from God on Unconditional Love was the U-turn. She changed everything and He knew she would. Everything but the paperwork trail.
In an effort to move forward I have sent the Attorney General a package reflecting most of the thoughts here. Scathing honesty in the hands of a politician could leave burn marks, I know. But I think he is different. And I think He can help. It was the path I was lead down. I have learned that with God, paths rarely show up in a linear fashion, but rather serpentine all over the place. I am prepared to follow the journey to this Child. And if it means petitioning every crazy politician in the state of SC to help me, I have nothing but time to devote to bringing Marina Home. I don't see the point in taking No for an answer. We need her and she needs us. For some reason she is the one. I know it. Pray for us as we seek the break in the wall that will unite us and bring her home.