Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Charlotte Grace

Though I am working daily on quilt related items, I really have nothing to show, so I thought I would share a little about myself. I became a mother at 21 and again at 25. I was a really GOOD mom! Ask my boys! Well, at almost 40 years old God had a different plan for me. I felt a little like Sarah and Abraham must have. It was a total shock. I was not pregnant though that doesn't stop God. I am getting ahead of myself.

Let me go back....the year was 1994. At that time my oldest son was 12 and I was in the habit of journaling during my morning prayer time. On one specific day, my heart became overwhelmed with the urgency to pray for a child. The Lord impressed the name Charlotte Grace **** (insert my last name) and I wrote her name down in my journal. I told my 12 year old son, I think the Lord is telling me to pray for your daughter. He rolled his eyes and said something like "Great Mom. You do that." It was not unreasonable for me to think this, as my mother's name is Charlotte and my Grandma's name was Grace. 3 more times in 6 months God laid that name and child on my heart. Well, life went on and the journal was filled, filed and forgotten. OK, jump ahead with me to the year 2001. We had just moved back to our home town after being away for 20 years and our oldest son had graduated and was in the Army. Our youngest son Kyle, now almost 15, had just started in a wonderful school for special needs kids after being home schooled and life was looking pretty good. Then God moved. My husband's niece called me in tears and said she needed help. Her sister's little girl was staying with her, her own 1 year old needed her attention and she had just lost a baby. We did not have close contact with this part of my husbands family but my niece had felt close to us since she was little. Her sister, whom we had not seen nor heard from in years had lost 2 children to the state for neglect and now #3 was taken away for "environmental hazard". The state said she could go home in a couple of weeks after things were cleaned up. My niece said she was having trouble taking care of 2 little ones as this child was so "needy". I talked to Sweet Hubby and he said she could stay with us until things were ok to go home. The day I picked her up she ran to the door, hair in pig tails, bangs cut to the scalp, a dress 3 sizes too big and the wildest eyes I had ever seen. She promptly said "Hi! My name is Charlotte and did you know if you squeeze a mouse while it's alive it's eyes pop out, but if you squeeze it when it's dead you have to pick them out yourself." OH MY GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?! I took her home and she happily went with me, even though I was a stranger, talking all the way. Did the girl ever breath?? I had spent the day before moving my sewing room into the guest room and setting up a place for Charlotte to sleep. I thought of putting her in the guest room, but it was not set up for a 3 year old child. We made a stop for some clothes, socks, underwear, shoes and jammies. She did not know what jammies were...never had any. Well I decided I would take this 2 weeks and spoil her with all kinds of girlie stuff. It was a new experience for me too, only having boys.
I will fast forward now, as the details are way too long and, mostly not nice. After hearing the never ending stories that Charlotte told, we hired a lawyer and fought to keep this precious little girl from going back to what ended up being alot more than environmental hazard. It has not been easy and in alot of ways I questioned if I had done the right thing. Just before the adoption, I really began to question if this was what I should do. I had always felt like a good mother and that feeling was fading fast with each regular failure where this little girl was concerned. She was very hurt emotionally. I can tell you those first 3 years are SO important. It was a struggle within myself. I prayed and got NOTHING! One day right before the adoption, I was going through some boxes and that old journal jumped out at me. I opened it up (remember I am sentimental) and the name Charlotte Grace **** jumped out at me. It all came flooding back 7 years later. Could this be right? I heard God speak to my heart about this for the first time. "The name I gave you is the name you will give her. It was always meant to be her name." Even though Charlotte came to me with the first name of Charlotte, her middle and last names were different. 2 years after coming to us, she became Charlotte Grace. She LOVES her name more than any child I have ever met. We call her Charlie alot but she likes to be called Gracie too. She had a really rough start in this life and as she is getting older she is asking some tough questions like "Why did you wait til I was 3 to rescue me?" I never told her I rescued her. "Why did God let that happen to me?" The answers don't come easily, but I tell her God doesn't make mistakes. He helped her survive by giving her a 124 IQ and more street smarts than most adults have. This child is going to be something big in God's plan. I tell her that all the time. She is finally starting to trust and allow love to enter in. She wants to be a mommy, a singer, a teacher, a quilter, and maybe in her spare time a beautician. She is able to run and play and fight with her brother. I believe God had me write her name, not once, but 4 times, because He knew me well enough to know I would doubt myself in this situation. Now anytime I feel like I am not what she needs, I remember how God gave me her name 3 1/2 year before she was born and 7 years before she came to me. And I remember what I tell her...God does not make mistakes.

23 comments:

Rose said...

Oh Bren, that was beautiful!!! How special is Charlotte??? and how special r u??? It was meant to be, u were meant to find each other and grow together and experience the joy of life together.....ur post has left me quite teary, but what a wonderful story to share!!!
take care and give Charlotte a hug from me!!!

Linda said...

Bren if you hadn't already told me the story I'd be just like Rose, teary. Remember that God never make mistakes and He knows the plans He has for you, He knows the plans He has for Charlotte. Hope the back is 100%.

Darlene said...

We already know that God works in mysterious ways. It's no mystery that Charlotte Grace was destined to be a special person in your life. I'm not sure who is luckier you or Charlotte. She's a beautiful child with obviously a beautiful spirit and heart.

You, too are a very special person - I hope you know that in your heart and soul.

Melzie said...

What a beautiful story :) She is a blessed little girl. What you said about jammies is so sad, did you see that Oprah a few mos. ago on that subj? xoxo melzie

Joni said...

Bren,
I was pretty shocked when I read this post. I had been thinking all day yesterday that I would love to hear the story of how these adopted kids came into your life. WOW! You are a great story teller too! You are definitely blessed!

Lynda (Granny K) said...

What a blessing that you 'found' each other. Hugs, Lynda

Lisa D. said...

I got chills reading your story. What a wonderful story and thanks for sharing it on your blog.

Andrea said...

What an amazing story ! Thanks for sharing it - I had to go and wipe my eyes in the middle of reading it.

Karolee said...

Wow! What a powerful story and beautiful testimony of the power of God. Thanks for sharing.

dot said...

Sounds like everyone was a winner in this situation. God does not always make sense, He never makes mistakes. Enjoy what He has given you.

Belvie said...

What a special little girl...and what a special mommie!!! She is such a cutie in the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Guðrún said...

How lucky Charlotte is to have you and your family.

Lily said...

Like I said Bren, Charlotte is a lucky girl and you are a lucky mum. I hope your beautiful girl continues to blossom under your care. :)

Karolee said...

Me again - Tagging you for a silly blogging game. Check out my blog to see what the rules are.

Sweet P said...

What a beautiful story. God certainly doesn't make mistakes. Charlotte Grace and you are living proof of that.

Solstitches said...

I was so moved by this that I had to read it twice.
I'm so thankful that this little girl, who had such a traumatic start to life, finally found a safe place in the world with you.
I believe you were a gift from God to each other.
Charlotte Grace is such a beautiful name.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.
Margaret

Libby said...

It can never be said that things don't happen for a reason - we don't always understand the 'why' but it's there . . . if you hadn't come together in such a special way Charlotte may never have dreamed of becoming a part-time beautician *s* What a wonderful story.

Kim said...

What a wonderful, sweet story, even though there are certainly "bad" parts that are clear but unsaid. What a warm, welcoming person you are, Bren! And how lucky that you and Charlotte Grace found each other!

Cheryl said...

What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it! You are so right: God doesn't make mistakes. What a blessing for you that God gave you this word 7 years before He gave you Charlotte. It will continue to sustain you throughout the years.

VERO said...

Bren !!! Very very beautiful !!
You are very special ,hugs from Vero

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Bren,

I found your blog while surfing the web one afternoon at the office. After reading Charlotte and Zachary's stories I have bookmarked your blog and check it daily. The updates on your warm and loving family and the progress you've made with your two beautiful young children warms my heart. Thank you for being an example of the great things humanity is capable of.