Our precious blue-eyed Amber fit into the family immediately. She seemed to know she was home. She was compliant and never wanted to upset anyone. We often commented that she was the best three year old we had ever been around.
I remember the first time she had an accident and didn't make it to the bathroom in time. She was crying in the bathroom. I went towards her to help with her wet things, and she quickly backed into the corner and held up her arms to shield herself. It broke me heart. I could tell she had been mistreated and abused at some point in connection with potty training. Quietly I assured her that everyone had accidents. We just needed to clean it up. Together through her sobs we cleaned her up and cleaned the floor.
The first few months Amber would become emotionally distraught when we would get ready to go somewhere or people showed up at the house. Sometimes she would sit and rock on the floor crying for her "Daddy Arlo", a previous foster daddy. Other times she was extremely clingy, and it was difficult to visit or finish getting ready to leave. This anxiety was due to the many times her life had changed suddenly. Twice in the last year, she had been suddenly removed from foster homes due to alleged abuse. Her life would change overnight, and she did not know how to deal with the fear of it happening again.
Nights eventually became easier for Amber. At first she had a hard time settling down at night to sleep. I would rub her back and sing "Jesus Loves Me" to her until she would begin to drift off. At this point, I was physically exhausted and would drop into a dead sleep at night often not even waking when a child needed me. Kayt would get up at night with Amber to take her to the bathroom and sometimes even comfort her. I felt so bad that I didn't always hear her. One night I awoke from a deep sleep to realize I was hearing Amber singing. From down the hall I could hear, "Yes, Jesus luvs me. Yes, Jesus luvs me. Da Bible tells me so." All alone in her bed she was crying and croaking out those comforting words to herself. I gathered my little girl to me and held her close.
One evening as I sat on the edge of Amber's bed to tuck her in, she slipped her little hand into mine and said, "Mommy, I have a question?"
I replied, "What is it?"
She answered, "Would you pray to Jesus that I can stay her porever and ever?"
Not wanting to cry and upset her, I somehow prayed that very simple prayer with Amber. I couldn't tell her "no." Then I fled to my room, shut the door, and collapsed on the floor beside my bed praying. At this point the judge had not severed the parental rights. We weren't even sure if he would. I begged God to hear my little girl. I asked him how he could not answer her request. And I wept.
Just a week and a half later, we received the phone call informing us that the parental rights had been severed and that we were the children's primary adoptive resource.
Soon afterwards Amber and I were lying on the bed reading a book together. As we finished the book, she reached over and took my face in her little hands. She said, "Mommy, I used to look for you and look for you and I couldn't find you." Her blue eyes were covered in a sheen of tears. I hugged her to me, and told her, "Angel girl, God helped you find me, and we will be together now." You know-- we had looked for her too.