As I turned the corner of the freezer aisle, I almost (literally) bumped into my old neighbor. We hugged each other and got caught up on our lives.
"So, how are things going for you?" she asked me.
I felt myself begin to well up, because I knew she would get it. She and her husband have 2 adopted children through the foster care system. They understand the ups and downs that come with caring for children who have suffered trauma. They were life savers when the girls came to live with us the first time and they continued to support us when they came back the second time.
"I think the system is recommending reunification in May." I told her. She looked at me with knowing eyes, because she understands that my heart is breaking and I am scared to death. What if it's too soon and their mom isn't ready? What if she relapses? With all my heart I want their mom to beat her addiction and be able to parent her children. But, I'm scared because I know that if she falls back, her children tumble down too and I can't stand the thought of them enduring any more trauma.
It felt so good to talk to someone who's taken this journey. As we finished, I said to her, "I think this is a God moment. I don't come to this grocery store anymore. The other one is closer to my new house. For some reason, I felt pulled to come here today. "
She laughed. "I was just going to say the same thing to you. We were running late and I almost didn't take the time to stop here this morning. God brought us together today."
This time we both teared up as we hugged good-bye. I promised her I would be in touch later this week. As I turned my cart toward the produce aisle, I felt a sense of peace. I know that Someone is looking down on us and will give us the strength and wisdom to do whatever we need to do to support the girls on their next steps.