When on Wednesday the 19th, Paul and Zabeth were informed that they would not hear the ruling for another month, they worked through their own disappointment with human emotion followed by reflective faith which has characterized their travel and travail.
To grasp how this works for them I am sharing the note that Paul and Zabeth sent to some people. Paul wrote, “Well this was supposed to be the DAY. The day when we would receive the news either one way or the other. God had other plans. God said no, it’s not today. Be patient. We won’t know the decision until the end of February now. Our children will be one month older, Josiah is due at the end of February. God what are You doing this time? Will this be another perfect timing thing again? I will hope in God even if I don’t understand. Thank you for your dedication and love toward our battle weary family. Thank God we are not alone.”
This explains how they survive. Now you may not want to so readily attribute the delay to God but rather lay it at the doorstep of the judge or more generally the entire child welfare system with its liberal latitude of powers. The difference is fundamental. Their approach permits them to look forward with some optimism and confidence and I would say objectivity. Others might call it naivety. The other approach tends to result in persistent anger and a dark pessimism. At least that's the way I perceive it. And I don't know how one can possibly hope to work toward changing the inadequacies and failings within the child welfare system when one cannot speak without detonating.
So, what if at the end of February, not only does the MCFD win this court order for continuing care of their three children but also makes the move to apprehend a newly born baby boy against whom these parents have lavished only mother's milk and parental love? Will Paul and Zabeth come unglued then? Will their faith in God erode overnight? I can answer neither question with certainty.
Based upon their track record of stalwart management of continuous disappointment for over three years, I can venture a guess that they will not cave. And if the worst of all possible outcomes occurred, that these children remained in Ministry care and then inevitably in adoptive families, you would find Paul and Zabeth at the forefront for child protection changes in this country. They would champion parental rights. They would articulate the transparency and services and provisions and protections that the CFCSA was technically written to achieve but which lazy people compromised, alleging insufficient funds and programs.
And whereas some of you may take issue with me for being too easy on the Ministry and Judiciary because I have not personally had a child removed, Zabeth and Paul will understand totally, the agonies of parents and still demonstrate a control that permits them to engage with change-makers who will have to listen to them. My question is, are there any change-makers out there now who are prepared to give something other than lip service to an aggressive plan to make child protection work more graciously yet effectively?
What I think is that Paul and Zabeth are already change makers.