Daughter was now in limbo. She was not eligible for adoption, and she couldn't return to her birth mother. I remained her foster mother. The Case Manager hadn't realized that they couldn't re-file the case without coming up with new grounds. I think we were all exhausted from the long ordeal. I didn't explore guardianship at this point. I was aware of Daughter's precarious situation. My physician sent me for a TB test because of some blood work or something. I knew that if I were diagnosed with TB, Daughter would be moved to another foster home. I knew that if something happened to me, Daughter would lose my entire family. She had been warmly embraced as the first grandchild.
The phone visits with birth mom continued. I enrolled Daughter in school (a year late). I continued to struggle in a difficult ministry, while owning a home in a very bad neighborhood. We heard gun fire. The police helicopter circled overhead, and some nights I would see the search light through my bedroom window.
Then came the miracle. One Sunday birth mother was looking in her Bible to pull out a picture Daughter had drawn for her. Her Bible opened to the story of Saul ordering a baby cut in two, with half given to each of two women claiming to be the mother. Birth mother decided it was a message from God, and she decided to voluntarily relinquish parental rights, making it possible for me to adopt Daughter. I was happy, relieved, amazed, you name it. It was the most wonderful gift Daughter and I could have received.