At the CrossRoads

I'm not exactly sure how we decided who would get the privilege of actually going to get Rayanne and negotiating the family's terms. What I do remember is thinking it was perhaps the most difficult, and definitely the most dangerous, leg of the journey.

Mom going to get her was completely out of the question. I didn't really think Dad would go. We had thought about Cherry and I driving up to some of her old haunts in the Burg and trying to find her. Needle in a haystack. Honestly, I didn't think Eddie would have let me go on a cross city hunt for her.  And, if I'm being completely honest, I was afraid to go where she had been. I'm really not sure if we asked Eddie if he would go, or if Eddie volunteered. But, either way, Eddie was the one that was bestowed the distinct honor of  "Bring Her Back to the Fold Guy." But how can you bring her back, if you don't even know where she is? Like catching a tornado...

On Wednesday, April 17th, Rayanne serendipitously called mom early in the morning from someone else's phone. She told mom that her car was impounded. She had lost her phone. She was staying at a some campsite outside of Hattiesburg with God only knows who and doing God only knows what.  I'm sure she only called attempting to get money, but at least after talking with her mom thought she knew where Ray was. We all knew we didn't have much time, and the time we had was tick, tick, ticking away. If we were going to convince her to take this opportunity, it required retrieving her. 
 With fresh vigor and a definite sense of purpose, Eddie set out to Hattiesburg with the plan being he would show up at said Shady Campsite, present the family's offer and terms, hope all would go well, she would agree, and get in his truck. A feat of super hero strength to say the least. 

I was genuinely afraid for Eddie to go, and he was nervous as well.  We didn't know what he was going to face. The last we saw posted was Rayanne posing with a glock. Eddie had to face down the worst possible scenario: A guy with a gun in his face. Eddie mentally accepted this potential reality, and wrestled with the question: "Am I willing to look at a gun in my face." I was unsettled about Eddie flying solo on Mission Impossible. We asked Bernie to accompany Eddie. Bernie agreed. 

When Eddie and Bernie arrived, thankfully, there was no thug with a gun.  Instead, Rayanne strolled out of the common building all alone. She looked rough. Real rough. Mom had told her Eddie was coming to get her, so she approached the truck, opened the door, and was about to get in. Instead, Eddie got out of the truck and said, "Let's talk first."  

 They walked over to a nearby picnic table, and Eddie presented her the offer: "I wouldn't be here if I didn't care. I have come representing the family, and I will give you a picture of two roads. Two choices. If you don't choose to get in truck that's OK. It's your choice. But the family  is prepared to start the process to legally file for Breliegh to be adopted. At the same time, you will be cut off from the family. If you choose our help, I will open the door to the truck, let you in, and we will work together to help move you and Breleigh to the House of Promise Program in Colorado that MJ told you about last week.  Any deviation or resistance to the process of getting you and Bre prepared to start your new life will be considered as you not wanting our help. If you choose this path, here is what is about to happen: We are going to get in the truck. We will take you to eat, shower and get dressed. Then, you will have to call the Director House of Promise and complete an intake interview. If she accepts you, the final task for the day will be the required physical and medical screening. What say you?" She replied with three. simple.  words: "I am ready."  

Prayer Focus: Those that stand at a crossroad and declare, "I am ready."


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