This is the number of car seats of which I am now the proud owner.
Because on Tuesday, Officer Evans called to let us know they had found our stolen van.
With the car seats.
And (PRAISE BE!), not only are the car seats all there, but every. single. thing. that was in the van when it was stolen, is still there. Every theological book, every important paper, every library book, every crusty sippy cup. Ewwww. It's all there.
To give a little background, two nights after Ethan came home from his trip (during which the van was stolen), I awoke at 1:30 AM to the camper shaking and Ethan scrambling. "Oh, those punk idiots!" he whispered excitedly before zipping the window shut and hurrying towards the door. I was still in a slumbering stupor, so nothing was registering. I flipped over and blissfully enjoyed having the whole bed to myself.
A few minutes later, he came back into the camper, fumbling for the cell phone. "Hello? Yes, we had a car stolen a little over a week ago, and now I'm watching three guys with hoods and backpacks check all of the cars on the street. They're looking in every car with a flashlight and checking all the doors." The next morning, we discovered they had opened his locked truck and stole his sunglasses and a shortwave radio.
Now, for those of you that know my husband, you know that it is a big deal that he did not go after them himself. Ethan is a strong horse of a man that you don't want to cross by doing something like outright stealing his entire vehicle. And if you have the nerve to come looking around for more, well, watch out. So anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to find him not chasing after them himself.
That was a month ago. We called our officer occasionally to check on the status of the van.
Until two days ago. After we received the call about the van, we began to piece the story together. It took the help of a detective. "Hello? I'm Officer XYZ. Now that your van has been found and is again in your possession, I have been assigned as the detective on your case. Obviously I'm a little out of the loop here. Tell me what you know so that I'll know something."
This is what happened.
The night Ethan called the police, those three thieves were found and arrested.
A week earlier, the van had been found a few hours after it was stolen. At 5 AM the morning I discovered it was stolen (at 8 AM), the thief had been caught speeding near Chesapeake, VA. He was driving on a suspended license. They gave him a citation and towed "his" vehicle away. Since I had not yet reported the vehicle as stolen, they did not know this. Later, the tow truck driver processed the vehicle (meaning he let the DMV know he had it). It came back as "blocked," but the DVM didn't let him know this was because it was stolen. After waiting three weeks, he tried to process it again. It again came back as blocked. He called the state police, found out he had a stolen vehicle, and the rest is history. Well, $500 later, the rest is history. Because we had to pay the impound fee (on which he graciously ...ahem... gave us a 2/3 discount). And the thief? He's already in custody, as he is the same one found stealing from other vehicles. One of the ones Ethan called on. So add grand larceny to the mix.
But I am happy. We were certain that stuff was gone and that was that.
And God would still have been good.
But I am so grateful that He has again expanded our idea of good! He has given, He has taken away, He has given again.
Car seat, anyone?