Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I wrote this yesterday, so some dates are off but better late than never with posting.....

You know, sometimes I feel like all I do is stand up and confess areas I am lacking or learning things in.  Anyone else feel that way?  I feel like I start over constantly (going to clean tomorrow, not going to get mad at the kids tomorrow, not going to grab 13 handfuls of m & ms before bed....tomorrow) and so forth.  Seriously, am I the only one?

We got B home yesterday and it was everything I expected it to be x10.  I am not going to share any details but it was rough.  I found myself doing extra cuddling, wolfing down dinner while standing up holding him, doing several baths to comfort him, and not losing my patience when he cried as soon as I laid him down.

Then, my two kids acted like 7 and 4 year olds and what do I do?  I lose my patience.....I send them to their rooms, I told them to quit playing so loud and so forth and so forth.  This morning before school they both were sent to their rooms on the way to the car for basically getting on my nerves.  I will admit it.  My patience was absolutely nil with them.  I had a perfectly good excuse though....I was emotionally worn out from B's situation.

Then it hit me.  I am missing an opportunity to do exactly for my kids what God does for us.  We are studying Gideon right now in Bible Study and our last lesson was on God's patience.  No matter how many times Gideon asked for a sign, God answered with loving patience.  He understood his fear and knew exactly what he needed.  Instead, my kids are seeing a mom lose patience with them at the drop of a hat and not offering them the mercy and grace that we are extended every day.

Now, don't get me wrong...I'm not talking about ignoring behavior that needs punished or overlooking things because I just don't want to deal with it.  I'm talking about yelling at them to clean up the living room because they have simply taken all the pillows off the couch to do "gymnastics."  Seriously, that hurts nothing.

I decided this morning while spending time with Addison on a field trip that my new resolve is to give my kids the grace they deserve.  She is 4 1/2 years old and instead of spending time wishing she wasn't so clingy, wasn't so defiant, didn't make me stand by her in line everywhere, I am going to be so grateful that I am able to spend this time with her.  I am grateful that right now, although I have been called to help take care of kids in bad situations, it also means I can spend a little more time with my own kids.  I am going to be thankful that even though I wear God's patience thin on a daily basis, He isn't blasting everyone else because of it.

Basically, I am not going to be aggravated that B is facing a situation unlike anything my kids will ever know.  I am not going to focus on the fact that his opportunities in life will look very unlike my own kids.  Instead, I am once again, not going to put limits on what God can do.  I am going to be thankful for the lessons I am learning through B and trust in the One who knows his future.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I could never let them leave......

One of the things said to me most often when I talk about fostering is, "I could never do that because I could never let them leave."  To be honest, I haven't really known how to respond to this and so I've never said much or answered when people say that.  Maybe I've just never known how I will handle it either so I didn't feel I should answer.  Plus, I know it sounds so strange to most, but that was the last thing on my mind when we considered fostering.

This weekend was strange.  It was our first weekend without B since May (except for a random night here and there with grandparents) and I wasn't sure how any of us would handle it.  We weren't completely confident in the situation he was going to, and we weren't sure he would be taken care of the way he was used to.  Friday was the hardest for J.O. but yesterday and today have been the hardest for me.  I am ready to get him back, check on him and hold him and rock him.  I am ready to talk to his family and see if I can hear the love in their voice that everyone has for B the minute they spend any time with him.  Yes, I am even ready to stay up with him tonight when he is trying to settle down and sleep.  I am just ready to get him.

But.....I am also already emotionally preparing for him to do this again Friday.  Then, we will go through this again the following Monday, and so forth and so forth.  I will most likely have the random break downs throughout the weekend again, and once again I will be comforted by the fact that God will give me the strength to let B go.

I am still not 100% sure how to respond when people say they could never foster because they could never let the child go but I do know this.....we put way too many limitations on our God.  The God who wakes you up every morning, brings children into your life, provides you with a home and running water, is more than able to carry you through having a child transition out of your home.  He puts people in your direct path to help carry you and sustain you, and so what if it's hard every now and then?  My discomfort is far less important than the comfort B has had for 5 months.  My heartache with seeing him leave, is nothing compared to him not having someone smile at him and change his diaper each morning when he wakes up.  It's's hard on me, J. O. and the kids.  But, I am thankful for a peace that can only come from God and a cause that's worthy of the pain.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Range of emotions.....

Today was a day I had been anticipating and dreading for awhile.  We had B's review hearing this morning and court dates are always exhausting.  The waiting room is filled with children away from parents, parents away from their children and kids who are actually there for juvenile court.  It's also a place where overworked and tired attorneys and caseworkers are gathered trying to figure out what's in the best interest of these children.  In's not a place that screams fun and excitement.

Like I said, we had B's hearing today and I knew a relative had come forward for placement and that was okay.  However, I just wasn't prepared for how fast it looks like it's going to happen.  There are still some concerns but I am just trusting that it will work out the way it's supposed to.  I am just praying that if this isn't the permanent solution we will know right away and B can get settled. 

I think the toughest thing for us will be the back and forth emotions over the next month as we transition.  I am battling the feelings of wanting to control it and hoping the situation turns out differently, but then I am also feeling guilty because this allows him to be around his family.  It's so hard for me to selfishly stand back and truly pray that God's best plan for his life will prevail. 

His attorney today asked me if I had been fostering long.  I said no, that B was my first.  She said, "oh, I really hoped you had been doing this awhile so that you were prepared for things like this."  You could tell she wanted to ask if I would do this again but just didn't.

The truth is I am continually overwhelmed at the call God has placed on our family's life for this.  I had a peace during court today that could only be from God and that's because of the countless people that told me they were praying for me.  When the attorney came over to check on me I was shocked I was able to keep it together.  This next month will be awful and confusing for the kids and I don't even want to think about it when he actually goes home, but we will continue to foster.  We will continue to bring in kids that will most likely stay with us for a time and leave our home.  God's plan is not for the state to be raising our kids, and seeing that today firsthand makes me more determined than ever. 

Hebrews 13:8

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.