Monday, November 30, 2015

New definition of hard....

We had the absolute perfect baby for two months.  I mean, seriously.  When they called about him, they said he was 8 weeks old.  I hesitated because J. O. has one request....that we don't take newborns.  In his defense, baby B about did us all in.  But, in true Tamra fashion, I said sure and figured I would ask for forgiveness later.  After all, J. O. is pretty laid back.

This baby came to us and the first night he slept through the night.  I was shocked.  J. O was shocked.  We then found out his birthday was wrong and he was actually 3 months old so it made a little more sense.  This baby reminded me of Trey from the word go.  He was content, he was so happy, everyone fell in love with him and there were several times that I thought...'there is no way I am letting this one leave.'  J. O. and I actually discussed that this would be one of our harder goodbyes.  The whole family loved him and he just 'fit'.

Well, of course the time came to say goodbye and we were happy to see him head home in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family, but we found ourselves waking up wondering how he slept, how he ate, etc.  It was then, I was reminded that people truly don't do this because this is the part they want to avoid.  The goodbye.  The hard part at the end.  I will admit, a part of me didn't want to see this baby leave because I knew there would be NO WAY our next placement would be as easy.  There.  I said it.

And I was right.  DHS called me Tuesday and asked if we could do respite through Sunday night.  It was for two boys....ages 4 and 6 years old.  They walked in at 8:30 a.m. and stole our hearts from the word go.  The little one was calling me mama by 9:00 and the older one by lunch.  They yelled for mama and daddy constantly and the older one told us heartbreaking stories of how his daddy was in jail and he will be going home to his 'real' momma soon.  We dealt with things like middle fingers, curse words and Addison and the 6 YO falling in love, but I would do it all again tomorrow.  I have never slept better in my entire life.  I hit the pillow at night and crashed.  I was tackled out of affection, almost fell down the stairs, couldn't figure out how to make a strong and physical 6 year old get in the car when it was time to leave and so forth.  But, I miss those boys like crazy!  They have stories and laughter that babies just can't tell when they are with us.  They have lived a life that my kids can't imagine.  When Addison asked me why the older one was saying hateful things, I had a chance to talk to her about how life probably seemed so unfair to this boy.  And it is!  He doesn't deserve any of this.  He deserves a family, stability, electronics to play on (we gave him full rights to Trey's and he was in Heaven!), a home, extended family and so forth.  Both of those boys do.

I am not going to lie.  Last week was exhausting!!  But, it's hard to explain to people who aren't doing this, that I would do it all again in a heartbeat.  Did I enjoy my day today with only Addison at home?  YES!!  Am I relishing in the quiet evening at home tonight?  OF COURSE!!  But, if DHS called right now, I would say yes again.

Our pastor said something Sunday that I loved.  He was talking about our upcoming outreach we have next week at church and asking for more volunteers.  He was talking about how his own 7 year old will be at church for all of the Tree performances and it will likely be exhausting.  His point was that a mission trip is to teach children that life is not all about themselves.  Our kids shared games, electronics, bath toys, time, lots of attention, and much more while these boys were here last week.  There were nights they were over it, but they learned that life is not about them.  Life is about so much more.

Give me the hard and the hard goodbyes over the easy any day.  I mean it!  My memories of sweet baby D and these boys are worth so much more than any discomfort I may feel.  Sometimes, I think we adults also forget that we aren't here for our ease and comfort.  It's not always easy, but it's always worth it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Orphan Sunday and The Red Cup

If you were at our church on Orphan Sunday, you were moved.  No, I haven't talked to each and every one of you, but unless you literally fell into an Adam-type sleep, then you were moved.  It started at the beginning of the service when the Removed video was broken up and shown in several pieces.  I've seen the video.  I've shared the video.  I've even shown the video to a group of women I was talking to one morning.  But I was still in the pew doing the ugly cry.  At one point, J. O. looked at me and said, "they're going to move her again aren't they?" and all I could get out was, "no, her brother is here!!"  It's moving, it's heartbreaking and if most of us will be honest with ourselves, we know it's reality.

I made Addison and Trey sit in church with us Sunday because I wanted them to hear Christie speak and watch the video.  I had a view of the back of Addison's head most of the time and I couldn't really tell if she was listening or trying to pull a fast one on her friend's aunt for most of the service.  Last night though, I heard her telling Trey and Annalise she was making price tags for her clothes so she could sell them and raise money for when she is married and begins to foster.  She wants to raise money for the kids she may have.  Addison is ADAMANT that she will never have a baby the old fashioned way.  She said there is no need to go through all that pain when she can foster or adopt.

As I listened to her going through the clothing store rules and regulations, I realized it was on her mind.  Then last night when she was taking a shower, she asked me why our preacher showed that video if he knew kids would be in there.  I asked her what she meant, and she told me because it was so sad.  I told her it was so we could see it and understand what it feels like for these kids a little better.  We then related that to how Annalise felt when she came into care and her brother wasn't with her, or how the twin we had several months ago felt because she was separated from her sister.

I was thinking about all this today and realized.....Addison has the right idea.  She saw something that made her sad and uncomfortable so she came home and started getting to work.  I now have little pieces of paper with dollar amounts ALL over the house.  I will admit I did stop her when she started pulling everything out of her closet, but I also assured her we would get some things together soon.  We as adults are just not the same are we?  We are sad, feel moved and then move on.  Now, I can hear several people saying...."well, that's not fair.  We can't do that."  Okay, maybe you can't take care of extra kids.  I can't either and I do it every day.

Or maybe you legitimately can't.  Your husband says NO (make sure he really does though and it's not just you assuming), or you don't feel called to take kids into your home (make sure that's legit too, because some days I feel called to become an alcoholic and run away, but I refrain) or you just aren't sure what to do.  Honestly, there are lots of ways to become involved that don't look like fostering or adopting and sometimes you just have to search those out.  Be proactive.  Be assertive.  Be moved to action.

Now on to this red cup thing.  If you haven't heard, Starbucks gave out a plain red cup and some lone ranger decided they were now anti-Christmas and we should boycott or at the very least give the name, Merry Christmas so they have to write it on your cup.  I do NOT believe that multiple Christians were outraged, but simply one man.  However, look how big it became.  It's all over FB.  It's the new lion that was killed by the Dentist.  Here's my point with it though.  We are always ready and willing to fight these causes.  A plain red cup from Starbucks????  Aw, heck no.  And the crusade begins.  But yet, we are so willing to go listen to a moving sermon on Orphan Sunday (in churches everywhere) and cry, get more tissue, and then move on.  Not everyone.  But some.  Be moved to action.  If you are called to go, go.  If you are led to act, act.  If a 6 year old girl, OBSESSED with her clothes can be willing to clean them out to raise money for these kids, surely you can do something too right?