Thursday, December 20, 2012

Adjusting


I was asked last night as I have been many times over the past few weeks “how you adjusting?”  Quick back story, we are foster parents and we recently went from four kids to none in about a two week period. Thos weeks also involved what felt like nothing less than a kick in the gut court experience.  Without sharing too much details of the case, we thought one of the cases was going to end in adoption but the judge and others on the case changed their minds at the last minute.  So back to the question “how are we adjusting?”  Depending on who you are you may have heard me say we are doing ok or we are making or my usual go to answer we are taking it day by day but trusting God. 

As I was driving home from my nieces’ Christmas dance program last night (side bar they were super adorable) I began to cry for the fourth time yesterday.  At first I just figured I was tired, Christmas music was playing and Delilah (no judging please) was asking people to call in and talk about those who they miss at Christmas time.  But as I continued to cry I hear some one questioning me…. are you really adjusting?  Are you really ok?  I began to weep more and wanted to yell NO, I am not ok but instead I felt an overwhelming peace someone saying, “this is hard, very hard but you are doing ok and together we will make it, but don’t be afraid to share your story.”  I realized then that I must be honest with both others and myself. 

My husband and I both still love foster care and love what we do.  We believe in families and that with the right help and the determination to change that families can heal.  We believe that we will always be involved somehow in the foster care system providing children with a home and a place to heal.  However, as we were so close to having “forever children” as we say in the foster care world I am having a time adjusting.  I however must share our story with others because not only does it allow others to get a better understanding of something we love and have devoted our lives to but to allow others to join in life with us as scripture teaches (Romans 15:15) and to encourage others that its ok to feel your emotions and to have good and bad days. 

So back to the original question---“How are you adjusting?”   Well that’s just it - it’s an adjustment. It depends on the day, how tired I am, what I have just heard on the radio, seen on tv, how someone just spoke to me or a plethora of other variables.  As I process the adjustment I often am comforted by something I learned in Dr Smiths class at ETBU----DABDA.  For you non counselors/social workers this is the grief process-  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  What it great about it is that there is not a set manner to go through the emotions.  It’s not circular and it’s not linear.

 This is how I am adjusting.  Many days, I am accepting.  I am doing fine.  I am happy a family is getting another chance (even with my many concerns).  I can laugh.   I also wake up and can’t believe it happened.  I keep thinking I am going to wake up from this nightmare.  It’s hard to believe our busy, loud house is quiet.  When I replay the past year and half for others is usually when I get angry.  There were so many misleading talks. At times I felt no one was looking out for the kids’ best interest.  I get angry about the way I was treated, that people didn’t do their job and angry about the let down.  I do wish I could make deals with cps and with the kids’ mom.  We were ordered no contact for 6 months.  We asked for Christmas contact and for birthday contact and both were turned down.  My bargaining has failed.  The depression is the sneakiest of them all.  I am a weeper by nature so it’s not uncommon for things to make me cry but right now the tears come more easily.  I ask that people be sensitive to this for me.  I am not ready to hear about others adoptions stories (I am super happy for them but I am still sad about my loss).  Those stories always make me cry even on a good day.  I get sad not knowing how the kids are doing.  I get sad when I see a child that looks like the kids that were in our home.   I get sad when others tell me that Christmas is for the kids.  I get sad when I realize what I have lost and that I miss being the mom figure for kids.  I miss the laughter in our home, the questions, the homework, the counseling trips, the chats about life.  Yes, some moments are super sad.

Through it all, I have felt blessed that God does not allow us to feel these emotions alone.  Not only does he listen to me cry, yell, or tell stories of those sweet little ones (all of the little ones who have come through our doors) but he places others in our life to feel them with us.  To you friends and family who have cried with me, listened to me yell, who have taken time to be with us I cannot explain how important that has been for our healing.  I often thought that with all the pain our group of friends have suffered in the past year (loss of babies, loss of adult children, loss of grandparents, loss of jobs, loss of marriages and health, etc) that what I was feeling shouldn’t even compare.  As if I should be ok and should move on to helping others; which is of course what God desires form us, to serve and love others.  But as I am reminded in this journey as we learn to adjust I too need to be served at times and need to allow others to jump into our messy lives and do it with us.  When I think I have this down, God reminds me that the business of loving people is messy and you have to allow others into your mess too.

So I am welcoming you into our mess.  Please be sensitive to it though.  We still have tough times and probably aren’t quite ready to hear your happy adoption stories or your friends of a friends aunt who did foster care too and she had a situation like ours.  For us this is unique to us and we are working through the adjustment. We welcome you to join in this with us as we will again reopen our home to little ones (not sure when but we will) and love them.  And know that no matter where you are in your adjustment and no matter what the adjustment is for, we are all worth the emotions and the feelings and as we trust God and do life together we then live life to it’s fullest. 

Oh and a huge thank you to our foster care agency, Buckner, who has gone above and beyond to take care of us and join in this process with us.  They are truly a blessing to us!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Election Day at our house

I know there is a lot that there is a lot going on with the elections coming up.  However I would like to ask you if you remember to take some time on election day to say a prayer for two of our little ones.  Their case goes to mediation and it's an important one this time.  I know every thing in their case is important but this has to do with their future placement.  We are praying for big things because we know we serve a big God.

Also, just as a quick update we are still going strong and enjoying a house full of busy busy kids who we love.  We have finally reached a normal for our family and though it may look different than most families we are blessed to have these children in our home and praying we are making the most of every opportunity while they are with us.  All four of them are growing and have brought personality, smiles, (sometimes tears) and blessings to us.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Doing life together

I love October..fall weather, leaves, perfect camping weather, hoodies, the fair, and of course the beginning of the holiday season (well at least the planning part).  It's almost as if you get a new start as we finish up the year.

I have had some friends ask why I haven't updated in a while but to be honest...life happens.  Our kids' cases have gotten messy and we need to be super careful about what is said.  I do ask for prayers not only for our little ones but for those who are making big decisions that will affect them in a big way.

Though the past few months have been hard at our house, we are not the only ones.  Life has been messy for many of our friends and for the first time I have lived in the DFW area I believe I truly know what it means when Jesus tells us to "mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice."  We have been blessed with a great group of friends who we have been able to do life together.  We have celebrated birthdays, weddings, new jobs, new children and we've mourned the loss of jobs, a loss of a baby and other family members together.  And together it's been made the messiness of life beautiful!

So to my book club friends and my church family I thank you.  Thank you for letting us do life with you and doing life with us.  I am grateful and feel blessed as we continue to do life together.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hard Week- Big Blessings

I would be lying if I said anything but this week was hard.  Everyone cried, everyone yelled, everyone was tired and everyone was ready for the long weekend.

School started this week and we were all excited.  Backpacks were packed, first day of clothes were super cute and we drove to school all smiles.  Then one of the schools called and for the second time we needed to change the school one of the little ones was registered at (long story but we are happy now).  And it began to unfold from there.  Every appointment we had made was changed, every family visit was on a different day, every time I tried to clean up something I created another mess, and our oldest who has a difficult time with change anyway was having a hard time with his behavior.  The kids' cases are also in the midst of big decisions which affect us and the little ones.  On top of that I spent many hours in the car too---therapy, doctors appointments, etc.

I remember looking at Buck on Wednesday night and saying "I can't remember the last time I ate a full meal or when I took a bath"  I realize I should have done better and I realize that eating and bathing are both super important but honestly if I remembered to get out of my pajamas last week to make it to school on time I felt successful.

On Thursday I took some time to cry it out and I decided to have a better rest of the week.  I would like to say that things got easier but well they didn't.  However, I felt better.  When I took time to look at the blessings and when some good friends rallied around us life's hard times felt much better.

Next week I will remember to eat, and I will take baths :).  I will continue to need the help of my friends and family.  And though I can't expect it to get easier as we add soccer and dance to the mix, my attitude will be better because I am grateful for blessings of friends who are letting us borrow a big car because we don't all fit in one of our cars, for the phone calls of people checking in on us, for promised of outings with friends next week, for a good long chat with my former youth pastor, for my mom and her pep talks and suggestions, for my sister listening to me whine, for my husband understanding I was overwhelmed and for four great kids that God is allowing us to be a part of their life story whether it be short term or long term!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

What a month it has been...

So much to update on that I am not sure where to begin so let's start with the oldest child in our home.

Thanks so much to everyone who has been praying and checking on our the oldest little one.  His behavior is slowly getting better.  His tantrums are not nearly as long and the intensity of the tantrums are not has high either.  We are using some new techniques coupled with a few other things.  It's taken a team of professionals and friends/family but we are so thankful.  We are able to enjoy more of the day and see his little personality emerge now that he is not so angry all the time, for this we are grateful.

In the midst of having to help our oldest I felt as though we were not giving his sister as much attention as I thought she needed.  It was hard to play with her and help keep the oldest safe from his own actions.  But with less tantrums she is getting more time with us. She is truly one of the funniest little divas ever.  She loves her princess clothes and at age four can pick up on sarcasm and appropriately return it.  She is so full of life.  What a joy it has been to get to see her shine.  Her new favorite thing is to declare it "dance time" and we turn on a record, yes I said record and we all dance, even Buck.  I have had to let my inner girliness come out (it's usually hidden) with her but it's totally been worth every minute.

Also many of you may know by now that our first two little ones are now back with us so were are a family of 6 now-with lots of dirt, snotty noses, going everywhere in two cars, lots and lots of laundry and well lots and lots of energy.  The first few days were hard.  Buck and I both felt mixed reactions about them being back in care.  We are saddened for their mom and hate she is having such a rough time.  We felt this go around that a friend was hurting and it was harder  to hear all the details.  On the other hand what a joy these little ones are to everyone they meet.  Always smiling, using manners, and loving people. The only issue is that the baby will not let anyone else hold her....she loves Buck and Buck only and well she could take or leave me.  :)  I do think she is getting better but she still is wanting him a lot.

Once again thank you to all our friends and family who not only have been praying for us but who have checked in on us or dropped off clothes, a meal, a mattress, money for princess curtains, etc.  Buck and I may look tired and we may have forgotten to properly thank you but we do.  We CANNOT do this with out you all.  And we love you all jumping in our mess so it doesn't feel so messy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Out of Control

In my 6 ish years of working a licensed social worker I have ran into several crisis situations and kids/youth from tough places dealing with tough things.   Never have I felt scared, uneasy or at a loss of ideas.  This all come to a screeching halt two weeks ago. For some back story Buck and I currently are fostering two little ones.  They have been living with us for 4 months (as of tomorrow).  They are talkative, full of energy and have great imaginations.

As the months have past we started to have some severe anger show from the oldest (a boy).  I remember thinking no big deal, we know how to handle this.  After many trial and errors nothing was working.  His tantrums became worse and would last longer.  Our agency was so encouraging--calling and checking on us, providing more training and helping us locate a great therapist.  Here and there we would have a day where the fits were not so long and we would feel that we had made some progress.

Four weeks ago the fits/tantrums began to escalate fast, last long (about 3 hours or longer) and we were slowly losing control. We were having two or three a day. We could not pin point the reasons for the fit-they weren't consistent and the escalation would happen fast, many times with no warning. There was nothing that seemed to work and believe me we tried everything and read lots of research and it was not working.  At one point during a fit I was so unsure of what to do I just prayed.  He stopped long enough to thank me for praying for him then picked back up.  This did give me a little chuckle :)

Two weeks ago while I was at work I get a phone call that he had ran away.  I was so scared.  He's so little and has no survival skill-what if we couldn't find him.  I pretty sure this is the first time I felt sheer panic in my life. Luckily we found him and he calmed down and went to sleep.  However when he woke up it began the longest day of my life.  I cannot remember what caused him to begin to throw a tantrum but it started about 9 in the morning and at 2 that afternoon we finally decided (with a team of professional help) that taking him to a pysch hospital was the best.

I must explain to you though how the tantrum felt.  As I watched him yell, scream, roll around in the grass, hit the windows, throw the patio chairs etc...I felt helpless.  It was like something had taken over his body.  He didn't even take time to breath.  I often would remind him to take a breath.  I was scared.

As we arrived at the hospital you are wanting to get help, wanting someone to acknowledge you are doing your best.  Well luckily this happened.  The admissions counselor was cold but the doctor we met with was so encouraging to us.  I was relieved to hear him speak to us but can someone explain to me that while we are in a room with a screaming child who is not stopping, who is running into the walls that we have to wait for 6 hours.  That's right it took 6 hours for us to get seen and to get admitted into the hospital. Ridiculous!!!

Once in the staff was helpful.  When I got back to the car after saying our goodbyes. I lost it.  I cried the whole way home, tears of relief, of pain, of hope, of sadness for him, of exhaustion.   I couldn't remember the last time I ate or how I was going to sleep knowing he was there.

In the few days he was in the hospital I was able to get some sleep and take time to see the good.  I was reminded that he is a little boy with big hurst, not just an angry child.  While talking through the events that night, I remember Buck asking how did I stay calm.  I was thinking-I didn't day calm, my insides were racing.  But even though I was scared and felt panic there was a strength that only God can provide to keep going.  This is the only explanation.

And to end this rather long post...I cannot get into the details of their case but please pray for them.  Also for all you parents out there....love on your kids, give them hugs, acknowledge they exist!  The power of human touch when you are young is soooo huge! Oh and he is doing better.  He is not well but better.  And well, we have gotten some rest and are ready to keep in this battle for him and his future.

Friday, July 6, 2012

So good news!!!!  Our first set of foster kids moved about 15 minutes from us.  Buck and I were able to visit them this week and it was good.  It was good to hug their necks, kiss their faces and to see how well they are doing.  It was good to know that their mom was doing the best she can and was really trying to do her best for her kids.  It was good to see happiness.

When we arrived to the home, the boys ran out and hugged us were so excited to see us.  Daisy was still asleep so we didn't really get to see her for a while.  Our current kids ran around and played outside with all the boys while I stayed inside and chatted with their mom.  We had a great talk and I shared with her how we were still on her team and that we are still here to encourage and help when we can.  She was grateful.

The best part of the day was when we were leaving, David put on his shoes and thought he was going to get to go with us somewhere and Daisy hugged Buck's neck and squeezed his cheek next to hers.  She would not let go.  So sweet.  As happy as we are they are with their mom it was good to know that they still remember us and enjoy us too!  What a blessing!


It's been crazy here the past few weeks.  But I wanted to take some time to say thanks to a great foster care agency.  We have had some difficult behaviors at our house and we were trying all we could do to help manage them.  To be honest it was hard to leave the house because we never knew when there would be a melt down or when someone might get hit.

However Buckner heard our hearts and ran to the rescue.  They took time to encourage us and give us extra training on what to do.  We finally got a diagnosis that made sense and a game plan.  I cannot explain the peace I now have and how much calmer our house feels.  I know that it will take time and that we are not going to be perfect at this every time, but I am glad to have the tools to help love, teach and care for a little boy who is scared and angry and doesn't know what to do with all those emotions.

Thanks!

Friday, June 22, 2012

What a month we have had at our house.  Our little ones are still with us and their emotions have just gotten bigger.  To be honest it is sometimes hard to stay calm in the midst of the anger our little ones are showing.  I know it's not completely their fault and I know that they have not been taught what's right and what's wrong however it's hard to remember that if you are being hit, yelled at or even bitten :)  I find myself tired a lot more.  It's not the emotions or the behavior that is tiring but to constant need to have to be one step ahead or having to be ready to de-escalate at any time or to walk one of them through what to do with their anger.

I am overwhelmed with sadness for them and wish that their healing process wouldn't have to take to so long (for them and for us).   And I am sad that they have valid reasons to be angry.  A lot has happened in their little lives.

However, Buck and I were able to talk to their grandmother yesterday and for the first time I had a peace.  I was able to hear more of their story and know that they do have a family member in their corner who has chosen to make better decisions.  It the midst of all the junk these little ones have to deal with it, it was a nice reminder of the healing power that God provides.

Also what a blessing it is to have such a good family and friends who don't get freaked out when we have a 2 hour yelling fit at our house or if something goes flying in the house.  It's a welcomed comfort to know that they will still love on these little ones and even give us a break from time to time (yay to mom who listened to a screaming fit so we didn't have too).  You guys make what we do easier!

And though it can be a zoo around here it makes it all worth it when you see a smile or you finally get a thank you or even an "I love you" at bedtime.  We are doing life together; what a blessing!

Monday, May 14, 2012

sometimes it's just hard

The past few weeks have been to say the least a learning experience.  I have sat down to write this blog many times and felt that I didn't have the right to talk about what I considered to be "rough times".  There are so many out there who are dealing with big things - death of spouses, death of unborn babies, being robbed, losing jobs, losing a house,---BIG things.

My heart hurts for them.  It's hard to know what to say;  it's hard to know how to help;  it's just hard all around. 

I feel as though Buck and I are going through our hard time right now.  I am not complaining but I do hope that speaking about it others will understand CPS a little more and the children we love.  We currently have two precious little ones in our home.  They are full of energy, questions, love, imaginations and they make us laugh.  

However with them comes some huge emotions, huge hurts and huge pain.  I find myself getting so angry.  Our days now consist of big behaviors and long loud fits.  One day we listened to screaming for 4 hours with just a few seconds here and there for taking a breath.  There are other behaviors but that's not what's bothering me.  What is eating me at my core is the how angry I can become.  Angry at their parents for the hurts they allowed, angry at other family members for not stepping in, angry at a system that is not perfect, and at times angry at the kids for choosing to be defiant and at Buck sometimes for not correcting the way I would have.

I usually consider myself a patient and compassionate person.  However over that past few weeks I have felt anger that I didn't know I had.  I am tired and emotionally exhausted.  I wish I had answers now but nothing happens fast.  And everything is making me cry.  It's a hot mess.  

I am learning a lot about myself and my limitations.  I am also learning to forgive.  I am not there by any means but I think to fully love the children in our home we have to forgive their parents and teach the children how to deal with the wrongs in their lives.  I have to forgive a system that I feel limits us at times and forgive the children for the times they hit, yell and defy us.  

With all this said, I must say that even though it's hard we are glad to serve children this way.  We love them and are thankful for the joy they bring to our house and the lessons we are all learning together...that even though life isn't fair there is always the option for making something beautiful out of the mess!  Thankful for a God and friends who get their hands dirty with us!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Newsletter Devo

Buck and I were asked to write a devotional for the Buckner newsletter.  So I thought I would share it with you since we completed it last night...



In preparing to be foster parents, one of the things that stood out to us most was the goal of foster care, to see families reunited.  We were also amazed at the success rate of families being restored and made whole again.

Looking back though we realized that this fact should not have amazed us, because we serve a God who is in the business of restoration and redemption. This truth is so important for us to remember as followers of Christ, but especially as foster parents, because of the brokenness and sin that is so often prevalent in the lives that we are working to change. Out of this darkness though it is God’s desire to bring light and life. Not just in the lives of the children in our homes, but also in the lives of their families, and the lives of all who are around us.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 tells us that “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

God has changed each one of us through Jesus, not for ourselves but for His glory and so that we could go out and do the work of seeing other lives changed and made whole again.  We must hang onto this hope so that we can continually live this great calling that God has placed in our lives even in the midst of all the pain we see. We must remember the purpose that God has for us and always work towards that goal of restoration.

We were blessed to see this in our first placement.  Our home was only open just a few days when we got the call that a two week old baby girl and her three year old brother were coming to our home.  Through the 9 months that we were blessed to have them be a part of our lives we got to see them grow and change.  But also through the work we were doing and the relationships we were building we saw healing in their parents and siblings and their family was eventually made whole again. What was most surprising though was the healing we saw in the members of our family as they cared for these precious little ones along side us.  What a great testimony this was and is to the restorative work of God in our world.

We are not na├»ve. We know there is still pain in this world, as we felt that pain when those little ones were no longer in our home.  We also know that not every case will go this well.  But even in the midst of that, we know that we must continually live out this calling so that others can feel the love of Christ and have the opportunity to feel his loving arms wrap around them and make what was once broken whole again, because Christ first did this for us. 


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Here we go again

As many of you may know by now quite a bit of change has happened in our lives over the past few weeks.  First being that our sweet David and Daisy went home.  Their mom did everything she was suppose to do and we are so proud of her.  I cannot tell you though just how hard it is to not have them here in our home.  I miss their laughs and even their fits.  I miss getting to squeeze them and tell them how much I love them.  However I do know that God has restored a family and that they are trusting Him to continue the healing process for them.  And we are happy for them!

The next few days were so strange around the house and Buck and I just didn't know what to do, how to react.   I was sad and lonely, I was going a little crazy :)  But I rested in the fact that we serve a big God who knows the big picture.

Two weeks after our sweet babies got reunited with their mom and brothers Buckner called and asked if were ready for another placement.  Ready for another baby in the home I said yes!  They placed with us a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old little girl.  I cannot go into details but the case is so messy and the emotions these little ones are feeling are HUGE!  To be honest the first week was rough on all of us.  Getting use to each other, trying to reassure them they are safe here and that it's not their fault they have to live with us.  There were lots of tears on both ends!  I went to bed at 9 every night so worn out.

I am happy to tell you though now after two weeks that though we are still learning each other that we are having fun.  I still miss David and Daisy and I miss that unconditional love that a baby gives you because they know no better.  But God has given us the most girly little girl who loves to sing, twirl in dresses, dress up and be all things pretty!  She has even convinced me to wear a dress just for fun once or twice.  :)  Also we have a boy who is full of energy and knows what he wants and how to voice it.   Both of who are aching for love and acceptance.

So here we go again....what a sweet (emotional) journey we have embarked on.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What a week

As I sit here this morning and write out this blog my house has almost an erie emptiness about it.  Buck it at work, our floors are nothing but concrete as we await the installation of our new floors today and the kids are back home with their mom and step dad.  It's taken me a while to have the courage to sit down and write about their last days with us.  The memories are sweet but we do miss them terribly.

Today marks one week since our precious children returned home.   We both knew it was going to happen and we both knew that we were extremely happy for their mom and the work she has done and is still doing.  The last week was full of friends and family surrounding us and the little ones.  People stopped by (or spent the night) to love on them, to play with them, to remind them just how special they are and how God created them for BIG things.  To be honest at first I wasn't happy about this.  I was trying to be considerate of the feelings of others but all I wanted to do was soak up these kids all I could for myself and Buck.  I wanted "family time" and I wanted to hold them and love them.

After a few days of many people coming in and out of our home I realized, we are having family time.  Everyone who stopped by was loving on them just as we would have and truly loved them.  They all were feeling some level of grief and happiness.  It was truly the most beautiful picture of people understanding what it means to "rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn."  For the first time I also understood just how many rallied around us and helped us through our journey with these kids, including our agency, Buckner.  And also, how a decision that we made two years ago to start the process to become foster parents affected those around us.  I was overwhelmed to say the least.

By the time Friday rolled around I was feeling ok about our little ones returning home.  There was a peace that only God can provide that I knew their mom loved them. she was grateful for us, for a second chance and for the love she felt from God and us.  It's a beautiful picture of God's mercy and redemptive power.  A family was being reunited YAY!!!!!!!

The CPS worker arrived early on Friday (which never happens) and within 20 minutes she was driving our last nine months away.  It was strange and cold feeling.  She showed up, we packed the car and they left.  I am not sure what I was expecting but it was all so strange to me.  So fast, so empty.  Buck and I decided to go get lunch.  We walk in the door and the hostess says to me (and very politely)  "so is there just two of you?"   It was like someone had punched me in the heart and gut all at the same time.  I immediately began to cry.   I felt as though I had lost part of who I was, part of my purpose and I felt lost.  I didn't know what to do.

The next week has been a blurr.  There have been good days and bad, good moments and bad.  However, there are a few things I can say with confidnece -we have great friends and a community who has supported us (and are ready to do it again), we trust God and know that this family is a beautiful picture of redemption and we will do it again!!!  I had a friend tell me just  few days again that we are tailored made to do this.  I told him thank you and it was just confirmation to me that when God calls you to do something you have to do it!  I never found more purpose in anything I have done before.  Thank you to all those who supported us.  (And to those of you who feel you are awkward in sad situations, I tell you just don't talk.  The worst part of this was listening to people try to fumble around and say dumb things or give you a pathetic look-just don't).

So where do we go from here?  Luckily the kids' mom wants to keep in contact with us and she wants all of her children to still have us and one of the other foster moms in their lives.  We are slowly figuring out how that looks.  But yay for that.  Also the number one question we get is will we do it again.  And YES!!!  I know not all causes will have a beautiful ending but I do know that we can't stop.  There are so many families and children who need redemption, who need a little bit of love, or who need a complete start over.  And as long as we can provide for children we are in this business for a lifetime.  So to all of you who supported us in our first placement, hang on to your hats, we going in again and will need you each time.

As with all things in CPS you just never know when your next placement will be so we are in a waiting game; it could be in a week, two weeks or a few months.  But we look forward to the next family that will be represented in our house.

PS if you would like more info about fostering please check out our agency.  www.beafamly.org

Monday, February 6, 2012

healing

This weekend many people said to me "Oh, I am so sorry to hear about the kiddos. I will pray that something will change and that they will get to stay with you."  As sweet as the statement sounds and I am sure kindness that was behind the words, it's a hard statement for me to swallow.  Don't get me wrong, we LOVE the kids and would be their forever home in a heartbeat, but if that happens it meant another family failed.   It means a mom who has been working hard to make changes messed up again, it means that we are rooting against her.  (And for those of you who have asked if mom does make a mistake or chooses not to stay well we will be the first to be called).

In my six plus years of working in the social work field and mostly with CPS families in some fashion I know this is not what always happens.  There are parents who choose to not get well and families fall apart.   I hope that as Buck and I continue in our journey as foster parents we will always be rooting for the parents and that we will remember that we serve a big God who does big things!  Then if the day comes that a parent chooses not to change then we will mourn the loss of the birth family for the child(ren) and hope to give them or someone will them a forever family.

Today this is easy to say.  There are tough days when I just want to keep kids and even more babies.  I find myself early on rooting against their mom too.  So I understand.

I ask you to pray for the family unit, (for mom, her husband, all the boys and the sweet baby girl) for mom to keep making changes and to stay well, to pray that Buck and I will be able to keep in contact with them and that our hearts will mend so we can do this again.  And to also be patient with us, it's all so new and the emotions are much bigger than we thought.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

tomorrow

So no matter how much we prepare ourselves for this transition and know that God's hand is in it all, it's still hard.

Visits for our little ones (by themsleves without the other boys) and their mom start tomorrow.  If all goes well they will do a few more then an overnight visit.  The most current word we have gotten is they will be transitioned home by Spring Break.

All of a sudden I have a sense of ergency.  There is so much more I want to do with them, so much more I want to teach them, and so many more times I want to tell them that we love them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A little help from our friends....please

Over the past week or so I have been working on some things to be able to give our little ones when they go home to their mom.  I want them to know how special they are, how they are created by God and can make a difference in their community and world.

As I am working on putting their pictures together and in a storybook for them I realized just how loved they are by more than just Buck and I.  So I am asking for your help.  If you would like to write them a letter or have anything you would like to give them as a momentum from the time they spent in our lives please feel free to give them to me.  I am making them a keepsake box for them to take and be able to have such things in a safe place forever.

I also will be making sure we take pictures!!!  So if you have any pictures will you please send them to me.  We want to make sure that both children know just how much we and you all love them!!!!  :)

Thanks

Monday, January 16, 2012

How to say this?

As I write this, I am sitting at home while both kids are sleeping so peacefully in their rooms and my heart doesn't feel as peaceful.  As our journey as foster parents has been such a joy over the past 8 months nothing can prepare for this part of the journey.  The little blessings that have been in our home for the most amazing 8 months will be transitioning home starting first of February.  We have known for a while but I just wasn't sure how to handle this and how to tell everyone who chose to be a part of their lives that soon they will no longer be in our home and no longer be a part of our family.

We knew this going in.  We knew that the goal is for families to heal but it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt any less.  I have already spent hours in tears and in prayer for our sweet babies and their families.  I can honestly tell you that I am happy for this family.  I am proud of their mom who chose to make a change and fight to have her kids back.   However here are a few questions that people have asked us as we have began telling them the news about the kids going home.

When will it happen?
We really don't know.  It could change from day to day, but my best guess is by end of February.

How are you doing?
Well, I am tired, sad, happy, excited, feeling lost, concerned, and ..... you get the picture.  It depends on the day or even time of the day or what cute thing our little ones did.  But when I take time to think rationally about it I know it will be super hard but I am happy they will be able to be will their brothers again.

Can you stay in contact with them?
It's up to their mom.

Will you do this again?
YES!!!  As much as this part will be hard and we may not function for a few days, we realize that there is a job to be done.  As long as there are kids who need home while their families heal we will do this.  (or until God tells us different).

Can you love other children as much as you do them?
I sure hope so!  Each child is different and has different gifts and needs different healing.  Just like all our friends are different.  And we don't love our newer friends any less than our older friends :)

How can we help?
You can pray for their family (brothers and mom).  But they biggest thing you can do is love the next children that are in our home and the next and the next.  We need you!!!  Our kids need you.  Our friends and family are the reason why the kiddos have had the experience they have had here.  They know they are loved and it's been amazing!

Well that's about it for now.  Please be patient with us as we figure this out and we will do our best to keep everyone updated.  And know that even though you may see my cry or you may see me smile that in my heart, I know God is taking care of these kids and that a family is healing.  And that is enough for me to keep going and to do this again.

Thanks for loving our kids!