- With school starting up once again, there always comes more lists. Have to do this, this, and this, pick up this, drop this off, go here. The daily planning has begun. This morning I woke up with another fully planned day in front of me. All the work needing to get done blazing at the front of my mind. Some anxiety may have been present.
- Then, I read today's devotional in the book I started this summer. "Your natural preference is to plan out your day, knowing what will happen when. My preference is for you to depend on Me continually, trusting Me to guide you and strengthen you as needed. This is how you grow strong in your weakness."
- And then, the craziest thing happened. I read it again. And then, I followed it. I absorbed these words. And the scripture that ties it in: Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. James 4:13-15 Now listen you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money," Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." (To say "Lord willing" takes me back to days with my Grandma, everytime I left, I would say, "see ya on Sunday" and she always replied, "Lord Willing") So, before I attacked my to-do list, I stopped, I prayed. I prayed that God show me what needs to be done, and that those may go well. And that I not worry over every thing else waiting for me. And you know what? Today went so smoothly that I had extra time in it! I don't know if I did everything on my original list. But I know I accomplished what needed to be accomplished, mostly starting the day off with my devotions and prayer.
- I will just say that bed time- one little hiccup in my planned out day: I felt Maicy needed to be in bed asleep early. She felt the need to discuss with me the thickness of her watermelon slice at lunch. I believe that she makes God smile daily -- me too!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
- I wanted to let you know a little how my meeting with our support worker, Beth went. It was very good, and I didn't realize how badly I needed to tell her my side of the whole story. She is a great source of support and the best part is that she is a woman of faith. It just makes our connection work. I think she was relieved the first time we met also to discover that we were a Christian home. Anyway, we had a great discussion about our case and I am so glad that we were able to get together. She has been through the system many times and as sad as it is, we discussed how very frustrating DHS really is. That is an all to sad truth about the juvenile courts. Aside from venting our frustrations however, we did have some great talks. We were able to discuss how to differently enter into another foster case - especially if we are looking to be a pre-adoptive home for children. She answered a lot of questions about what we are able to request and how to go about that.
- And we talked for awhile about how while Sioux County has the lowest rate of reported child abuse/neglect, it also has the highest number of foster families per capita. I knew about the child abuse rate, but didn't realize the foster family ratio! Beth isn't from Sioux County, so for her to make these observations isn't based on bias either. And they are facts, not speculation. Beth believes, and I fully agree, that the moral living and faith based living of this small county are what make these facts. Its so true. As Christians, we nurture and love our children- not always perfectly- but definitely with love and knowing right from wrong. And we also want to show Christ's love to others. Hence the foster families. We want to be able to love others, heal their hurts, and show them the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father.
- I think that living here, I definitely take for granted that not all areas of the country are like this. We are so very privileged to live in a close knit community that does for the most part, share that one common bond, and that is the love of Christ Jesus. It doesn't matter what school our kids go to or what church we attend. Everywhere we go here, the Bible is the center of daily living and we don't need to feel embarrassed by what we believe, because most of our co-workers and our children's teachers believe the same thing. And I know that not everyone here is a Christian or actively participating in their faith walk, but the majority of us are, and that's an awesome thing to be a part of! I thank God for the opportunity to be in this area!
And because I have a warped sense of humor, instead of focusing, all I can picture in my head is the scene from "New in Town" where the New Ulm lady asked Renee Zellweger's character "Have you found Jesus?" Renee: "Oh, I didn't know he was lost!" "We don't joke about the Lord here"
I am sorry, It's random, but it cracks me up! Give me a Minnesota accent and there ya have the post!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
- Maicy: What are those?
- Me: Caramel Bits
- Maicy: Why are there sticks in there?
- Me: If people want to make caramel apples then they have the sticks already
- Maicy: Well I want to
- Me: Want to what?
- Maicy: Make caramel apples
- Me: No we are using the caramel for bars
- Maicy: but what about the sticks
- Me: We don't need those
- Maicy:But what are they for?
- Me: People who want to make caramel apples
- Maicy:But I want to
- Me: We aren't
- Maicy:But you said if anyone wants to and I want to
- Me: Not today
- Maicy: When?
- Enter Jackson: Maybe some day in 20 years when mom is like 50 something.
- Me: Thanks Jackson
- And I know that while I was frustrated, I picture grandma laughing her butt off because of the sweet paybacks of her child having a child "just like you!"
- So on Friday morning I will be meeting with our support worker from LSI. She is the one who came along with us when we picked up the girls and it is basically her job to, well, support us. She calls to see how things are going and to talk over feelings.
- Anyway, she called that she wants to come over this week to "talk about what happened." I don't know why exactly, but I feel like a kid who knows they are in trouble and going to meet the principal (I am just going by what I assume that would feel like, because honestly, that wasn't me. Maybe my husband. *Ahem*.) Its quite illogical feeling anyway, but it is what it is.
- I think that while I have complete peace with our choices and know without a doubt that we made the right choice, I feel guilt for feeling peace. I'll give you a minute to follow me. It makes sense to me, try to understand. People ask me if I miss having them here. Honestly? (gasp! honesty?!) No. Which is a huge part of me knowing it was right for us. I didn't attach. I didn't have enough joy when they were here nor did I offer up joy to any of the 4 kids living here, and I failed to find the little blessings from day to day. I hurt, I cried, my kids hurt, my kids cried. Am I able to see blessings in it now? Absolutely! I have mentioned positives in Lessons Learned. But I am still relieved to be done with that case. I know that it would have gone on and on and on and even if we had decided that we wanted to keep them, it was going to be a long battle. I don't have the fight in me. I need to know that I am fighting for the right thing. And I know this wasn't our battle to win. God has shown me that.
- So, I know all of this, and yet, I feel guilt for the peace. I feel the need to explain to everyone I meet why it didn't work out and what happened. And then, the social support worker is coming to talk about it. Which automatically leads me to feel like I did it wrong, even though my head knows she isn't that way. She is a Christian woman and not here to chastise me. Just here to figure out what we all could have done better and what we have learned for next time. At least that's what I am telling myself so that I am still able to get up on Friday morning.
- I realize I am confusing, but Psalm 27 sums up my feelings pretty well right now.
- Psalm 27 Of David.
- 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
- 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, [a] when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
- 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
- 4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
- 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
- 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
- 7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
- 8 My heart says of you, "Seek his [b] face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek.
- 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.
- 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
- 11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
- 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
- 13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
- 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
So far on this journey I have experienced many lessons learned. I thought I would take a moment to share them with you.
- First and foremost - God is good, all the time. He has never let us down. We have been on ups and downs and sideways trips here, and He has remained constant. He is good.
- God will use us and our desires to mold and shape us, and maybe to change our desires, or to be open to His desires instead of our own.
- God knows what is best, His timing, everything. I have been so impatient and so wanting to get on with the whole foster/adopt thing that I admittedly did not want to wait for His perfect timing. I am not saying He didn't want us to accept this case, I am just saying that it is clear that this was not His timing for us, and anyone with a clear mind can see that! How could I raise extra kids with my husband gone all the time, when honestly, some days I struggle with the 2 I have already and he is gone. We will wait, and I will be more careful in hearing His will for us
- I have the best friends in the whole world! Never did I imagine the overwhelming outpouring of love, support, encouragement, that we have received. Taking time to email, or comment, or call, or just stop over, meals, baths, everything, hugs in public when you know it may cause me to cry in your presence, just offering words of support or asking questions when we do bump into each other. Trust me, each one of these things are so significant to me and I can't begin to express my gratitude to each of you!
- I have more friends then I knew. Everyone who takes the time to read these rambling messes that I try to write out, I consider you a friend. Just taking the time to care and check in and to pray for us. That is so appreciated. Some of you I don't even know, yet here you are. Thank you.
- My kids are awesome! They have been super helpers and great communicators through all of this. Despite Maicy wondering why on earth "little T' hates her and has to bite her so much, she still tries to love her to pieces. Jackson is great at telling me when I am relying on him too much to be a helper, yet he is willing to step in when I really need it. He lets all 3 girls doggy-pile him on the living room floor and giggles his crazy head off. Maicy loves to help with baths and as long as she doesn't get bitten, is quite good at most of it. She always greets the girls with a smile and a smile in her voice and truly shows the love of Christ in her actions. I love to see that. She is a good role model for me some days. Her face sparkles.
- A gallon of milk only lasts a day-- if we're lucky. Really nothing sentimental there, just stating a fact. I have run out of milk more times in the past 2 weeks then I have ever before! Its what I learned.
- Church is a great place when you have 4 kids, drop them off at nursery and wha-la! Peace and relaxation for an hour! Okay, so we only brought 1 to the nursery, but wow, what peace. Great services this Sunday also. Just what I needed.
- I know that I am able to foster a child(one at a time please), love them, nurture them, and actually want for them to return to their own mother if that is what's best for them. Never did I think we would be able to, but now I do. I want the families to succeed.
- It is harder to admit that you can't do something than to continue feeling like you're drowning. But so worth it if you can. Look at all the great lessons that have come from me doing just that.
So for now, the girls are still here, I think by Wednesday they will move on. Continue to pray for that transition. I will keep you updated. Thanks again for just being there.
Friday, August 7, 2009
- I know I haven't updated in awhile.... it seems that 4 kids keep me busy, who knew?! And also, I have been waiting to update. We have had some major decisions to make and it hasn't been easy.
- I know that our decisions will come with judgement from many, although we hope that you trust that this has been prayed over and looked at from every angle and that we have to put our family first.
- We have decided to have the girls moved to another home. This is not a decision made lightly. Yes, it was short-lived, but we feel that to avoid more hurts, we need to do this before attachments are made. Let me explain as much as I can some of the reasons for this decision. Mostly it boils down to Steve being gone. *Let me quick take a moment to clarify for my dear husband who at certain places around town has been asked why he moved out and left his wife that we are so not separated and he hasn't left us! :) He is working out of town- out of state actually, because that is where the work is. Please stop harassing the poor guy! ;) *Okay, that's done. Because of him being away for the better part of the weeks, and the outlook on this ending looking farther and farther out all the time, we feel its best.
- I am unable to be a "single parent" for 4 children. To double the number of kids we have overnight, and then be left alone, has not been good for me or my kids. Believe me, I feel like a complete and utter failure. I hate that I have to admit my weaknesses and to say " I can't." Well meaning people tell me "oh, but its so good for those girls and you can do it" but no, I can not do it. There are too many struggles with them that are hurting my children emotionally and physically and the guilt of that is overwhelming. My family needs to come first. I have not been a good mom to anyone this week. I am over stressed and over tired.
- For those of you saying "well of course its hard, didn't she know it would be hard?!" to you I say, yes, I knew that. But, I have to accept my limitations. I fully believe that God has brought us to this point to show me what I can't do. I can't do this. And that is okay. It's part of the storm. And this is how the storm will go well, is for us to step away. Our kids are relieved, although of course they will still miss having them around sometimes.
- The door to this process is not closed for us either. I just now have a better understanding of what we are able to do. Siblings of this age are most likely not for us. I still have a heart for fostering, and for adopting. But, through this process, I have received one thing that I never saw happening in my life before and that is contentment. For years while we struggled with infertility I was grasping for more, no matter if that was before we had any children, after one, after two, I never felt complete or content. I now feel that if this is what God has for us, I am at complete peace with having only my own 2 children, and they are enough.
- This has been a growing experience for us. This has been a rough journey thus far. But one thing remains the same and that is that God is the God over all of us. His compassions for us will never fail and He will continue to walk with us and lead us through paths of righteousness, for His name's sake.
- I will continue to update here, and I will let you know when the girls are placed in another home. We ask you to pray for them as they move, that they may adjust quickly and that God will lead the DHS workers to the right home for them - soon. Pray for our children as they work through their feelings about all of this. Pray for me that the guilt I have felt may subside.
- I can't thank you all enough for all of you support and prayers. I ask that you continue to walk with us on our journey, no matter where that takes us. You have all been amazing sources of inspiration and love and peace for us, and words can't express how grateful we are for you.