Monday, September 17, 2012

God has a plan. God has a plan. God has a plan.

I've been repeating this to myself for over an hour.

Because today is one of those days when I look at God and say "Are you SURE you got this right? Because it's starting to fall apart, and I don't FEEL like this is right."

I know that we are called to foster. And most days, I know that we have been called to care for J. But today has been rough. Not because of J- although he can be difficult. But he is a 1 year old. And my soon to be 4 year old has given me a run for my money this morning. Maybe it's because she was a foster child. Maybe it's because she is just a strong willed child, but today she has broken my heart. Today I wonder if this was REALLY the right thing to do. Maybe what everyone else says is true. Maybe we shouldn't have taken J. Maybe I've put my children's mental well-being at risk.

She has been SO disprespectful, and SO defiant and SO angry for the last two months. And today she has completely broken me.

I don't know if I really believe all of that, but please keep me in your prayers. Because my heart is breaking today. And it's all semi-normal parenting stuff- but because I foster, I have a thousand other reasons to try and explain the behavior, so I immediately jump to those.

It could simply be that I'm trying to cut out naps for her and she's tired. But all I know is that the last week has been HARD. I've tried EVERYTHING to get her to change her behavior, and it won't work. I'm tired. I'm hurt. And I'm tired of trying. I second guess everything I do. And I worry that I'm going to screw them up for life.

Mommy guilt is killer.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Siblings

It's amusing to see my kids adjust to having Junior around. He is of course 13 months and therefore into everything, and doesn't understand the word NO. Despite the fact that it has become the most used word in our house lately.

They've stopped walking on eggshells around him, and are now fighting with him just as much as they fight with each other. G just yelled at him about a blanket, and just heard from A was "Leave me alone MAN" LOL.

And then there was the moment this morning when G comes in to tell me that the baby is awake, but she didn't want me to come get him because she wanted to play. And they played with him for about a half hour while I got to relax in bed. And listen to them over the monitor. It was adorable.

In other news, Juniors mom is apparently struggling with the reality that it is going to take a long time to get J back. She was thinking she would get him back after 90 days. I'm hoping to make a photo book and write a letter to her to encourage her. I don't want her to stop trying. I think she really does want him back and I hope she will do what is necessary to get to that point. It looks like it's going to be a long road though.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mommy Guilt

It's a heavy thing. It weighs you down, and you often carry it everywhere.

I suffer from mommy guilt about many things. Having jumped head first into parenting with kids who were already 3 and 4, I'm learning as I go, and I am notorious for comparing myself to other moms. Ya know, the ones who gave birth to their children and have been doing this for 3+ years and have figured out how to manage their schedules with children. Because that seems logical in that moment.

In all reality- my kids watch too much TV, I lose my patience all the time. I spend too much time on the computer/cell phone because I'm stressed out, and I feel guilty because we spend a good amount of time at home, when I would rather be out doing things.

And those articles on parenting websites? They don't help. They make you feel like you are always making the wrong choice. Whether it be about what school to send them to, what carseat to buy, what food to feed them, and how you should arrange your schedule.

Today I choose to believe that my kids won't die from watching TV. That my sanity is important in their lives as well as my own, and that as long as I find a good balance, they will understand and they will get the attention they crave and deserve. I choose to believe that I don't have to be perfect, and that comparing myself to other moms will only lead me to destruction.

Of course, I will probably start the destructive cycle over again tomorrow, because every good mom I know suffers from Mommy guilt. But today, I'm giving myself a pass. And you too!

Lord, please help me to find balance in my life and not feel guilt when there is no need to. I thank you for all of my beautiful children, and I pray that you help me to do what is best for them, no matter what the circumstance.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ok- I have a confession to make

I can't do it all.

No really- I can't.

And in case you weren't aware- foster care is HARD. I'm having a rather hard few days because of these two things.

So many people told me that I shouldn't accept a placement right now. For a variety of reasons. But when I tried to tell God that I wasn't going to accept a placement, he laughed. And now we have J. I don't regret this. I believe that this is God's plan. But because so many people told me that I shouldn't do this- I had it in my mind that I had to don my cape and do this PERFECT. Because ya know- I was going to show em all.

And about 4 days in- I had a nervous breakdown. Because this adorable little child is a tornado in my home. The laundry isn't done, the dishes aren't done, and the house is a mess. And my kids? Well they are driving me crazy because (understandably so) they are reverting back to one year olds and making things more difficult. Is anyone surprised by these things? I'm not. But somehow- I thought that I was going to overcome all of that and suddenly be supermom.

So- a few days ago- I decided that my house was clean (MESSY- but not DIRTY- a distinction I've decided is key) and that I was doing my best. And things have been a little better.

But my kids still test my patience. I feel like no matter HOW MUCH extra attention I give to my daughter- it isn't enough for her. Which makes me feel like I'm not enough for her. And I start to question my every move. Should I have called her into my bedroom while I was doing my devotions? Even though I begged everyone for 15 minutes to myself so I could calm down? Am I being selfish? Am I asking my kids for too much help? Should I stop putting my two oldest down for quiet times so I can take that time to spend with them? Will it help?

Etc. The endless commentary that is going through my brain and second guessing everything.

I REALIZE that at this point, nothing I can do is good enough for my daughter in her mind. All I can do is try to show her that I love her and nothing is going to change that. And pray with all that I have that she remembers this time with fondness instead of bitterness. I pray that she remembers that God has called us to care for orphans, and that he called our family to Fostercare.

And I pray that we make a difference in J's life. I pray that this impacts all of us in a positive light.

I could use prayers this week. I can handle J and the acts of caring for him. I could do that with my eyes closed (and admittedly do sometimes!! lol) But the rest of it has become challenging for me. And this is me admitting it. And requesting prayers. Because I can't do this by myself. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" I am repeating that to myself over and over this week.

Dear Lord, please give me the strength and grace to handle all that is thrown my way this week. I know that you called me to this work, and that this is your plan. I pray that my children feel my love, and don't doubt anything. I pray that you give me the energy to spread my love as much as possible and to help them feel that love.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hello out there in blogger land

**WARNING** This is a sickeningly happy post. So if you are not in the mood to hear how much I love my life- I give you full permission to close this page. Because there was a time when I wouldn't have wanted to hear it.

SO much has happened, and I really should be sleeping right now- but it's not gonna happen, so I figured I'd write instead.

The last time I posted, we had just finalized the adoption, and everything was rosey and grand. Well things are even better if that's possible.

DH got a promotion, one that he had been wanting for the last year. We weren't expecting a raise, but it ended up coming with a pretty substantial one. We started looking for a new house, and are hoping to move in the next few months.
I started selling Thirty-One, which if you aren't familiar with- it's a christian based direct sales company that sells handbags and organizational tools. I LOVE it, and I have found that "thing" that I do that's just for me, and not for the kids or the hubby etc. That alone has helped my outlook on everything. The last few weeks have been heaven. I am feeling SO blessed.

And just when I thought things were perfect, I got a call. We welcomed a little boy who we shall call Junior yesterday. He is 13 months old, and such a happy baby. It is our first foster placement (as far as I'm concerned, my kids weren't really foster, since their parental rights were already terminated when they moved in) and we are riding the roller coaster. We have no idea how long he will be here, and I get to experience parental visits. We are taking him tomorrow for a few hours.

Junior absolutely ADORES A&G, and for the most part they really enjoy him as well. G is a little jealous, but she doesn't want to admit it and is trying to overcome it.

He has had a hard time sleeping (which is why I *should* be sleeping right now, while he is) but I think that's the new environment more than anything. I'm hoping I can get him on a schedule and be able to sleep through the night sometime soon.

And although today I'm more tired, more stressed, and my house is much messier- I'm also more blessed, more loved, and just as happy as I was before I got that call. This is an amazing time in my life and I couldn't be happier!

I'm hoping to continually update this blog with our foster journey. But who knows how well that will work :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

It has been forever.

I seem to have truly abandoned this blog. It was my outlet when things were rough, and I think since things have been so great- the need to write things down has changed.
But things are SOO GOOD! The adoption was finalized yesterday, and I am legally a mommy of 2 now!

These kids are truly an answer to prayer. While talking with my son (!!!) tonight, he brought up a conversation about God keeping his promises, and then about how sometimes we pray for things but God tells us no because he has something better in mind. I asked him if he knew my story of God telling me No because he had something better in mind. He smiled his sweet smile and said "Yes. You and Daddy wanted a baby, but God said no because he wanted you to find us"

He is so incredibly intuitive, and sweet. I am truly blessed. His sister is all girl, and a wild child. But she is also a nurturer. She is always playing with baby dolls and telling me "I am my baby's mommy". She often recreates scenes between her and I with her baby dolls.

I am SO blessed, and very happy with my little family. We are not done, and we plan to have more children, in whatever way God blesses us. As of right now, we aren't available for placements with DHS. We are going on vacation for two weeks next month, and when we get back- we are going to open our license back up again. Our plan is for 18months an younger, but we all know how *my* plans work out.

Some days I know I am not ready for a baby. I love my life, and I love how the dynamic works- but it's hard with 2 sometimes. They are always competing with each other. Adding another child to compete for attention and anything else, and I might lose it. But then I see a really cute baby, and I get baby fever all over again. And I want a cute squishy baby to love on and take care of.

So either way God plans it- I'm happy.

And for fun- here is a picture of our family at the adoption. This isn't the best picture, I am waiting for the pictures from the photographer.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

I've been gone for a while,

as life has been rather hectic lately- I'm sure you can imagine.

But I had an "aha" moment tonight, and as usual- I feel the need to type it out- so here I go.

*DISCLAIMER* This is a jumbled up nonsensical mess. I typed as I thought, and didn't edit much. So if you get through it- you will be rewarded with a small update at the bottom- or ya know- you could skip the crazy and go straight to the update :)

I was perusing Pinterest (which is addicting by the way) and I came across THIS article. I only got through the first page before a concept hit me. God CALLS us to care for the orphaned. I'm not saying that everyone has to adopt, or that it's right for everyone- because it's not. What I'm saying is that this is God's calling for my life, and he knows me better than I know myself. He knows that I like to stay in my comfort zone.

I KNOW that we are meant to foster, and adopt, and help as many children in the foster care system as they will let us. But two years ago- I didn't know this. I was focused on babies. I wanted a BABY. The "normal" way. I was SO focused on it that I put fostering on a back burner- saying that we would do it "later".

I sadly know that if I had gotten what I prayed so fervently for- for so many months- I would not have fostered. Maybe much later in my life, but I doubt even then. I would have gotten comfortable in my life. I would have enjoyed my baby, and had another, and then once we hit three, I would have said- "well I'm done now". And I never would have stopped to consider the children who were waiting for my love. And God has blessed me with the heart for fostercare. And he will somehow give me the grace to get through whatever is thrown my way.

I've always known that I wanted to be a Mom, but somehow today- I finally understand what my calling in life is. TO HELP CHILDREN. Not just in a hands off way, but to take them into my home, into my heart- and to change their lives the only way I know how. To love them. I don't have to be perfect, I don't have to have everything together (which I feel I NEVER do). All I have to do is Love them. That part is easy. The rest- the discipline and the tantrums and the politics that come with Fostering- That part God will have to take care of, and give me the strength to handle. But I know that we are not even close to done. We want at least two more, and then once our kids are grown- and we have made it through parenting teenagers- we want to take in teenagers. If God leads us in that direction of course.

So for the first time in almost 3 years- I am thankful for Infertility. Not just accepting, but THANKFUL. Because had I not gone through all that struggle, we would have never chosen to foster, and I would still be feeling like something is missing.

And for a fun note- we are moving forward on the adoption for A and G, and we have chosen new names for them. Adoption should be finalized in April!! I'm overwhelmed by how awesome these kids are, but that's a much longer post than this one already is :)