Friday, December 8, 2017

Kindness

My husband is a very private person. He does not like to call attention to himself. He often does nice things "in secret", as it says in Matthew 6:3-4. Today, in a situation at work, he demonstrated this very well. I am proud of him.

"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Here's to all the "secret Santas" who continue to spread the message of God's abundant love and mercy, during this Christmas season and throughout the year. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Marching

A 6year-old's version of current political events: this afternoon he asked if the "marching parade" (protesters) was going to go down the street past his school, and if we could be in the parade with them. I explained it wasn't a fun parade and that it might not be a safe place for young kids. When I asked what he thought they were "marching" for, he said they were "fighting for the statue of Liberty." (Liberty and freedom, perhaps?)

Sometimes I have no idea how much these kids understand, and other times I am blown away by their perspective. Sometimes I don't know what to say about our broken world. Other days I have lots of things to say but no time to write it down.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Exhausting little people

Raising little people can be exhausting. Raising little people who refuse to sleep creates havoc in my life, and splinters out towards everyone else in the household. I keep telling myself to just hang on and get through to the end of the week. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.


When we got the call about our latest placement, two months ago, we told them that we could only be a short term provider for her. With her special needs, logistical issues, many many appointments, and clashing personalities, it was pretty obvious that we couldn't keep all the balls juggling in the air without a serious breakdown of our own family. We realized our limitations and voiced them to the sw, licensing worker, and case manager. The next thing we did was set a clear end date: on THIS DAY, you need to find a permanent placement for this child.

I was feeling incredibly guilty and overwhelmed. I understand the serious responsibility of being entrusted to raise another person's child. But this child wasn't "clicking" with me, with my husband, and with several of the other children in our household. We were clashing. We were frustrated. I was utterly exhausted.

 I was feeling guilty because of several reasons. 1. This placement was not our first choice. We initially said "No". I was feeling guilty because I felt inadequate to meet this child's needs (plus the needs of other kids), and because moving her to a new placement would set her back, cause regression and negative behaviors, separate her ever further from siblings, and undo the progress she had began to make. 2. I didn't know where she would go. The cw had told us that NO ONE else in the county was willing to take in this child. If we were her only option, what would the alternative be? The uncertainty was weighing heavily on me. 3. I was feeling guilty that I was overwhelmed. It was difficult for me to admit my concerns and be honest with the workers about our struggles. It is NOT the child's fault that they are in care, but difficult behaviors and undiagnosed issues, and major logistic/scheduling conflicts were making it really difficult to focus necessary attention on the four other kids at home.

However, I should not have worried. Our God is bigger than any of the problems we face. All the guilt and uncertainty melted away once we found a more suitable placement for the child. Now she is in a home where she can get all the focus and attention she needs , so that she can continue to grow and thrive. And I can stay in contact and know that she is happy and healthy. Praise God, who works things out in his timing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Survival mode

It's been six days since a new little person came to stay with us.

It's also been six days since I've slept through the night.

When I don't get enough sleep, I get cranky.

Tonight, after a 3-hour meeting at DSS, four different drop-off and pick-ups, and five total hours of driving all over the universe in my van full of kids.... I came to a boiling point. I had a little breakdown. I declared DONE. I put myself to bed and locked the door, and left Mike to deal with it.

And then came the guilt.

My 12yo is picking up the slack. She was cleaning up in the kitchen until an hour past her bedtime.
My 8yo is constantly asking, "What can I do to help you, Mommy? Is there anything you need right now?"
My 6yo is talking less and whining like a baby more. Regression?
And the baby is getting far less attention than he should.

This child and her special needs are far beyond anything that was covered in our foster parent training. This child needs therapeutic care. The funny thing is, somehow "this case doesn't qualify as therapeutic." I am at my wit's end! I can't do allll the things.

We are constantly in survival mode these days. (Or as Mike says, constantly "putting out fires.")

In my head, as the day goes along, I am triaging: What is essential? What can I cut out of my day? How can I par down something, in order to make this workload manageable? But sometimes I can't manage it. And there are never enough hours in the day to do all of the things on the list.

Something's got to give.
,
Today, that something is me.

On the way home from school this afternoon, my oldest asked how long this newest placement was going to stay."Do you think it will be a few more days, or a few more weeks? Or maybe a couple of months?"

I don't know, child. I really don't know.
I don't know how much longer I can go on like this.

At the same time, I don't want to be a quitter. I don't want to give up on this child after a few days. I don't want to be the one who disrupts a placement, just because it is hard. This child has already been through plenty of hard things. Why should we make her move again, just when she's beginning to get used to us?

I guess I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and see what God does with our tangled-up mess tomorrow.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Room for one more.... Part 2

First, if you haven't yet, read Part 1 here: http://myhopeisin-you.blogspot.com/2017/02/room-for-one-more.html

Yesterday we got called about a new placement. We initially decided no, we couldn't take on this new placement right now. It wouldn't be a good fit for our family and the 4 other kids at our house.

The social worker called back again, more desperate this time. "Would you consider taking her temporarily, until we can find someone else?" We didn't want this vulnerable little kid stuck in a group home, so we finally said yes, we'd take her if no one else would. For a little while.

Guess what? No one else would take her. Everyone else on the list said "no".

So therefore, our "no" turned into "yes".

Last night, at bedtime, when we were in the middle of getting the other kids ready for bed, and trying to put together the toddler bed with an allen wrench - she arrived.

She arrived with not much. For various reasons, she wasn't able to bring anything from her first home. But because of some generous donations, she was given a backpack with toiletries, other essentials, a blanket, a sippy cup, socks, shoes, 2 pjs and 2 other outfits.

Apparently, for some unknown reason, God REALLY wants this little girl at our house for the time being. He must have a really funny sense of humor. I sure don't understand it.

have no idea how long she'll be with us. We still don't think this placement is a great match for our family and the other kids. But at least for today, we know that she is safe and loved.