Laundry

So, we have been back on the foster placement list since after Thanksgiving. It took a lot to work up to the moment when we said yes again but now surprisingly we haven’t had one call since then and here we are in 2018. The extra room became Santas workshop during the holidays, and as a result got a little trashed. The other day I went to work in there cleaning up and preparing for the ever present reality of a seventh entering our home at any time. Put all the Christmas wrapping paper away, swept it, tidied up, and then I noticed it. I noticed that in the laundry basket there was one last load of laundry from Little Miss Mercy. Then I looked on the dresser where I’ve kept all of her things that we found, all of her our projects that got handed to me, and her photo book that I made all in the hopes that I would see her again. That we would get to stay in her life. I took a big breath in, a breath of I’ve got you girl, my ways are higher than your ways. I scooped up all of her special stuff that I’ve been saving for the past four months and put it into the top shelf of the closet. I grab the laundry basket and washed her clothes as quick as I could, but not before I sniffed her sheets to see if I could smell one last lingering memory of her. My younger kids will say all the time that they can smell her. I wanted to see if I could too. But I sniffed and sniffed, like a weirdo, and it was gone. I pulled it out of the dryer yesterday. Maybe it was the fact that her mom let me talk to her last Friday for the first time in 4 months, maybe it’s the fact that it’s a new year, or maybe because I was encouraging myself with my letter board message (haha), but in these moments I felt strong. I felt ready for Love. Yes, a sting of pain but the hope that comes from trusting in the one that loves me.

I folded those sweet memories and put them in that empty room ready to make more. As ready as I can to face the next adventure knowing that all of our past placements are in His hands just as much as we are. And that’s the best place we can be!

“Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.” Psalms‬ ‭63:7‬

Disappointment

Once I heard that disappointment takes you off of what your appointed to do. And when I heard that really impacted my thought process. We have a goal or a dream, that is our appointment. Once we experience something that is contrary to the way that we thought was going to go disappointment sets in. We can either keep going forward where we feel that we are called or we can get stuck looking back at how it didn’t work. What I’ve been coming to realize is it’s what we do with that that matters. We have not seen or heard from her a little foster daughter since the first week that she left. Although, not what we hoped for or expected, extremely disappointing, and difficult we are healing, moving forward, and even talking about when we will open our home up again to love the next placement. We will go into it feeling stronger more prepared and love replenished. Thank you for your love, concern, tears, prayers, and support. We are doing well and we love you all.

Choose Your Song- One Year Later

One year ago I got a call about a 21 month old baby girl that needed to be moved from her current foster home. After about 1 minute I knew that she needed to be in my arms. In my … Continue reading

Moving forward

Empty bed, full heart.

Moving forward is hard. But that’s our job. Our job as a foster home is to create a stable loving home that feels like family. That’s what we did. The pain is the proof of that. Words can’t explain what my heart feels like. If you have seen a foster child leave your home you can understand. The pain that I feel is a mixture of pride for a job well done and pain with the loss. The job of loving her well has not been on my and Matts shoulders alone. My sons have shown unconditional love to a hurting little person who has pulled their hair, slapped and punched them, bit them, spit at them, rejected their hugs and kisses and screamed at them. Their resilience and commitment to loving her (and even moving forward to take another placement) shows me so much of what love is. They have reaped the reward as she has learned what love is and reciprocated those kisses, hugs, and I love you’s. They have watched a fighter turn into one who knows love and stability too. If you’ve seen them talk her down from a fit you would know how much they have stolen her heart. Reminding her to take a deep breath to calm herself, reasoning with her, giving her two appropriate choices, telling her they love her forever. I’m so proud of them. My extended family loving her so hard and showing so much grace. My entire church and community close and far, stepping in to shower her with gifts and hand me downs, the offers of babysitting, dinners, and especially the tears, concern, encouragement, and prayers. Thank you all. Job well done. But today I grieve.

For the past almost year I have documented, observed, watched, shared, every detail of this person’s life and now I have no idea how she’s doing. I have no idea what her room looks like or what she ate. I have no idea if she’s crying for me, her dad, or her brothers. I have no idea where she’s going to go to school. Basically I have spent so much time energy, money, thought, heart, loved and fed and loved and held, like I’m supposed to, and now it’s just supposed to end. It’s really strange. Being that I have four boys, it’s also hard to gauge how they’re feeling. I’m sure I will see some behavior issues and the next months with my little guys as a result of their heart not being able to communicate in words how much they miss her besides the occasional, “I wish G___ was still here.” And just when we get that settled down we will probably be ready to introduce a new adventure to our house.

As I drove away with my precious little thing crying for mama dada, my heart shattered into 1 million pieces but I had to stay strong, at least a little strong, for the other four kids in my car. Strong but vulnerable so they can see the loss but feel secure. The four kids that are my forever kids. The four kids that no one can take from me. One of my wise children at age 7 said that Faith is trusting. Today I find that so true. Today I have to have faith that there is a bigger plan from a good Father that I can’t see. A plan that includes her not living with me but still thriving. I pray that this plan includes me being a part of her life as Auntie Mama. A plan where she is a game changer, a voice, and an advocate in a place that I can’t reach. A plan so much bigger than what my heart can see. This is Faith. Thanks for lending your heart to journey with us. Well done and my heart is full from a heart of love. Love that cost me something.

Jeremiah 29:11 MSG I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

The whole Starlight Bethel Album has really been so good for me but this song keeps tearing up my heart.

24 hours

24 hours from now my girl will no longer be in our care. I definitely say our meaning my immediate family, extended family, and whole village. The love, support, and welcome that she has received has blessed us so much.

The pain was so great as we prepared to say see you later, that I questioned whether or not our family and community could do foster care again. But my hopes have been renewed through her comfort of me- go figure! Today as we packed her stuff, she would look at me and say are you crying mama? Don’t cry mama happy day. 😭 of course that would make me cry more but she’s right, her next adventure awaits her and so does ours.

#adventureawaits #fosterishard #fosterlove #fosterjourney #fostercare #lilmissmercy

When sleeping means waking up.

I’ve got that feeling tonight… the feeling when you are so tired but you don’t want to sleep because you dread what waking up means. It means tomorrow is a fun Blessing Party for missy miss but also it means I have only 2 more days with me as her mama. I hoping I will change to Auntie and by that I mean stay in her life forever. Tonight we told her she’d be sleeping somewhere else in a couple days. She asked if #browneyedbabyj would sleep there too, I told her no. Then she told me #levibrealitytv no sleep there. She told me a funny story about how dad told her that she needed to sleep in her bed not somewhere else. I told her it was the judge boss who decided, not us and that I wanted to keep her forever but that her relative really wanted her to sleep at her house now too. That the boss said she has to.

She didn’t talk after that. The lights were out after that and as I rocked her she wrapped her arms around me so tight and still until I could feel her silently crying. Then she grabbed my face and wiped my tears and fell asleep. It’s almost like she’s done this before and kinda understands. So young and so much ahead happened in her short life. It hurts.

I finished her huge photo album tonight but left out so much I wanted to say and 1,000 pictures I couldn’t fit. Finishing it made it seem so final. Marking termination of placement on a form felt so surreal. Picturing the future all I can see is her. She’s a fighter and has a bold voice. She has a servants heart and seeks justice. We’ll never be the same but I know we’ll be ok. Hope lives inside us. It lives in her now and it lives in me. Adventure awaits for both of us.

#fosteringishard #fostercare #fosterlove #fosterlife #lilmissmercy #loveyousomuch

My eyes.

These are the eyes of crying myself to sleep from a heart that literally hurts with pain. Today I can't hold in my tears either. Say tears or cry and watch out. I'm crying over summer ending and then remembering that my tears are really a mixture of my kids growing up and knowing that when summer ends #lilmissmercy is leaving my home, maybe even as early as Tuesday. Foster care is being the home, heart, hands, kisses, correction, comfort, cook, nurse, brothers, dada, mama, and protector but loving hard means hurting hard. We aren't mad at anybody but the system who has let it drag out so long. She's a ball of cute and fire. She's a tornado and loves to serve. She a lot of work and patience but I love her. We all do. I understand her language. She pushes the limits and comes back because of almost a year of trust and love.

But today I'm sad and have to keep pulling myself back into the present moment to enjoy my 5 Tribe's last day of summer and reminding myself that being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Clinging to these.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:7

Today I'm her mom and she's my daughter.

To Every Season Turn, Turn

As my #browneyedbabyj approaches 4.5 years, I watch him moving away from baby and into little boy. The feeling of excitement, pride, and relief even gets swirled with loss of a season. A time when all my boys are little and they are happy with simple. When graham crackers make the afternoon amazing or a smoothie makes everyone happy. The games change, the music requests change, the speech immaturities resolve. Bruder turns to brother, wewwy turns to really and ate it all gone turns to finished. I’m sitting at the DMV watching all these parents sit with their nervous kids taking their behind the wheel and I know my time is coming soon to be sitting in one of these hard blue chairs with my oldest boy. One of my friends posted a pic of her oldest playing around with his sisters 2 weeks before he leaves for college. Makes me misty eyed and faklempt. 

But isn’t this what we all want as parents? We want to see our children growing up and maturing. We want to see their independence. This IS what I strive for as a parent but along the way I grieve the loss as I watch the moments slip away- like the tiny shell he lost at the beach the other day. It’s gone but we found and new one. It wasn’t the same but it was a little bigger and just as beautiful. I guess that’s what I’m feeling in my spirit as I watch my kids get their wings and fly a little. Some are flying further out and some are still close but the knowledge that they will all be soon flying on their own helps me to cherish the crazy times now. Deep breath. This season that seem never ending; rewarding but all encompassing. Sweet. Sticky. Close. Dirty. Kisses. I’m excited for my future as a mom but for today I’m feeling super blessed to have all these little people under my wings. 


“May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭144:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Go love your season!

Do you know what your doing in motherhood?

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”‭‭James‬ ‭1:5-8‬ ‭MSG‬‬

http://bible.com/97/jas.1.5-8.msg

This really hit me this morning. I am so glad that I have a plan when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing! Two weeks ago a couple besties and I had nice cry sesh over a text thread about somethings going on and how we had no idea what we were doing. And the constant questioning whether or not we are failing our children. We were all encouraging eachother in the fact that we are all just trying our best, that we don’t know what we are doing, it’s hard, and that the Lord has enough grace to bless our strengths and cover our shortcomings. 

Last week I had a hilarious and so nourishing vent/comedy hour with some of my sisters and mom after a meeting at church. It had been a trying day and the weather was so hot making anything hard harder. As we stood out there in the cool air of the night we all confessed hilarious laugh/crying moments from the day or just motherhood. As we stood out there showing our worst, we all felt so great as we walked away knowing that we are okay, we aren’t failing, and we aren’t the only ones. As I thought about it that’s reason that I started this blog. My life has gone in a different direction by adding foster kids to it so time for this blog has not been possible but my heart for this connection is still there. I know there’s plenty of mom blogs out there but it’s so nice to have a channel to express myself. So I’d like to open up the invitation again to any moms having a laugh it or leave it thoughts to share, victories or disasters, Pinterest fails and DIY domination, whatever it it stirring your heart. 

Remember we have someone we can go it when we don’t know what we are doing and your doing a great job!

Court again this morning

It’s been 8.5 months with Lil Miss in our home. She is really settling into life here. The last few months have have not been easy by any means but they’ve been great. We’ve see so much growth and so much love has been deposited into her heart. 

Prayers please for this morning’s 5th dispo and jurisdiction hearing attempt. Praying mercy for her future. Wisdom for the judge etc. What we all pray every time. It’s my first time going to court and I’m going solo. Prayers to trust in the sovereignty of our Father and my nerves to be calm/ casual. Thank you. 

“He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:6‬