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Archive for January, 2013

When the Bottom Falls Out

I have been reading through the Old Testament and although I’ve been plugging away at it for a couple months, I am just now getting into Exodus and the Israelites being set free from captivity to the Egyptians.  Reading through Genesis, especially the story of Joseph, has been such an encouragement for me as a foster mom.  God took the bad that happened in Joseph’s life and used it to not just save him but to save thousands of other people.  “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20  

And then there is Moses, a man in the Bible that I can totally identify with.  He was so insecure in his own abilities and calling that he kept asking God to send someone else to do what God had purposed for him.  He even used my favorite catch phrase, “What if?” and made up every excuse that I still use today.  “I’m not eloquent, they won’t listen, what if they don’t believe?”  But instead of choosing someone else, God continued to pull Moses out of his comfort zone and into His will.  And through Moses God delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians.  God used the hurt of Joseph and the inadequacies of Moses to accomplish His purpose.  I’m wondering if He wants to do the same for me.

The past two days have been a whirlwind of confusion and “coincidences” and confirmations and questions.  I have felt for weeks like the Spirit of God has been silent.  I have called out to Him, begged Him to move, asked Him to cut me a little slack.  Nothing.  I prayed for His presence to be evident, His power to be strong, His purpose to be revealed.  Silence.  And right about the time I was just pushing through my quiet time out of obedience, about to give up hearing anything, movement started to occur.  The Holy Spirit started to poke around a bit and life got a little crazy.  I’m the type of person who wants to figure everything out.  I want to know how the story ends when God has just showed me a few paragraphs.  I tend to read into every circumstance as a “sign” when really it could just be life happening right before my eyes and God’s just calling me to live a life of quiet faith.  But, whatever the case may be, things ARE happening, and my heart and mind are flip flopping all over the place trying to figure out what all these “signs” might possibly mean.

Last night I got a phone call from Lydia and David’s soon to be adoptive mother.  We have been questioning why God was allowing this adoption to be delayed over and over again.  When Elizabeth called me I had a sinking feeling in my gut what she was going to talk to me about.  And I was right.  Through sobs and tearful conversation, she told me about the struggles they were having with their adoptive kids and how she just didn’t see this present adoption going through.  They aren’t saying “No”, they just can no longer say “Yes”.  Naturally after that conversation my mind and heart go to, “If they aren’t going to take them, what does that mean for me?”  This is a question I have thought about but not too deeply because it takes way to much energy to process such a life changing question.  But after I got a call from the therapist and a visit from the adoption specialist asking me the same question, I have to now prayerfully consider, where does this leave me?  The adoption specialists told me point blank, “We are beginning to look at other options for the kids and since you are their foster mom you get first choice in adopting them.”  Adoption?  How did we go from fostering the kids until Christmas to staying with them through the school year to keeping them forever?  For-ev-er?  

The kids negative behaviors have been so heightened these past few weeks I am too exhausted to think this one out clearly.  But then there are so many “signs” that I can’t help but wonder if God has lead me to this point for this very reason.  Monday night Lydia sobbed again saying she wished she never had to leave me.  Today I picked her up from daycare and she ran up to me and yelled “Mama!” and jumped into my arms.  She then asked, “Is it okay if I call you mama?”  My beloved neighbors who have been our strongest support system here told us yesterday that they will be moving, my sister is moving into her own apartment, our therapist will be finished with his intern hours in February so we will be without him…life got really uncertain and crazy.

And there’s other positive “signs” like last night as I was struggling through all these changes a certain someone in my life felt an overwhelming sense of peace about the kids and being with me.  Doors are opening up at school for us to put a 504 plan in place for Lydia and move the kids to a different after school program where they will get the help and support they need.  I found babysitters for Wednesday nights so I can get back into community.  And right at the time I feel like I’m losing some of my support God is bringing new people in to offer just that.  

I have no idea what the future holds.  And obviously right now I’m just beginning to process all of this.  After our adoption specialist’s next visit, she will issue me a 90-day paper which is the legal way of saying I have 90 days to decide if I would like to adopt these kids.  So I have about 4 months total to decide if this is what’s best for the kids and for me.

I’m ridiculously scared.  I am inadequate.  Not eloquent.  Unqualified to be the forever mother of two kids.  I have my list of “what ifs” and all the reasons why I cannot do this.  I feel like the bottom has fallen out of this adoption and all the pieces have scattered and I’m trying to pick them up and decide what my new role is, if it needs to change at all.

So the future looks very cloudy right now.  Uncertain.  Tossed.  But I serve a God who sets captives free, who uses the “least of these”, and who is eternally faithful.  So I will trust Him when the bottom falls out to put it back together again exactly like He had planned.  From the beginning.  From Genesis on to today.  I can rest in peace knowing that.

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Catching Up

So, apparently my life has gotten hectic or I have re-prioritized or have just plain been forgetting to blog, but I decided it’s time to pick up again and continue recording this amazing journey God has me on.  I can’t begin to cover the last month (where did the time go?!) so no doubt this post will be random and chaotic and anything but eloquent and beautiful.  This past month I got to experience Christmas through the eyes of a child with all the ohhs and ahhs over Christmas lights and ornaments and Santa Clause.  This was the first time in my life I was around kids who believed in Santa so trying to wrap presents and pack them up to NC proved to be a challenge.  I pulled the whole, “Santa delivered your presents early because he wanted to make sure you didn’t worry about him finding you since you’re foster kids” line and loved that they actually bought it.  The only decorating we did this year was to put up the tree and throw a green and red plaid table cloth on the kitchen table.  I lite a Christmas tree scented candle whenever I could remember, but for the most part we just floated through the seasons in survival mode with little wiggle room for crafts and baking and decorating.  One of my amazing friends did come and bake cookies with the kids and gave us projects to do each day they were out of school.  Ah, I have such an amazing community of friends and family!  We have experienced multiple meltdowns with the kiddos and they are beginning to not just feed off each other but learn from each other.  Lydia has started whining and acting babyish – like she can’t get dressed by herself anymore and refuses to do ANYTHING I tell her to, and David has started acting out physically – like yelling and kicking the wall and slamming doors.  So, pretty much it’s been one storm after another and the things that used to work no longer work and most days I’m at wits end just clinging to the promise that God is faithful and He is here.  There are still a lot of jealousy issues and adjustments going on with both kids.  Sometimes I wonder if I should’ve taken David in since both kids seem to have regressed, but I really do believe that this is just part of the process and someday it will be over and they will be so glad to be together for life.

There have been so many spiritual lessons this past month too, and I suppose my biggest regret in not blogging is that I’ve missed capturing some of those moments.  I caught Lydia talking to God one night asking Him to help heal their friendship and I had an amazing opportunity to talk to her about the cross and how God DID make a way for us to be friends with Him and how nothing she does will EVER change how much He loves her.  I got to tell her how God knew she would sin and mess up but He chose to send Jesus to the cross for her anyway.  We talked about sanctification on as much of an eight year old level as I could get and helped her to understand that she is not perfect but can start making better choices.

I also have been thinking a lot lately about gifts and how much I long to give good gifts to my kids if only they would let me.  They have no idea how many ideas I have for fun family nights and that I even have a box of unopened toys in my closet that I want to give them as a reward if only they would allow me to get close enough to them to give them these things.  I keep thinking about the unopened gifts God probably has sitting for me up in Heaven and how my own stubborn pride and selfishness keeps me from ever getting to see those ones too.  If I would just let go of some things here, how much more would God bless me?!

Tonight Lydia’s school had a musical and although the chubby boy in front was completely blocking my view of her for most of the half hour performance, every time I caught a glimpse of her dancing and singing and doing her hand motions on stage, a little part of me got chocked up and I must admit I even teared up a time or two.  She was always two steps behind all the other kids and was so distracted by everything she spent half the time just peering behind her or into the crowd, but for that half hour, she was a “normal” kid.  She was happy and having fun and behaving well.  I was SO proud of her!  I can’t express the joy and love I felt for that little girl just watching her dance.

I had a meeting today with Lydia’s school to begin the process of setting up a 504 plan to help her get the special accommodations she needs.  She has twice managed to leave the school un-noticed and is found outside the school yard by 1st grade teachers.  Her safety is an issue now more than just trying to get her to focus and complete her homework.  It was good to meet, but our 1/2 hour meeting turned into two hours and I know more is going to fall on my shoulders again and I’m so tired I don’t know if I am up to the challenge, but it was good to know that we can finally start moving forward.  Maybe even help her succeed.  She is brilliant.  EVERYONE in that group agreed.  Lydia is smart.  But she is failing third grade.  So we are starting to put things in place to help her succeed.

After the meeting I talked with our DSS case worker and my BAIR social worker and my DSS worker informed me that the paperwork from Dad’s termination hearing had still not been filed!  It’s been one month and he still hasn’t been issued the termination because the paper is sitting on the judge’s desk somewhere.  Once it’s filed he has 30 days to appeal. If he appeals, he has 60-90 days to basically fight the termination.  And the ICPC (the “quicker” route which was supposed to get the kids to their adoptive home by this past summer) still hasn’t been processed either.  I am so frustrated with the system because the only people they are screwing over is the kids.  My DSS worker told me today that she feels it’s in the best interest of the kids now to keep them here through the school year.  We’re talking at least another five months.  That’s five more months of getting attached.  Five more months of the kids waiting.  Five more months of butting heads and struggling and pressing on.

I don’t know how this is all going to end…or when.  But this past month has been hard.  Hole in the walls, pee on the floor, paint stripped off the doors hard.  But I absolutely love those kids.  And when I think about Lydia on stage dancing and David curled up in my lap laughing it makes every fight, every injury, every broken moment so worth it.  So when I want to bail again I need to remember that.  I need to remember my calling and what a privilege it is to know Lydia and David.

Stay tuned for more stories of this incredible adventure….

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