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A year ago, my husband and I had the talk.
The talk about our family, our future and our plans. We had decided we wanted to expand our family, and we began to allow God to determine the outcome.
Sometimes, they way we think our future should unfold, is not how God unfolds it.
A few months after our “talk”, our family was devastated at the illness and eventual death of my father. My mother’s cancer had escalated and life became a series of unfortunate events. Definitely not what our earlier autumn conversation had planned.
A part of me died inside and I gave up hope, as the shimmery light in the future plans we had made began to fade away.
For nine years I had desired more children, not an hour went by where I didn’t long for another. Daily, my heart broke when I heard of drug addicted mothers that were blessed with a fruitful womb. A bitter seed began to fester, and there were many days it took everything I could to snub out the brokenness I felt. There were days I was broken.
I had always known about the neglected kids in our community. Somehow, any news story or article that surfaced regarding that topic- would ignite a radar in my head, and I would absorb every detail. This, of course- would sometimes fuel my bitter seed. I would be so angry that “these people” were blessed with children, and I was not. But: I remembered….
There was a time we were a family of four.
Twice, to be exact.
Once ended in miscarriage.
The other, ended in my stepdaughter going to live with her biological mother, who once was one of “those people”. And: healing happens, recovery happens. It’s not always a sad ending. For nine years, I raised another woman’s child as my own, and- although it was heartbreaking to no longer be her “main mama”. I knew that it was time for her mama to be her mama.
I realized that was part of God’s plan.
He didn’t design me to be a mama of one, he designed me to be a mother of many.
Six months ago, my husband and I walked into a room to see how we can help fill a need in our community. To become foster parents: to open our home and family to children while their parents worked out situations in their lives. (Sound familiar?)
Most people say they could never do what we are about to do. They say, “I could never give the kid back.” “I would get too attached”
And, they are totally right- to a point. But: there are times when you love someone so much, that you can let them go: because you know they belong where they are going. The best thing, is a kid to be with there (safe) biological family- weather it’s a parent or grandparent… nothing compares with knowing you are where you belong. Yes, your heart will break, you will sob and you will have an emptiness… but: you will have loved, and given what the biological family couldn’t during that time.
Would you rather safe yourself from heartache or save a kid from a shelter?
My husband and I are familiar with the heartache.
We had our test drive.
And, after a long six months of classes, paperwork, and getting our home inspected, we became licensed.
We had our pastor pray over us. He told us he felt our family had a more permanent situation ahead…. (whhhhhaaaaaat?!)
After we became licensed, we went into a waiting phase. I nested. I cleaned every nook and cranny… I inventoried crib sheets and baby clothes… bought diapers and bottles… and waited.
There are things foster parents can choose:
We originally went in thinking 4-6 years old. We didn’t want to do diapers again… but God made the call on our hearts and one night, while we were driving home from one of our classes, we decided newborns. My daughter was even more thrilled, as she’s been enamored with babies and diapers since she was 3. So the decision for age became ages 0-4.
The gender option we gave to God, and prepared ourselves with both boy and girl clothes… scooping up outfits at thrift stores at the bargain price of 3 for $1.00.
The question of how many… we live in a tiny house. Not tiny house like on HGTV but, a smaller, older 1950’s home. So.. that was an issue… hubby and I said just one, then:
God laughed at our plan… so it’s two.
Sometimes, my daughter and I drive around and look at big houses and play a game called “how many kids?” Basically we guess how many kids we would foster if we lived in a bigger house….
Earlier this week, “the call” came. Actually, it was a text/email.Then, I made “the call” to my hubby. A baby girl, four days old. Without hesitation, he said yes.
Next came the phone calls, the placement coordinator, and the licensing specialist and DCF… hours felt like eons. We were supposed to get her from the hospital…. final step was coordinating times. Then, a set back.
Baby needed to stay a little longer in the hospital.
We tried to go see her, but systems were not updated, so we were denied visitation.
Our hearts are aching in the waiting…..
God has called us, and now we wait.
For the call.
morbid tidiness and other annoyances
First off, I’m not sure if I spelled annoyances and tidiness right, and apparently I did because spell -check didn’t alert me.
Cool. I can go on without having to edit my title. Why does spell -check allow misspellings in titles? Maybe it’s just here. I don’t know.
I have a head cold today, which for most people would spell disaster. But, we’re supposed to give thanks in all circumstances, so I am giving thanks that I have an excuse to be lazy and catch up on all of my summer magazine reading. Yes, summer. I am behind.. and it was borderline recycle bin for those guys, until this lovely cold came along.
I still have to get the chores done, though.
You know...chores: the lunches made, dinner figured out (thank goodness for crock pots) and the dog puke wiped up. That’s why “they” invented cold medicine, you know. Some man created it so that his wife can still get all of her noble goodness in before collapsing on the couch with a pile of magazines and a box of tissues. BUT: there is a reason cold medicines don’t last 24 hours. Because the wife of the cold medicine inventor spoke some sense into her man.
So: with my cold medicine waiting my chores of the day are: laundry, dishes (from breakfast) dog puke clean up, parrot poop clean up, a quick run to the market for : tissues, tomatoes, parrot food, and maybe some basil if the bunch in my fridge has gone bad. After that, I will probably have a whole 10 minutes on the couch with my magazines before I have to partake in the dismissal process.
Hmmmm…. maybe I will take some more cold medicine before bed so that I can stay up and read my magazines.
Clearly, I need to fit in time to be lazy on occasion.
Maybe right now is lazy and I don’t even know it?
I can’t relax when there is stuff to do. I can’t leave the house when it’s a mess, either.. (In case I get killed when I’m gone.) I don’t want anyone to come home to a mess. Yep. I’m morbidly tidy sometimes.
I only clean in case I die. Hmmm. Not sure what to think of myself right now. Good thing is, I don’t have to. other people think plenty. Have at it. Good thing is, I don’t care. One of the great things about getting older is that you stop worrying about what others will think, because you realize it really holds no bearing on your life. Insert a happy face.
Remember 6th grade? The “ohmygosh-what-is-everyone-going-to-do/say/think-when-they-see/hear/_______” They should really have classes in school that teach kids how to cope with society the core concept with be “kids can be mean, people can be mean, don’t be mean.” of course, the text book will have a lot more ground to cover on that subject. It will cover just about any scenario you can think of and how to cope with it… think Leviticus. Except I would probably omit an eye for an eye part. And the sacrificing. But, hey maybe just think of other ( less bloody) sacrifices. Like sacrificing your dessert or something.
I think what we as a society forgot is that sacrifice is a good thing.
Giving up in order to make a situation good, or at least better.
In today’s world we always look at sacrifice as a defeat. It’s simply not. I sacrifice my magazine reading and lazy time to make a nice home & meals for my family. I sacrifice taking up a selfish hobby in order that I may do something with my loved ones. I don’t go to a gym, because I don’t like to be away from my family. At what point did society declare that you need a break from your own family? ( I’m talking your immediate family-: in laws do not apply) If that’s what we are teaching our children by ” taking breaks” from family… it’s no wonder they are growing up with no deep rooted love for home life. You might as well marry someone you’re not that fond of, if that’s the case.
It’s not just personal and home life that requires sacrifice. It’s everywhere. sacrifice the fact you got cut off in traffic, allow others to live. Sacrifice your spot in line at the grocery store for the little old lady buying 22 cans of cat food in the 10 items or less line.
Sacrifice the parking spot up front and purposely take one in the back.
A little exercise is good for you. Even if you do go to the gym/run/work out.
Sacrifice a few moments to say a kind word, or two.
Sacrifice your opinions if they are negative, in the same token.
I’m not saying I am perfect and always park in the back, and never get annoyed at the people in the express lane. It’s a daily task I have to work at. Sacrifice is never easy. But, if you make a habit of sacrifice, it becomes easier. Never easy, just sometimes easier. There is a point when it is a joy to sacrifice.
Sometimes it’s instant. The old lady is grateful and you realize you were the highlight of her day.
Sometimes, it takes time….
So: my challenge to you: sacrifice something for someone this week, and then: tell me about it. You can do it here of on my Facebook page. Weather it’s something as small as giving a bigger tip at the coffee shop… or as large as giving up your Saturday to volunteer… no sacrifice goes unnoticed. And each one of us is significant in the big picture of humanity.
the worst parts of life
I think the worst part of life is death. It’s inevitable, and eventually you’ll have to lose something or someone you love. But, what makes it even worse it that it can happen at any moment.
Death visited our house for a second time this summer.
My new beloved baby parrot… the one I was so excited to hand feed, to watch grow up, and to hear it talk… is now another graveside in our yard.
I won’t go into the horrific details, and I’m still not 100% how it happened, except that one of the dogs is the killer, and it’s cage mustn’t have been secured properly…. but we came home to carnage on Sunday and my heart broke.
I know that there are other parrots out there, and I’m so thankful that it wasn’t a human life lost….and, once again I’m hugging everyone just a little bit tighter. If this keeps happening, I’m going to end up morphing into a boa constrictor.
“Oh no, the goldfish died. Watch out, mom’s going to be giving us the death hugs”
RIP, my little Brobee
Last week, a swarm of bees showed up in my backyard. My husband frantically said, ” Get the kids and dogs in! ” Then, we watched from the screen porch as the swarm began to settle 12 feet up in a tree in our yard. After 24 hours, I began to grow concerned with their presence and my mind began playing scenes from grade B 1970’s horror movies. So, I started calling people. I was surprised to find a lot of people wanting to do the job for free, I left messages and sent emails and finally, got a hold of a man named Jim.
When I asked Jim if he’d be willing to remove them, he said:
“Sure I can, but why don’t you just keep ’em?”
I explained I had kids and dogs… he said that was fine.
He went on to tell me all I need to do is spend about $200 dollars on equipment, and I’d have myself 40 pounds of free honey every year. He didn’t sell the equipment, but he said it would be easy to find.
Forty pounds of free honey intrigues me briefly, so I said, “Well, I’ll have to talk to my husband first.” (That’s my favorite line to use to end any conversation, by the way. 😉 )
Then, Jim stated; “Well, you better decide quick. Sounds like them bees are just a restin’ there. They probably be gone soon.”
And, just like that, they were.
I never even got to talk to my husband.
Maybe next time.
summer day ten
Summer day ten… my daughter started swim lessons. Swim lessons that are 1/2 hour away, that last ten minutes everyday. But, you know what? It’s going to be worth every penny. Not only will she learn to swim, she’ll learn to survive. Which is awesome since we have a boat & she has never once thought twice about jumping into any body of water. Unlike my stepdaughter, who wouldn’t dare get he
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things kids say
When the dog tries to hump my 7 year old, she says: “look mama, he’s hugging me!”
My 2 year old counts everything like this: “no gabba gabba, one gabba,gabba, two gabba,gabba….”
After every meal /snack I get asked if it’s “close eyes time?” = I have them close their eyes for a dessert surprise (at certain times…)
Freshly caught fish are now called “me toos” because that’s what my youngest says whenever we are holding one.
And… the mac n cheese in the cafeteria is good… but not as good as mine she says.
AWWW… I love those girls.
one of my favorite pastimes…
I keep binders with pages of magazines slipped into sheet protectors, I have been doing it since 1994, and they are my own personal “cookbooks”. I will thumb through them for inspiration and lately, my (almost) 2year old daughter has developed a fondness for them. I realize that one day, they will be a small bit of food history… the same was my depression era cookbooks help to extend your food ration. These may be a bit of history… for someone one day.