Most days I write posts ahead of time so they’re ready first thing in the morning but it didn’t work out last night. We’ve had a rough few days around here. We learned earlier this week that Ladybug will likely be moved with a family member next week. That alone would be plenty difficult. But, there is a disagreement between the decision-making judge and the recommendations from children’s services. That adds anger and frustration on top of the sadness. We’re trying hard to stay positive and enjoy every moment we can with our little lady in the next 7 days.
I know God is with us, with Ladybug and with her family. I know He cares about all of us and what is best for us. The Lord is faithful, He will never abandon us and He does not make mistakes. But He didn’t promise a bump-free ride. Every morning when I wake up, the sun is reflecting through our bathroom window and french door onto the wall across from our bed. The light is usually bright yellowish white. Today it was red. Sure enough, when I got up I saw that the sun peeking above the tree line was bold red. There is a storm coming…
(I didn’t think of taking a picture at the time. The one above shows what it USUALLY looks like.)
Please pray with us that the right decision is made to keep Ladybug safe and healthy. Also, please pray for peace and strength for all of us to face whatever we have to face next Thursday.
1. Being a foster parent is so easy. Anyone could do this job. It’s as simple as loving and caring for a child who is in desperate need. These are sweet, beautiful, innocent children. For crying out loud, step up! You can do it! These kids need you!
2. There is nothing easy about about being a foster parent. It’s hands-down the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. We prepared for months… classes, home study, reading books and blogs. We’ve prayed and prayed and prayed. But nothing really prepares you for the Niagra Falls of emotions that come crashing down on you when you become a parent overnight, fall desperately in love with a child, learn his or her angering story, work hard to reverse the negatives in the child’s life and teach trust and hope and love, and to fear for the kid’s safety and future and want to do anything in the world to protect him or her yet to acknowledge you are for the most part powerless. Also, there is the matter of just parenting, which is no walk in the park. Just because we signed up for this program doesn’t make it less painful. There are good days and there are bad days. This is hard, really hard.
3. I have no regrets about being a foster parent. It’s amazing, wonderful, rewarding, life-changing and exciting. It also sucks. It just might lead us through a valley of heartbreak like something out of our worst nightmares. I do not want to go down that road. I do not want to be crushed. I do not want to do hard. But this child (any child) is SO WORTH IT.
PS. Please pray for us this morning. Important decisions are being made. Thank you!
I hate reading the “I’m too busy to write a blog post” posts. If you do too, please come back later.
Last weekend Ladybug and I took a big trip up to Philadelphia for my sister’s baby shower. It was a big family cookout style baby shower so we got to visit with a bunch of family and friends. Ladybug did really well with all of the new environments and people. Even flying went pretty smoothly, all except for 1 hour out of the 7-ish we were on planes over the weekend. Our return flight on Sunday night got cancelled so we returned late Monday night. It was so good to see Jason after 4 days away.
After missing more work than I had planned and not having any weekend to get work done at home, I opted to do 3 loads of laundry, clean out the fridge, do dishes, etc. instead of blog yesterday. I’ll be back in the groove soon.
Splashing in puddles on the patio chairs.
Please pray for us today… it’s an important day. Thanks!
Perhaps you’re wondering why all of the photos of our little girl are faceless and why I’m not using her name. It’s not a strict rule from our training, but Jason and I have chosen to protect her identity. First of all, we’re not her legal guardians; the state is. Secondly, someone may be looking for her and it’s our job to keep her safe. So, her name for the purposes of blogging and facebook is L. Or lately, I’ve been calling her Ladybug. (Which is incidentally now a blog category in the “FILE UNDER” menu to the left, Family: Ladybug) I thought I’d explain that in case it seemed bizarre that I was cropping out the best part of the photos… her beautiful little face. And believe me, I am taking tons of pictures that aren’t creepily-cropped, for my personal use.
I need to come up with some creative, identity-concealing photo tricks. Any photographer friends or fellow foster parents out there have suggestions?
(Picture borrowed from Jason’s phone this week.)
We’ve tried so hard to keep our cocker spaniel Lucy from getting fat but she’s getting a lot of extra snacks these days.
Jason is home. THANK GOD. He travels a lot for his career as a musician and I’m totally fine with that. I love that he gets to travel. However, becoming a foster parent and a parent for the first time while he was 4,000 miles away was not easy. After 3 days of carrying around a 25 lb. sweetie who loves to snuggle and needs lots of extra hugs these days, along with the up and down getting into and out of the crib, the high chair, the car seat, etc. my arms were killing me. I am so happy that Jason is home with his strong, sexy, man arms.
This is a strange way to become a parent, no doubt about that. We’re learning so much, having a lot of fun, and we’re pretty exhausted, too. Oh, and we’re still supposed to be earning a living too, right? My brother-in-law who just became a daddy in February promises that we’ll fall into a nice rhythm soon and be able to balance it all. I hope he’s right.
Regardless of the unusual circumstances, witnessing your spouse become a parent has got to be one of the coolest things ever. I could see his love and interest and excitement through their Skype interactions the first couple days but actually getting to see Jason scoop up this little girl and give her hugs and kisses was the sweetest thing. And to see her reach up to him, asking to be picked up and held in his secure arms was precious.
We don’t know a whole lot about little L’s family situation but the only relatives we’ve heard about are female, which leads us to assume she has never really experienced the love of a daddy. Another clue is that she keeps calling Jason “mama,” (which she is also calling me and my mom.) We keep saying, no that’s “papa.” And she says, “Papa.” But then if he walks out of the room, she calls out for him, “Mama!”
I’m so happy that Jason has been not just willing to fill in this gap for however long she’s ours, but that he is truly excited to be her dad. He’s excited to take her out to ice cream and to the park and to hold her hand while she’s toddling around. He’s happy to feed her and hold her as she’s falling asleep and to let her bury her face against his chest when she’s scared of a new situation. His desire to protect her stirs up a righteous anger, usually directed toward “the system” that would allow her to get bounced around from home to home.
Jason is doing an awesome job being a papa. I’m so proud of him for doing this, for agreeing to give himself so fully and to love someone so completely, knowing that she may be ripped away from us. And I say ripped away because even if we agree that her moving back with her original family is the best thing for her (and if we don’t agree, there isn’t much we can do about it…) it’s still going to be the most awful heart ripping pain we’ve ever experienced. We selfishly hope that she can stay with us longer… forever? We just don’t know right now. But more than anything, we want the best for her. We want her to have a hope and a future, a great life. We want her to always know that she is loved, precious, and wanted.
when you love some, love some, love someone… (Cue the Kathy Troccoli song from the 80s)
In this case, I’m busy loving someone 2.5 feet tall. I can’t tell you her name or show you a picture, sorry. But trust me, she is absolutely beautiful! On Thursday night we were placed with a little girl. She is so sweet, silly, playful, cuddly and fun. She’s a great eater and a great sleeper. She really could not be more perfect. We’re not sure what the future holds beyond this week (we’ll find out more on Friday) but for now we are savoring every minute with her.
I’ll try to keep up with my blogging this week but no promises. There are more important matters to attend to, if ya know what I mean. And my posts might be a little bit centered around her, because, well, my brain is pretty consumed right now as I was just thrust into the world of being “Mama!” (that’s what little girl has been calling me) for the first time with an almost 1.5 year old, in a very unique way. Thank God for the wonderful support of my family and friends, especially my mom. Jason was out of the country on a short, week-long trip to Scandinavia when I got the call so the first 3.5 days I was on my own. On my own with my mom never more than a phone call or text away, and often with us, too. I’m so glad Jason’s back now and he absolutely loves her and is a huge help! He’s an awesome daddy. I knew he would be.