I've been wanting to write about things for some time. We get a lot of questions about or new girls and how it's going...as you can imagine. But haven't really been able to find the right words. So I thought I'd just hop on here and say it:
Things in our foster case have been rough lately. And sorta ugly. And just plain hard.
A few months ago when I realized that this foster journey was rising above our heads more than I'd like to admit, I didn't want to say anything. I didn't want to admit that we were questioning things, and I didn't want to admit that the whole situation was occupying way more of my time than it should. I felt under attack during a season of change in our life - and in a way, I felt plagued by all the uncertainties that now hung over our heads.
Will we keep them? Can we keep them? Are our bio kids ok? Will we all make it through this?
As you know, in July we felt led to jump into fostering. We had been raising kids for 9 years, appeared to be doing this big family thing with a good amount of sanity, and us adding a kid was no shocker to people anymore - because clearly, we can not be trusted in the "we're done having kids" department. Amen?
But then He gave us these 2 older girls from a really hard place - and there was no bonding, and a lot of problems, and things just started to cave in. I was trying to keep up, be brave, and love hard, but the hole we were in was filling faster than I could dig out. C started becoming more upset with each visit with their mom, and A...well, like I've mentioned, she's just got a lot going on. All the sudden there were a million unknowns. And I was drowning.
The people pleaser in me wanted to say, "Things are SO great! I feel like I birthed them! Goodness, this is so beautiful!" But I couldn't, and since you only get reality around here, I kept quiet instead of sharing.
Friends, I have learned that He does not want you to keep quiet when you are struggling to make sense of a rocky season. He wants us to share it with anyone you chose so we can hear these magic words, "Wait, you've felt like that too? You've been there before? Oh, it makes me feel so much better to know I'm not alone."
It was hard for me, after all, how often do I hear, "wow, 6 kids PLUS you're fostering?? You must be Super Mom!!". I would find myself cringing at how far from the truth that is. Because I struggle too. A lot. And I yell. Way more than I should. So if you're coming here looking for Super Mom, then you've come to the wrong place, because she ain't here.
Besides, 2 kids, 6 kids, 10 kids, or 20 kids doesn't make you super mom. Loving your kids fearlessly, putting their needs before your own, and getting out of bed in the morning and dragging your struggling heart to the toaster to make waffles is what makes you super mom. We laugh a midst the pain, smile when things are hard, and push through when we just want to crumble. That is what makes mothers different from anything else in God's creation. That's what makes us all super mom.
I couldn't let go of what I had planned in my head when we started this. I was asking God why this was so incredibly hard, and why He would lead us here to only let us struggle? But now I see that He leads us into the storm to change us. He uses these times to shape us and renovate our lives and our hearts. So when the clouds part and the light starts to shine back in, you come out a changed person.
You see, the struggle is part of the story. It's actually a huge part of the big picture. It is where we grow.
A close friend told me recently, "Let go of what you thought it was going to be, and let God show you how it's going to end up." I think I say that to myself daily now. Because even though life with them isn't exactly all warm & fuzzy all the time, we do love them deeply. Their history has a lot of pain and neglect, it seems so unfair and when I think of it all I just want to hide them forever so we can protect them.
But I can't.
At the end of a long day when I tuck all 8 of them in, I remember that this isn't about me. It's not about us being more comfortable or about our life being easy. This is about Him. And this about bringing glory to His name whether they stay forever or whether they don't.
So for now we breath deep and we take it a day at a time. We just do the next thing.
People have asked a lot lately about how things were going, and so I thought it was time to answer :). I get a lot of questions about how our marriage thrives through it, and how our bio kids handle it all, and I'm going to try to write about that all in more detail soon. Feel free to ask any questions about our family, I'll do my best to answer :).
Hope you all are having a great week! I am so excited to relax with my people this weekend!