Thursday, May 30, 2013

One Of The Many Benefits...

of having a ton of big sisters...

They're there to give you that extra push you need. Whether you want it or not.

I have NO idea why he is so spoiled :).

Sigh, they are such little mommies!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Little Foster Update


I think a lot of you may have seen on Facebook over the weekend that we got a random phone call about a distant relative surfacing for C & A.

Just in case you're wondering, in foster care they always look for family to take the children. And often times, if family is found even after they are placed with a foster family, the children are moved. Even if that family loves them and is taking good care of them and they now have a healthy view of a normal family.

Deep breaths.

And that is precisely the case here. Our caseworker called and said that this family member (read: sort of a family member) had been approved to take the girls, and we needed to meet with them as soon as possible.

And just like that. Things can change.

So I told them to make the drive to our town (they are an hour away), and we could meet at a Chickfila close to us. Honestly, I just wanted to see if they would come all the way here, and I feel like making them work if they really are going to take them from us. Mean? Maybe. But I really did  think it was best to meet on our turf, at a place the girls have frequented, so we could make this as comfortable as possible for C & A.

And because I also feel that Chickfila waffle fries and sweet tea can heal emotional pain. So it was a win-win.

It went ok, and it also was understandably awkward. The girls have been a mess ever since because I think they know deep inside that this may mean a new place, and more new people. And as hard as it all is, I feel Him with us in every step. I feel Him changing the direction, and I feel Him helping us loosen our grip on a situation we can not control.

I feel Him continuing to teach us to love big no matter what the outcome of this foster care roller coaster.

Today they played outside with their siblings, laughed at the dinner table over silly things, and then layed their little heads down in the same spot that they have since December. Today they are safe, and they are loved, and they are here :).

We think it will take about 6 weeks for this all to unfold, so we are just going to take it a day at a time and try to love without hesitation. Should be easy, right :)???

Hope you all are having a great week!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Random Things

Sooo, apparently I've fallen a tad behind on blogging. Could ya tell?

A week and a half ago my laptop crashed, and took all my pictures and files with it. No fun! So for the past week we have been trying to recover and transfer things over to my new laptop.

I tell ya, it's always something.

We have been soaking up some great weather in these parts. The kids have been wearing themselves out in the backyard, and I have received many hand picked flowers...aren't these the best :)??

Lincoln has been keeping me busy - and by busy I mean he is on the move non-stop! Lately he has started pushing chairs over the counter, tables, etc, and climbing right up on them. Yesterday I found him on the counter opening cabinets for a snack.

He's 2. And he is so stinkin' active. You all were right, little boys are definitely different than little girls :). There is an energy in that child like I've never seen before. Good thing he is so, so sweet...

Doesn't he look so grown?

I may need to repost my post on my laundry system. Because right now I just have laundry, and no system.

I have traded a good amount of my housework for time outside with my loves. Totally worth it.

With the warm weather rolling in, we've been making lots of cool smoothies. Our favourite? Frozen berries and greek yogurt. By the way, if you don't have a Magic Bullet, you need to grab one. They are amazing.

The kids only have a couple weeks of school left and they officially have a countdown to Summer going on. I love Summer with the kids. It can get hectic, but it is so nice to have a laid back schedule to do what we want. I'm looking forward to soaking up the sun with just my little crew.

So thats a little glimpse of what has been happening around here. The husband and I are going on a date tomorrow night and I am SO excited! We rarely ever get a night out, so I have been looking forward to it all week :).

Now that my computer is running again, I will be back soon! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fostering Through The Rough

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 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!