my evening

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear Pinterest,

Once again you have seduced me from my actual duties to your endless pages of beauty and delight. The time has not yet come, but please be informed that the time will come when we must break up. I find all-consuming relationships to be unhealthy for me. When that time comes, please's not you, it's me. For now, I remain dedicated to the search for loveliness and the ease in cataloging what previously would've taken up much valuable space on my hard drive. For that, I thank you.

Yours truly.

quick vent

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today is definitely not the day to ask me about doing foster care. I will not be encouraging. I often find myself defending FCS even when I don't fully agree with their decisions, but today, I cannot do that. I am so angry about what's happening with the kids that I can't even defend it a tiny bit. The only thing that is keeping me sane at all right now is that I know we're only a little over two months away from the end of all this.

Mr. B does terrible with sibling visitation. It causes him extreme fear and anxiety. He has actual physical reactions to visits (negative reactions). He has emotional reactions to visits. He very clearly verbalizes his hatred and fear of visits; he is not ambiguous at all. I've been cautious that we attribute too much to visits, but the behaviors associated with visits do not occur when we're not having them. In spite of this, FCS has deemed that visits will still have to occur through finalization. Which is actually OK with us, we want the kids to have a good and healthy relationship in the future. What is not OK with us is that they are requiring me to drop Mr. B and Baby R off and not permitting me to attend the visit. Apparently the way they feel is the best way to build a healthy relationship among kids is to let them just be by themselves. That makes sense to them, I guess. I have argued that this is a ridiculous way to help kids build a healthy relationship, but they are 'uncomfortable with a foster parent at the visitation'. Exact words. They are uncomfortable with a foster parent in the visit, yet they are comfortable with the same foster parents adopting these children and being their parents forever? Seriously?

My gut says this is just about one last grasp at control. It's stupid. These are children, not 'cases'. They are children who are continuing to be hurt by the system. It's just so infuriating. I have actually never left Mr B. and Baby R anywhere but with family at home or with family at my parents. Neither of them are ready for this type of thing in general, much less something that already causes them extreme anxiety. My stomach is full of knots. I feel nauseated. I've been having hot flashes. I'm angry with my body for dealing with stress with these physical manifestations. Halfway to a panic attack, but I am determined not to go there. Mostly because I'm all out of Ativan. I know it's kind of a ridiculous reaction, but I just can't get past it today.

I hope that Mr. B's knowledge of permanency will help him with the anxiety. My fear is that it will be extremely confusing for him. Today I am praying that it will either go way, way better than anyone is expecting or that it will go so horrendously bad that they can't help but see the impact. The in between stuff, which is what we've kind of been experiencing thus far is where the visit doesn't go visibly terrible, but all the anxiety and fear reactions come out when Mr. B comes home and feels safe again. I just don't want to put Mr. B through this for two more months.

Thinking about foster care? Better talk to me in a few days. Today is not the day.

only one

Monday, May 23, 2011

This week, only one gift. The best gift we've ever received.

210. our two littles who have finally, after so very many prayers, found out that they are forever home

just finkin

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This morning I opened Mr. B's door with a standard "what's up, Mr. B?"

In return, I got, "Just finkin' bout how I tan stay here forever."

I am humbled and awed by this little boy's comprehension of his little life and future. Adoption is filled with grief and pain and loss, and someday we'll be working through all of that with both Mr. B and Baby R. Also, we're keenly aware that nothing is over until the judge says it's over, so we have a couple more semi-anxious months to wait this thing out. Right now, however, we're just going to take some time to revel in our son's joy.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I had a totally different post planned for today. But two and half hours ago, the kids' caseworker entered our home. Mr. B greeted her at the door (completely unprompted by us) with "I can stay here forever??" And she said yes.

So we've spent the past two hours on the phone. Mr. B wanted to call everyone in his family. He says the same thing every single time, "I tan stay here forever. [Caseworker's name] said so."

Ben jumped up and down and from furniture piece to furniture piece. He says, "We should have a party!" I said, "We will, once we go to court and the judge says so." He says, "We should buy salami!"


Then he says, "or summer sausage."

Apparently, a party to a nine-year-old boy is synonymous with salami.

The adoption worker will be out to our house on June 1st. She told our caseworker that after that point, she is supposed to finalize within 60 days. Which is just so much quicker than I expected, frankly. In our experience, nothing about the system has moved with any sort of speed. We'll keep praying that that will be true, but we figure if they're telling the children, then this is for real now.

In other news, they currently have 58 applicants for the older sister. With more coming in every day. Such exciting news!

I don't have a ton else to say. I am just so excited and still scared because it's not actually finalized yet and relieved and oh. my. word. God is good, and He answers prayer. Especially the fervent prayers of my little three-year-old boy.

why are there no clever songs titles about tuesday

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There's a lot of songs about Monday. There's songs about Friday, including my favorite by one Miss Rebecca Black. But I really couldn't come up with any famous Tuesday songs from which to draw a cleverly titled blog post. Sounds like a songwriter challenge. I'll stick Maggie on it. She writes a minimum of three songs per day right now.

Today, my favorite Alisia Domer finally, after three-plus days of labor, delivered her first baby girl, who is delightful and cute and perfect in every way. This concludes the Huber Mennonite Church Baby Series.  (At least this particular season - I do happen to know that there is at least one more baby coming to join the HMC family within the next nine months.) So we'll call it the season finale, rather the series finale. Score: 4 healthy babies. 2 girls, 2 boys. 3 normal-sized, 1 a little larger. :)

While I may be biased, we have been part of a few other faith communities, and Huber is one spectacular place to rear your children. In fact, the primary reason that we have remained a part of Huber all these years is for our children. We haven't even had that large or that organized of a traditional 'children's ministry', although that's been developing differently lately, but I view our whole church as 'children's ministry'. My children have not been segregated from our family as we worship, serve, grow, minister, and fellowship together. They are developing a whole life spirituality based on what they see and experience as part of our community. They are developing relationships that I hope pay off big time once they hit puberty and never want to speak to their parents again. I trust that they will have people in place who they can speak to, who they trust, and most importantly, people who we trust. I grew up here, and I grew up with the richness of a spiritually, theologically, politically, economically, racially, and culturally diverse heritage of faith. It's a beautiful family who isn't afraid to embrace messiness and who opens its arms to everyone; I am pleased that my children can grow up here, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

two weeks of gifts

Monday, May 16, 2011

Since my post last week disappeared, I'm putting last week's list and this week's list together. Today I'm awaiting more baby news, and relishing the three new lives in the past couple weeks. I feel more anxious about these four babies than I did about my own! Next group of babies in my life needs to be a bit more spread out.

Join me - count the gifts that God has placed in your life:

187. assurance in trials
188. focused and productive meetings
189. committed professionals
190. a change in adoption workers
191. relief
192. obvious evidence of God's hand
193. seeing just a glimpse of the battle for our souls
194. history and heritage of Medway Elementary
195. Mr. Miller
196. fire safety
197. hope
198. answered prayers
199. time away with my husband
200. fluffy white pillows and sheets on a bed that I didn't have to make...and don't have to make in the morning, either
201. eclectic places to enjoy a delicious meal
202. babies, babies, babies - new life!!
203. confirmation of God's call
204. a room full of people committed to God's purposes
205. reconnection with old friends
206. hugs from new friends
207. strangers who share my heart and my struggles without me even explaining
208. a community working together to help raise their children
209. obedient families living God's call in very counter-cultural ways

the post where my child is making me pay and pay and pay

Sunday, May 15, 2011

While Wendell and I enjoyed our first overnight with no children in more than a year, especially since the littlest didn't cause too many problems at Grandma and Grandpa's when it came to bedtimes and such, we are paying the heavy, heavy price of two nights away. I remember what it was like when Ben and Maggie were littler. There was definitely some 'punishment' upon arrival at home. Even so, I wasn't prepared for the intensity of the punishment from Mr. B. It's been pretty ugly. The attachment stuff is in full-force. I actually type this while he's having a very loud melt-down in his room. I'm not quite sure how long he'll make us pay, but I'm hoping it'll be done soon.

The good news is that this particular trip just refocused our calling, reminded us of our skills, and reconnected us to the goal and the reason behind doing this whole trauma/attachment parenting thing.

I'm full up with patience. (for Mr. B at least. struggling a bit with the oldest, but that's another story for another day)
I'm focused on healing.
I'm looking for ways to say yes.
I'm encouraged and confident - not that I won't make mistakes, but that I can do this well.
I'm hopeful for Mr. B's future.

I'm praying that I've paid my dues and that tomorrow will be a new and happy day.

lost posts

Friday, May 13, 2011

I wrote and thought I posted two posts this past week. Both of which are gone, inexplicably. So very irritating.

Rundown of Summit VII to come! It was challenging and encouraging - just a relief to be in the presence of those who really, really get it. I didn't have to explain anything really. Just say 'foster care' or 'trauma' or 'attachment' or 'complicated' and people hug you and understand. That was well worth the conference fee for me. Not to mention the content. But more on that later...right now, I'm just glad to be home with my kids who I missed like crazy and my husband, who I enjoyed like crazy during our brief two and half days away.

prayer and fear

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today, I'm praying a bold prayer, but it's scaring the crap out of me.

Ever pray a prayer where you really do not believe there is a possibility of it being answered affirmatively?

That's where I'm at today.
I'm scared to pray it because I don't believe it will happen.
I'm scared to pray it because I'm afraid my doubt will be what stops it from happening.
I'm scared, period.

But I believe God is calling me to do it.
Today I am fasting.
Today I am praying.
Today I am doing my best to truly, really believe God for a miracle.

another monday, even more gifts

Monday, May 2, 2011

179. people of influence who care about our small child
180. the Psalms of lament
181. an Old Testament story made alive for me today
182. protection from the power of nature
183. busy ecosystem outside my back door
184. muskrats, turtles, ducks, geese, frogs, and fish
185. evening hours with happy children
186. the earnest prayers of a child's new faith

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