Saturday, February 28, 2015

joy

I write to get things off my chest. I write to update people. I write to inform people. I write to encourage people. I write to be honest. I write to work through things. I write to find clarity. I write to heal my heart. I write to remember. I do not write to throw pity parties or to make my problems seem more serious than others. I just write what comes out. What normally comes out on here are things I'm working through. Struggles. Things I need clarity on, so I start typing and see what I have to say about it all. I feel like fostering has been dragging us down quite a bit these days. It is really hard on many different levels. I feel like I haven't spent a lot of time on here discussing the joy. Oh, the joy. I never want people to miss the joy fostering is to us.

I'll set the stage by thinking back on infertility days of having great joy with deep sorrow. (feel free to look back at old posts!) I still feel this way often. I can be so angry, scared, frustrated, annoyed, heartbroken over fostering, but I strive to never lose my joy. Happiness is in the moment but joy is rooted in my soul. Joy is something the Lord gives me, and it shouldn't be shaken.

so, the joy.

I've always loved our home. I like to decorate, rearrange, organize, entertain etc. Over the years our home has played many roles. I threw many adult/kidless parties back in the day, lots of holidays, birthdays, wedding showers. Then kids entered the phase of life for all our friends and family. Our gatherings turned a little more kid friendly. I was honored to keep my nephew here. I made a nursery for future baby Piatt, with the intent of letting other kiddos use it while we waited. And boy did it get used! So many kids slept in Carson's crib before him. It was a lovely season... Also, a tough one. We longed for children so bad, but I did my best to serve those around me, and make our home a place of refuge for anyone who entered. Tons of baby showers, home group, more wedding showers, more holidays, and still no baby Piatt. Our prayer was always to have our home full of children. full. I can't fully express how hard it was to long for a full house while it remained empty. However, it was a sweet season of growth and service. Which brings me to now, the pitter patter of these three boys is truly music to my ears. The screaming, not so much. But, I wouldn't trade my life for anything right now. I am in the sweet spot. We are growing our family. Our home is full of love, tiny toes, sweet hugs, lots of cuddles, and so much laughter.

I am completely exhausted. At the end of the day I feel like a total failure. I get angry, I lose my cool with the kids more than I would like to. I cry about the case and the unknowns. I cry about their past. I worry too much. Sometimes I think it would be easier if we hadn't chosen fostering.. I do all of that. But, after I talk through the day with Jake, I always end up coming back to the joy. We've grieved a lot and let go of a lot. This whole motherhood thing sure doesn't look like I originally pictured. Our full house came in a way I never imagined, but fostering is a source of great joy!

I found an anonymous quote the other day, and it's perfect for how I feel about our home in this stage of life: "In this house it's mixed beginnings and love unending."
















I know I truly don't deserve any of this. My cup runneth over. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stay Here

I haven't posted in a long time. Mostly because nothing has really changed, and a million things happen all day long, I have a hard time focusing my thoughts! Plus, it is a little weird to write about everything. It's so personal, yet I can't show their faces, or share names, or give real details on the case.. but, here we are. Until I can share their faces, let me share this beautiful watercolor a friend from High School created for us. She is crazy talented and her preferred style works beautifully for us foster folk. Look at our beautiful boys. 


Stunning, right? You should check out her amazing selection and order something for your family. 
Treat yo' self. 

***

The boys turned 2 this week. I can't believe it. I can't believe they've been with us over 7 months, and I can hardly remember what it was like without them. We've had a rough few weeks. The case seems to drag on and the boys have been acting out quite a bit. They are two, and every two year old has their challenges, but the sorrow and pain they carry, and the unknowns of this process weigh on them. On all of us. After bedtime Jake and I were recapping the day, he said something that made my heart sink. "While I was giving the boys their bath, I looked into Smash's eyes, and he seemed so sad. He is the same little boy." Let me explain, of course the boys have both made tremendous progress. They are sweet, loving, building trust. They have fun with other people and children. They're learning to cope with emotions, expressing desired behavior, showing affection.. they are great. Honestly, they look, act, play, talk, and love like totally different kids. We get so caught up in every day life, sometimes we forget. Or sometimes I let myself think they've forgotten it all. But, there are sobering moments, when Smash gets scared, or Whistle gets frustrated, or for what seems like no reason at all- we see their reality. Their reality is- we are their foster parents. They are safe here, we love them, they love us, they love it here. They are healing from their past hurts; but, every other week they are faced with them. They are confused. They are healing, but they are not able to fully move on yet. Every day they heal more and more. But, they don't know which reality to trust. Will they get to stay? Is this the visit they don't come back home? It's confusing for us, it HAS to be confusing for them. It breaks my heart. 

We prepare them for visits as much as we can. We always tell them at dinner the night before. The last two visits Smash said, "no visit. no go, no visit. Stay here?".. Then he's cried on and off all night saying "no, no no, no go." I can promise them they will come back home after the visit. I can promise to love them forever. I can promise them God loves them. I can promise to cuddle them the minute they return. I can promise them I want them to stay here forever. But, I cannot make the visits stop. I cannot promise them they get to stay here. always.... not yet. 

We recently heard an encouraging update. It looks as though things are moving in our favor. I can't share details, but prayers are always appreciated. Specifically next week and early June. I know, I know, "next week and June" is hardly an update. It seems like things are moving soooo slow. But, really time is flying. The days are long and the weeks are short. This case will close before we know it. 

I'll leave you with this song. I've heard it so many times.. pretty sure it's in a commercial, and pretty insignificant to most. But, tonight I heard it and tears streamed down my face. 

Home- Phillips Phillips