Daily life is always hectic and quite a struggle around here. We aren't experiencing the same behavior regression as we were with visits. However, their behavior is still unpredictable, bizarre, extreme, and trying most days. The progress is slow moving, but there is some progress. We have good moments wrapped up in really hard days and weeks. The hard days seem harder in some ways because the older they get the more damage they can do. They are so smart and fun! When things are going well, it's an absolute blast around here. I love being a boy mom!! Smash is still extremely emotional and tends to be impulsive, which is never a good thing for a two year old. I don't want to air out all of their "issues" on here, so I'll remain vague. Loving him requires a lot of patience, boundaries, consistency, strength, and grace. He is growing so quickly, already wearing a lot of 4T clothing! He does have emotional outbursts, but he tells jokes, smiles, and laughs a lot more than we he first came. Looking through photos I can see how his face has softened (although he still has his moments). They are in big boy beds now, which is huge for them! Smash is doing awesome. He sleeps on the bottom bunk with Carson, and stays in bed until his clock turns green. We decided to separate the boys because Whistle tends to cause some major bed time issues and we figured it was our best chance! Which brings me to Whistle...
oh, Whistle. First two and a half weeks, he was loving his big boy bed and we had zero issues. Then something snapped in him. He refused to stay in his bed, go to sleep, waking up at 5am to completely destroy his room. PJs off, diaper off.. fortunately I always caught him before he peed all over. Oh, man. He's been doing well for the last few days, we constantly have to find motivators for him. This week: new shoes!! (He gets to wear his new shoes if he stays in bed) I'm sure we will need to find a new method shortly, as the privileges tend to stop working within a few days. He sure keeps us on our toes. He reminds me of the sour patch kids commercials, he's generally sour and sweet moment to moment. Two weeks ago he just walked around the house rubbing my arms and hugging me saying, "You so pretty mommy. You so pretty." Then this week, his heart has been ugly towards me. I was rocking him after a hard nap, letting him cuddle in a blanket and drink his milk. I kissed his forehead and said, "I love you." His reply, "I no love mommy, I don't. I no love mommy. I love daddy. I no love mommy, I don't." In which I looked deep into those sad brown eyes and said, "I'm glad you love daddy, he loves you very much. Mommy loves you very much too, and do you know who else loves you? God, God loves you very much." He was silent after that, but in that moment I was thankful I responded well, but mostly I responded how I needed to. I needed to remember that God loves me beyond measure. He knows my heart, my weakness, my sorrows, my desires, and he chose to place these boys with us. He loves Whistle so very much; therefore, I am called to love him well also.
I don't always love them well. I get angry and frustrated. I shut down and pull back. I've always been honest on here, before termination, I had one foot out the door. I was constantly weighing the option to disrupt placement and wondering if I was supposed to be their mommy or not. So, where am I now? .. People always ask me, are you sure you want them forever? Do you feel you could/should disrupt placement? Will you adopt?.. etc. As soon as they terminated rights I decided to fully trust the Lord, trust Jake (he's all in), and pull my foot back in, plant it firmly in Truth and fight day to day with the intent to adopt these boys. We are not there yet, and we may not get the opportunity to adopt them. But, we will continue to say yes. To choose not to adopt them would be selfish on my part. I'm not judging other families for disrupting placement, but for me, in this placement, with these boys.. Any thought of saying no is all about myself. It would be easier for me, more peace for me, more joy for me, etc. Which is a lie and completely self centered. The truth is, my life is meant to bring glory to God. When I change my perspective, get in the Word, pray, and focus on properly aligning my will with His, it all seems less of a burden and more of a privilege. I have hope for our family, and hope we will all heal from this season and live harmoniously as Piatt's, but even if we don't.. God is good. So I will take one day at a time, and I will focus on loving my Lord, my husband, and my family well, for God abides in me and His love is being perfected in me. I will not pray the Lord removes this strife, rather I strive to bring Him glory in it, and that is where my real joy and peace will be.
When people ask me the tough questions, which I have asked myself over and over.. the why do it? why keep doing it??? Most of the time it ends with "I know, it's just hard to watch." Even if they understand/agree/respect what we are doing, it's hard to watch. It is hard to see the brokenness and need for fostering up close and personal. It's hard to love them while being constantly rejected, and people see that. It's hard to never get a break, it's hard to feel isolated, it is all very hard. So, my prayer during this process is to live in such a way that when people say it's hard to watch, they also say "but it's beautiful."