Thursday, May 9, 2013

What a difference a year makes

A year ago I went and sat at DHS thinking I was bringing home a two year old little girl. I came home with her 12 year old brother two.

For the craziest first few days we actually travelled to Hot Springs for a sister in law’s wedding, who I was doing her cake for. On the way home it was mother’s day, none of the kids napped, squashed in the back seat of the CRV and the air managed to go out.

I wanted to send them back. Or anywhere. (you can judge me for that if you want, but it’s true.)

Everyday I wondered how to get them all fed, bathed and in bed at the similar times. I wondered how to take them all to Wal-Mart.

I thought I had made a mistake and every 5 minutes or so I had a mini panic attack and hissy fit silently, simultaneously. Almost every day I called Kyle and said, “I don’t think I can do this, we need to send them back.” Turns out I was experiencing a slow painful death of a part of my selfishness and I was going down in a flaming, kicking and screaming fit. (inwardly of course…keep it together)

Well, it’s funny how much difference a year makes.
Today of all days I had to take the 12 yr old to the dentist to get his front tooth rebuilt….for.the.third.time.  Why? Because he chose for himself not to wear the mouth guard that we told him (and the dentist told him) he HAD to wear when being active. We had a seriously hard discussion about ;
*sin always has consequences
*sin never affects just you
*sin always brings unhappiness
*When you disobey your parents, you are really sinning against God because he commands children to obey their parents.
*You know people love you because they a) take care of you b) teach you right from wrong and how to be better c) they do what is BEST for you

And it occurred to me that in a year, you can go from focusing on how to get them all fed and bathed, to focusing the condition of their heart.  It’s not longer a big deal to take all three of them anywhere (though I do avoid it at all cost..divide and conquer, I say). It’s second nature to get them fed and in bed at a reasonable time while taking the time to talk “princess feefee” through whatever momentary shutdown she is having.
There are still days that I think, “What in the world are we doing this for?” or “Why don’t 12 year old boys come with brains?” There are still days I feel left out of girl things or friend things and I wonder if its because we’re a family of five or if its because I have foster kids. Its a funny feeling to know that alot of your girlfriends trade babysitting favors but no one ever offers to keep my three. People assume things and decide things for us and it drives me bonkers, and I wonder, "Would they do that if we only had one kid?" 

But there’s those moments when I can be having the hardest conversation with either of them, any of them and the Lord whispers, this is a big moment. They will remember this. This is why you’re doing this.
 It is feeding them, they'll remember my taco soup. It is giving them structure and getting them to be on time. It is getting them clothes that fit and are clean. It is getting them their own bed. It is giving them health they need. But it is sooo much bigger than that. And I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit who has guided us through this year. We would have quit that first weekend if it wasn't for God and his word that gives us such staying power and purpose.

I have had the privilege to take the princess to BSF for a year and what a difference the word of God makes in a little heart. We got the princess the therapy and help she needed and got her blessed tonsils out. She has called us “mommy and daddy” since the first moment. And it’s an ironic privilege to be her mommy.
We have had the privilege of giving the 12 yr old two pages worth of “firsts”. Changing his ideas about hard work and money, marriage and right vs. wrong. We’ve had a tumultuous relationship but I pray that most moms feels the same things I feel towards their preteen sons.

I still don’t know how long they will be with us. Will it be hard if they leave someday? You bet a box of Kleenex it will. Do I worry about the timing and the future? Can I lie on my own blog…better not.  Has it been the hardest (but most sanctifying) experience of my life? Top two. If foster parenting for the faint of heart? Yes and no, you just wait and faint when everyone’s gone to bed.

But none of really doesn’t matter. God’s doing what he does best. I love to think about how at just the right moment, he intervened in their little lives and brought them out. He assigned them to us and he’s allowed us to be a part of reshaping their hearts and minds. I fully trust God to watch over them and do whatever is very best for them…which is sometimes different than what I think is best.

What a difference a year makes.

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