Thursday, June 30, 2011

baby bear and momma bear - placement #2 kids 2 and 3

1030 last night (almost 24 hours ago!) we got the call

and w/ in 3 hours - 2 sweet children entered our home

baby bear is 1 mo' old lil boy who still fits in preemie clothes

momma bear is his protective big sister, all of 20 mo's old

still recovering from the shock...

still missing bubba...

but having a blast!

never-made memories

what is odd about losing a child... even in this form of loss in which this child was lost... he was never ours... is the making of the never-made memories

as i drove across the state for a day of girlie fun (a tame bachelorette party - pedicures and dinner) i was bombarded with never-made memories

there were tons of road construction

i could almost hear bubba in the back seat - his excited grunts and gesturings... not unlike a teenaged boy seeing boobs... he would get the same joy out of seeing construction vehicles

it reminds me of the children's series by Margaret Peterson Haddix : The Missing, in the second book the children time travel and "alter" time - in doing so they also see what would have been... like ghost shadows on the top of what is happening...

you see how things could have happened like a ghost image on top of what has happened

in the same way i see bubba in our everyday life... i see him running up to bee while playing wii and getting in the circle of his arms to play with

i see him running in the rain and overgrown grass of our yard... running so fast his little body can't keep up and he faceplants on the ground

i wonder if it'll always be like this

will it continue with each child until my house is full of these children who aren't really there

will my never-made memories keep me from enjoying the real ones?

another prayer of a foster parent: belief without sight

John 20:29 NIV
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

help me to be like the ones HE speaks of who are blessed because they believe without seeing

help me to believe he is being taken care of and loved
even though i will never hear of or see him again

help me to have faith in YOUR ways in YOUR plan for his life and for mine

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Prayer of a Foster Parent

as i sat on the edge of the river... this was my prayer...


Grant me the strength to love
and when the time comes - not a moment before - to let go

Grant me healing
for the children in my home
and for me and mine when they are gone

Grant me fortitude
when the system in bungled and confusing
which is always

Grant me comfort
in the silence that follows
the hectic chaos of a child

Help me Lord to sing with conviction
"It is well with my soul"
even when i want to cry out for the child who has left

Let it not get easier Lord to let go
but Lord let me take comfort in knowing

quiet and contemplation

after a week of contemplation and quiet (and a wedding)... there is so much to say... but the words are still stumbling

it's been crazy, and i've had tons of disjointed thoughts and half-writings...

but it's odd to have your life change so suddenly and no real words to describe it, and no way for others to understand or know how to consol...

bubba left at noonish

i thought i'd be ok, we KNEW he wasn't going to be ours... didn't feel like we were the right family... but i could barely talk to the case worker (who asked if i had allergies i was sniffling so bad - seriously?!?!).

i had all his stuff packed up, he even kind of gave me a hug in the last moments (w/o being hysterical - a first and only).

i carried him to the car and snapped him in.

i wanted to say i love you and we are happy for you.

couldn't speak.

i stood on the porch and waved goodbye... the caseworker did the best thing... he reached by and "helped" bubba wave...

and that's the last i saw.

i walked inside... and did the last thing i thought i would do... sat and sobbed... i figured i'd be sad... didn't expect the intensity.

glad for it, because otherwise we shouldn't do it.

since then, i spent the day on the edge of the river contemplating, picked up his stuff from daycare, drove alone across the state for a wedding, fielded tons of questions and sympathetic glances from hubby's family (while trying to turn the attention back to the happiness of the wedding), had more sleep since bubba came, drove back home behind my hubby and son, and now waiting for calls.

we have had 2 fake out placements (we might need you - could you??? - we'll call if we do --- and NO CALL) and we will be doing a respite care for a week in about a week.

the journey continues...

Monday, June 20, 2011


can't quite figure out what to write

it's official

bubba leaves tomorrow, noonish.

court was B-E-H-I-N-D so we got the call at 645ish and he is to be back w/ gma by 4pm.

most likely he'll be picked up around noon.

bee will say goodbye to bubba and then go to vbs with HIS gma who will watch him until she gets the all-clear that bubbs is gone.


sadder than i thought i would be (releaved)... and have to admit, it touched my heart to see chef hubby wiping away tears while watching shaun the sheep and having the little man get all snuggly on him.

he's taking the bullet of putting bubba to bed tonight b/c i don't think i could do it.

whose team?

sitting in my front yard reading an old tabletalk - specifically April 2011 - article by RC Sproul Jr titled "the victory parade we don't deserve"

a portion of the article hit me - i will paraphrase:

--- it's not whether or not GOD is on our team, it's are we on HIS.

when we are commanded not to worry it's not necessarily b/c GOD is on "our" side, but if we are passionately pursuing HIS kingdom and working for HIS glory... than how much can it really matter what we are wearing, driving, living in, or even... if we are living? to suffer in HIS work is glory...

as i sit here and wait for the phone call that will most likely remove bubba from our home... i am meditating on this....

yes - it'll hurt - yes - it sucks for us... but i do believe that this is HIS work and for HIS kingdom... so... i'ts not if HE is on "my" side - because in this story... my side does not matter... it is about what is best for bubba and what will bring the most glory to GOD

edited and added - link to article:

195 -

195. having the laundry done...

196. the ability to cut through the bs and straight up ask the caseworker for clarity about the case

197. that GOD transplanted my anxiety to my husband during visitation on friday (kind of funny to see)

198. fun at the river with friends

199. a good father for my children

200. this sweet boy who is leaving his footprints on our heart

201. his love of reading!

202. friends who even in the midst of their own personal struggles hold us tight in their prayers

Sunday, June 19, 2011

random lessons in foster parenting

always have all laundry done...

after 2 weeks of trying to be sure i have had all of bubba's clothes clean i am down to the last two loads... just in time for the court hearing tomorrow.

3 pm.

if things happen when "they" say they will (hahaha... almost hurt myself - rarely do things happen when "they" say)

i realize we have had a longer warning than most, since gma was denied first time.

mr e says the guardian-ad-litem and an investigator are in favor of bubba going to grandma's. but the judge will have the final say.

praise GOD for bubba, seeking HIM for comfort.

reading counterfeit gods with my accountability group.

one of the deep counterfeit gods is power... and in the chapter discussing power this quote by Niebuhr caught my eye...

"95% of what sets the course of their (human's) lives is completely outside their control".

i have never realized truly how little we "shape our own destiny".

learning that now, is truly humbling... and points me to the ONE who is in control. even though the judge will have the final say - GOD will be in control.

but... i will miss this face (if only i could show it all)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

teach me charity

we are blessed

so blessed

i try to instill the idea that we have more than we need w/ bee. it's hard b/c like us all he wants more.

one way we have tried to do this is with his birthday party gifts.

i love birthday parties. too much.

i love planning, organizing a theme, coming up with games.

this year was a little more spastic than most, but hopefull it'll come out right.

after his first birthday party i was almost embarrased by the booty the boy brought home.

this little boy who is already doted on and spoiled by both sets of grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and great grandparents.

some of the spoiling is actually a by-product of all the birth issues. my family especially shows love through gifts, and the idea that we will love this special child and "make up for" the loss.

in order to curb the enthusiasm - we do donations, starting with his second bday we have asked people to bring donations to our local children's shelter rather than gifts for bee.

it has been so great to see people turn their love of gift buying into something for others.

we have tried to theme it..

2nd birthday - party theme - bubbles - donations requested - bath supplies - GREAT turn out

3rd birthday - party theme - chicka-chicka boom boom - donations requested - books - kind of a bust - books are pricey

4th birthday - party theme - legos - donations requested - art supplies - awesome turn out - people had tons of un-opened art supplies laying around the house and cheap to pick up

this year

5th birthday... wow can't believe it - our theme - outer space - donations "launch" the kids into a great summer w/ summer necessities - turn out was awesome - and less gifts for bee - a few friends and of course the family still brought things for him - but we actually got more stuff for the kids - AND HE IS COOL WITH IT - better than i expected!

this year has been the hardest in explaining to bee that we do this because he already has more than he needs. he of course could list 100+ things he WANTS but doesn't have. i remind him GOD has gifted us with much - including bee himself, so therefore we want to help others.

this year has been easier in another way. we have bubba. we spoke about how there are not enough families to take in children who need a place to stay, so they have to go to a special place. kind of like school. but they don't get to go home. they don't have a family. we are helping kids like bubba.

even typing this i'm getting misty and just want to scream from the rooftops - BE A FOSTER PARENT....

sigh... back on topic

we take the supplies to the office of the children's shelter (not the shelter itself - the kids are not on display!). bee drops the items off, and then - in true spoiling fashion - we go for ice cream.

when i tell my high school kiddies this - they think we are crazy. i try to encourage them to do the same - to pick their own charity. but, again - i need gets in the way.

truth be told - people still bring gifts. which we are cool with - i will say it's definitely tamed some spending, and some stick to the donation only - more every year.

what's YOUR favorite charity? what's a way you could incorporate charity in your child's life?

To Show Them Jesus

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

this sucks... why do it?

i could answer this - but i would totally be ripping off Tim and Wendy - my foster parenting models

- i have never met them

- someday maybe, but i truly think they have changed many peoples' minds about how foster care works and how to go about doing it...

they are one major reasone we went from considering adoption to doing foster care - with the hope of SOMEday adopting

please listen to this podcast!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

faith and foster care

my faith is growing and being stretched constantly...

especially now...

what does tomorrow hold - only GOD knows.

this funky maybe he will go to grandma's shadow that is over our life...

i just want to know.

bee has been complaining lately of a tummy ache.

and i realized today... my tummy's been hurting since we've been told he might be leaving.

then today a friend posted this on facebook:

Fretting about tomorrow's problems siphons the strength you need for right now

while i can't totally forget about the possibility that bubba could be leaving... it needs not be the center of my focus

i need to prepare for it (laundry, etc) but we need to continue to love on him and work with him as if he were staying.

i need to remember that GOD is in control of everything... and that is what has had me in a tailspin. wanting answers, wanting to control.

i actually googled "when will bubba leave?" i didn't expect answers, but i'm so used to immediate answers, and there are none.

i am not in control... i have to trust HIM

faith stretching... uncomfortable... growing...


how did this happen???

i am being called in the sweetest most insistent voice to come to the other room...

what word is he using?


not auntie, not may-may...


clear as day

not what my own flesh and blood refers to me as (which is momma - love it)



he is so cute and cuddly lately...

love this boy

and i wait for news for him to leave

Sunday, June 12, 2011

YOU are faithful

relistening to the steven curtis chapman cd - beauty will rise... i won't go into the full story behind the cd - if you know much about christian music you have heard the story - sweet daughter killed in tragic accident...

today i heard this song again - and it brought out so many feelings ---

i am beginning to grieve the possible upcoming seperation from bubba...

it's hard b/c i don't want to focus on it - but if i ignore it and live in denial it will be even harder if he leaves.

part of it is getting laundry done - sounds so odd to say, but i HATE laundry and very rarely am caught up. now i am trying to go through all the boys' clothes and be sure they are clean so i am not doing laundry late into the night prior to sending him off. in fact we could get VERY short notice (few hours)... so would rather do it now in a calm way than in a spastic crying snotrunning way.

also, as it goes every year at this time... the thoughts of loss surrounding bee's birthday are coming up...

5 years ago... it's crazy! we are just shy of two weeks from his birthday - we will be at a wedding this year (love distractions) but i know i will grieve as i always do... and this milestone bday already makes me a bit weepy...

i love the lyrics of this song b/c it centers me back...

with all this sad sack stuff - i know GOD is in control and HE has a plan...

[ From: ]

I am broken, I am bleeding,

I'm scared and I'm confused,
but You are faithful.

Yes You are faithful.

I am weary, unbelieving.
God please help my unbelief!
Cuz You are faithful.

Yes You are faithful.

I will proclaim it to the world.
I will declare it to my heart
And sing it when the sun is shining.
I will scream it in the dark.

You are faithful!
You are faithful!

When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!

You are faithful!

And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful.

I am waiting for the rescue
that I know is sure to come,
cuz You are faithful.

Yes You are faithful.

I've dropped anchor in Your promises,
and I am holding on,
cuz You are faithful.

God You are faithful.

I will proclaim it to the world.
I will declare it to my heart
And sing it when the sun is shining.
I will scream it in the dark.

You are faithful!
You are faithful!

When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!

You are faithful!

And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe You're faithful.
So faithful...

Though I cannot have the answer
that I'm wanting to demand,
I'll remember You are God
and everything is in Your hand.
In Your hands you hold the sun, the moon,
the stars up in the sky,
for the sake of Love, You hung Your own Son
on the die...

You are faithful...

Yes, You are faithful...

When you give and when You take away,
even then, great is Your faithfulness!
Great is Your faithfulness!
And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe You're faithful!

Oh, oh, oh...

Oh, oh, oh...

When you give and when You take away,
even then still Your name
is faithful!

You are faithful!

And with everything inside of me,
I am choosing to believe...
...You're faithful...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

where's bubba? no... seriously! WHERE"S BUBBA!

trying to have sense of humor... but about had a heart attack yesteraday.

fridays are visitation days, so we don't pick bubba up from daycare b/c the caseworker (or transporter) is supposed to bring him back to our house.

SUPPOSED to bring him back to OUR HOUSE.


the case worker called my hubby to be sure we would be home - said he'd be there in 45 min (we are far from the home base for the cw).

we assumed he had bubba.


i drive home (past the daycare) and get home to help clean up a little.

feeling good about everything.

i see the cw pull up. cool. i see him walk up to the door. alone.


in less than 2 seconds i had the following run through my head -


i opened the door and said... suprisingly calmly, where's bubba? did something happen at visitation?

the caseworker looked at me and said, what? he's not here?

the 2 second freak out was nothing compared to the drop of my stomach and nasuea that hit.

in 10 minutes or so it was all figured out.

the transporter did NOT bring him to our house - nah - took him back to daycare. the one i passed on my way home from work. the one that is 20 minutes from our house.


<3 our caseworker - he was professional - but you could tell he was 1. embarrased, 2. ticked at the transporter 3. wanted to fix it.

he offered to go get bubba. my hubby agreed w/ me that it would be better for him to go, so not to add trauma to bubba's day since he had already had several "other" people transport him and it would be confusing to get in the car with the guy who takes him to visitation and then come to our house.

small bump - but still my heart was breaking. bubba doesn't care for daycare, he bawls when dropped off. he had to do that twice yesterday. he had to have been so confused. PLUS - he was picked up an hour and a half later than usual. he waits for me by the gate at exactly 320 everyday.

****also was told that the decision about gma and moving will be done next week - not the 20th. worried that it'll end up he will leave the same day as our son's bday party - not cool. :(

Thursday, June 9, 2011

invisible amputee

recently there has been a couple of hits on this blog b/c people are searching hysterectomies and grief - and i realized i have been very foster care centric... so to visit the original topic... hysterectomies and grief

what's normal in grief?

there is no normal... but for me grief rears its head at random moments...

some you expect, some you don't

it becomes a dull ache... not the piercing pain in the early days... but there like a sore tooth  and if you prod it it flares up

i think of ghost pains of amputees...

a hysterectomy is an amputation - just invisible to the naked eye. it's internal.

i wonder, when a man (or woman) who has lost the use of their legs, sees people racing around if they feel a tug... it's hard b/c it constant...

i feel a tug everytime i see a pregnant woman, an ad for birthcontrol or feminine items...

which is more often than you realize!

the feeling can be described as a mix of anger, grief, jealousy, and then quickly following... guilt.

why guilt? because while i don't think i should "be over it" - (i don't think there is such a thing). i want to do as the song says... bless him in the dark and in the pain... in the grief and all, count my blessings... and there are many. but for the split second (or if i think too long - minutes, and as this post says - even longer)


is it easier now than it was 5 (holy cow) years ago. but it's there... sigh

Monday, June 6, 2011

so confused!

called the CW - mr e today. (asked several questions)

but i really wanted to know about the pictures, he said the parents didn't really go into the bag so he thinks they missed it... AND - they sent pictures for us to put in the special album we have for bubba! (yay!)

i could have SWORN he told me bubba would possibly be leaving by the 20th... now he's saying they will review his case on the 20th and also it looks like there are issues w/ grandma's home study so maybe not :(. it's of course not final, but until then, alot of waiting

so sad.

we love the booger, but would love for him to be w/ his family (if safe!)...

counting my blessings that if i were unable to care for my child - there are several friends and family who would step up... and be approved

181 -

181. the scent of pinesol and a freshly mopped floor

182. the shade of our tree and the breeze in the front yard - a true blessing in this part of the world

183. trying out a new recipe

184. a hubby with knife skills to execute said recipe

185. a couple of smiles from our sweet sad two year old

186. every other night bedtime duty w/ bubba

187. sweetly tacky shell light to read the word by during bedtime duty

188. little hands covered in paint... learning to explore and hopefully express

189. random hugs from an unaffectionate boy
190. cool activities in town to entertain little boys who need to be OUT OF the house

191. a mom who will go with

192. a mntn dew - nectar of the gods from my favorite sissy

193. 2 lil' boys lovin' the sea river

194. veggie tales - and how i can apply what i've learned from this childrens series to the sermon sunday morning!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

preperations and questions

cleaning out bubba's bag after visitation is interesting...

this time i found

* two outfits a size too small (but at least weather appropriate!)

* a pair of jammies the right size - a little warm - but i LOVE footie jammies

* a bag of peanut m&m's (last time it was a handful of dum-dums - which i can't stand for kids!)

* nice outfit we had packed to be changed into if need be (he was changed - into a pair of too small shorts)

* the letter and pictures i had sent for his parents...

the last one stops me cold... and raises questions

were they ignored? not seen? rejected?

his caseworker did not drop him off so i don't know how visitation went.

don't know how grandma's home study is progressing.

i am still preparing as if he will be leaving in 2 weeks.

father's day. he came to us just before mother's day. full circle.

i have picked a bag

my mother in law will embroider the first letter of his first name on it.

just for him.

hopefully it will fit all the clothes that fit.

i will nicely box up the too small stuff they sent.

will probably get another bag (probably one of the many totes we have floating around) for his toys that are HIS - from sweet friends for his birthday and a few others that he has fallen in love with while here.

i have told bee that bubba might be going to live with his grandma. i think he understands. i have had him think about if daddy and i went on a l=o=n=g vacation (not what we have said about bubba's parents but just something he can imagine us doing better than not being able to care for him) if he would rather stay with people he doesn't know or his grandma... and he kind of gets it. he's sad and a bit more cuddly since.

we are trying to prepare him for this as much as possible.

but he still introduces bubba as "our new brover"...

it may not happen.

but i don't want to cling to that thought.

honestly we aren't right for him. we don't belong to him. he needs family, or a family a little more... something. maybe i feel this way because we've always known he will leave.

this doesn't mean i'm not sad, that i don't love him to tiny little pieces.

it's a funky kind of sad... and it taints our days no matter how much i try to sweep it away.

he's just warming up to us... he is getting a little more cuddly... will that be encouraged? he needs hugs...

i just pray that this will be a move into a happier experience. that grandma puts his needs first and not those of her son. i pray the glimpses of the happy toddler we have seen blossom into a full time happy boy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

surprise visitation and some maybe news

lil’ man is off at visitation today…

i can’t help but think of him as i sit at work… right now mr e is picking him up from daycare and loading him up in the car

does he realize this means he gets to see mommy and daddy…

are mommy and daddy going to bring the pictures i asked for so we can set up frames and albums so we can talk and process that they are his parents and he will see them again?

mr e did a surprise visit yesterday, i happened to be home prepping the house for Bee’s graduation dinner… would have normally been at bible study.

bubba was sleeping.

talked w/ mr e for a while.

grandma is looking to get custody.

smile, sigh…

that is a GOOD thing… but i am sad… sad that this sad 2 yr old will be what i remember – working hard to get the giggles and smiles – but it is HARD… but life is HARD and doing what HE asks is what is HARD… HARD is worth it.

i should be doing lesson plans…

not researching duffel bags to pack his things in… but my fingers type the websites in and i find myself obsessing over quality and size and price… what’s the best deal…

it’s not 100% yet, gma has to get her home study approved. but mr e said IF it’s approved they are hoping by June 20.

2 weeks.

half the time he’s been with us…

i’ve known in my heart he wasn’t to stay with us, that he isn’t meant for us… but i’ve gotten used to his chubby face and clear blue eyes… i’ve wanted to see the smiles, i’ve ached for him as i do now wondering what he is thinking and what is going through his sweet lil’ head…

i hope this will be the best – i pray GOD watches over him… i pray for wisdom in how to make this transition easy