It took a while…….a long while……but, my family and I are feeling much better. Blue Eye’s (a 6 year-old boy that was placed in our home for adoption that turned out to have sociopathic tendencies and reactive attachment disorder) is doing pretty well, from what little information I have gleaned from his new foster family. I must admit though, I haven’t kept in touch. His therapist felt that a clean break was the only way for my family to heal, and with the issues that he has with attachment, it was best for him too.
Towards the end of having Blue Eyes in our home, every morning I would wake up feeling just as exhausted as the night before. Some would say that all mothers with five children (or even four, three or two children!) wake up that way all the time 🙂 That may be, but this type of weariness came from keeping five children safe and unhurt, not just fed, happy, and healthy. The challenges we faced before Blue Eyes left our home proved to be overwhelming.
DJ, Casey and Dave have been amazing throughout this whole ordeal, but they too faced their own challenges dealing with Blue Eyes. In the end, we were all left licking our own wounds. Through God’s grace we have healed, and now we have to constantly remind ourselves that we have made it though the woods……we can take a deep breath and not have to worry constantly that life will be thrown into chaos at a moments notice. Even though I am still in the habit of waking up every morning with that initial feeling of stress, I can now lay back against my pillows and breathe a sigh of relief that today will be a ‘normal’ day of craziness. We never stopped praising God even in the bad times, but I am left with a deeper appreciation and thankfulness for my amazing family.
On a happier note, here are the good things that have been happening around our cozy Little Hobbit Hole:
My helpful firstborn son is now 18……where on earth did all that time go?? DJ is a man now, and we are so proud of who he is striving to be! Most of the time around our house you can find him fighting with me over who gets to hold Cocoa Bean (our youngest foster baby)……that sweet blessed angel turned DJ’s heart around on children, and I might actually get grandchildren out of him now! The rest of the time you will find him with a hose and a scrub brush outside, as he got a pretty little truck for his birthday. I guess guys don’t call their trucks pretty, or little for that matter, but nevertheless, he is riding around in his own set of wheels. We threw a family party for him, which we do for every family member in our extended family, and on his Saint Patrick’s Day birthday, he awoke to quite a breakfast feast that would make most people green with envy…….get it green with envy?? St. Patrick’s Day?? Okay, you get it 🙂
My oldest daughter is still a teenager, so she is still struggling with being sweet with a large side of sour! My mother says that all teenagers are brain-dead, and we concur wholeheartedly 🙂 All jokes aside, Casey had it the worst with Blue Eyes, as he targeted most of his vicious behaviors at her. That is a lot of stress on a 16-year-old, and she beats herself up a lot thinking what she could have done differently to help him. She has always been extremely close with Coconut (our first ever foster child who is now 4), so she is choosing to spend her healing time having sleepovers with him in her room, showering him with affection, and snuggling up to watch Frozen for the 5-hundreth time. “Hey!”…..”Do you want to build a snowman??”
It is hard to believe that we have had Coconut for 2 whole years now! When he came to us he was only 2 years old, beat to a pulp, and suffered from severe post traumatic stress syndrome. He is now a vibrant and healthy little boy who has captured our hearts forever. We are heart-wrenchingly close to finding out if we can adopt him…….prayers would be so appreciated, both for the adoption and the patience to endure this wretchedly long wait!
The most difficult thing to believe is that we contemplated not taking in Coconut’s little brother while his mother was pregnant with him. Afraid of the father and his aggressive tendencies, we felt it best to let another home take him in, as not to entangle Coconut’s case with complications. Of course, the moment the babe was born the agency called me to see if I would change my mind. I relented, as now that Coconut’s brother was actually here, it was hard to say no. HOW COULD I HAVE EVER SAID “NO”!!!!!!!
Cocoa Bean is the twinkle of my eye………he is the fattest, most precious sweetling I have ever seen. He is such an easy-going and happy baby, and caring for him has proved to be an absolute joy. I am not sure how I will ever be able to give him up, but I cannot lean on my own understanding about that now. I just simply walk within the safety of the path that God has laid for me, and keep the faith that He will carry me through it all.
Finally, we have two new additions, bringing our kid-count to six! The little boy is 4, and we have nicknamed him Mowgli, and the little girl is only 2, and we nicknamed her Kiwi. They are adorable, but they have a whole host of problems that we have never dealt with……..once again giving us a crash course on the different tragedies that children in foster care face. They have seen unspeakable things, endured unspeakable acts, and they are scared to be away from home. We are their second foster home, as the little boy has behavioral issues. In the short month that we have had them, we have watched them blossom into a new life that only God’s Hand could have created. We have no idea how long we will have these two cuties, but I fully intend to make the time count……bringing their little hearts to Jesus and showing them that not all adults hurt. They are learning that Mommies and Daddies are appointed by God to love, nature and care for their precious children. With the tender and sweet smiles I have had the privilege to witness lately, I think the message is getting in loud and clear!
Dave and I are still exhausted at night, as caring for six kids that have not been here since birth is extremely challenging. Not a day goes by that we don’t wince at memories of Blue Eyes when the newest foster children throw a tantrum or become out of sorts. But, we are slowly learning that ALL children act out when you wrench them from their homes, even if it is just a cardboard box, and away from families that they love…….even when those family members do not seem to deserve such affection. So, in order to nurture our own relationship, we wrangled a baby sitter, drove to the oceanfront, rented a room for the night, and had a long needed date night! Our first overnight date in 5 years! I can still smell that ocean breeze and the way our hands fit together as we walked on the beach……..heaven!
So, as Uncle Si would say……I’m back, Jack. Ready to once again share with you all the crazy life we have been called to lead, as a Servant of Christ!