It has occurred to me that my most recent blog posts have been a little dreary. While we do have several areas in our lives that are bringing us to our knees a bit more than usual, it only proves our Father’s love and protection for our family. With Him we can do anything and everything. Even in the midst of our storms, He still supplies us our needs, yet He also provides us with many pleasures to bolster our spirits and balance the sour with a little sweet. So today, lets be positive……….today, we will take a peek into all of the wonderful things that God has blessed us with lately and the goofy ways in which He shows us His presence.
The oldest kiddies in the bunch:
Our oldest and bio babies…….DJ and Casey……our first fruits are so sweet, and we are unabashedly proud of them!
They are incredibly goofy, just like their Mama, and they keep the tone humorous and fun in our otherwise chaotic life. DJ is graduated and working full time in the same business that Dave is in, and we are so proud of his diligence and work ethic. He is really working out the kinks in his attitude (finally….woo-hooooo!), and he is such a joy to be around now……..I miss him so much while he’s at work! Casey is in the 10th grade and she too is working on her attitude and managing her ADHD. We have been seeing some real progress with her chores, her school work, and her attitude…….she’s still a teenager, make no bones about that, but it IS getting better 🙂 Praise God!
God provided me with an amazing opportunity to surprise my hardworking and wonderful husband with a weekend getaway date. For the first time in 17 years, we were able to go on a 2 night mini-vacation COMPLETELY ALONE!!
I planned everything out ahead of time so he would have no doubt how special he was. One of our favorite things to do together when we were young and our two little ones were down for the night, was to have a ‘carpet picnic’. I wanted to try lots of different foods that we had never sampled before and it was so fun! Re-creating that memory was so special.
My relaxed Dave…..it was so nice to see some of the stress and pressure of raising and supporting a big family melt away for a little while.
The middles (and the oldest of our foster kiddies):
Although we no longer have Mowgli (with the Mohawk) in our home, he is still a part of Kiwi’s life as her older brother. He is doing okay in his new foster home with no younger siblings. For that we are thankful.
Coconut, our first and oldest foster baby, may be socially and emotionally delayed due to the abuse inflicted on him by his biological father…….yet, academically he is sooooo smart! What a blessing this child is to us, and we thank God everyday that we were the ones called to nurture and love him back to health.
Coconut loves being a part of the family, and honestly, he doesn’t know any different. He has either forgotten or blocked out his past, and we are the only family he knows. Being right there and helping out when we do our family chores is a joy for him, and in turn for us.
Kiwi is our tiny little fairy. She adds light to our family and we are so blessed to have her……for ever long that may be. For the last 7 months she has held fast to her love and loyalty to her family…….constantly reminding us that she loves her Mom, her Dad, and her brother……which we remind her right back that they love her too! Yet, in the last few weeks, we have watched her let go. It is typical in the young ones that after 7 or 8 months of being in foster care (in a loving foster home), they begin to bond to that family and let go of the absent one. It is a sad and painful thing to witness, but we will gladly be her forever home if that is God’s plan.
Kiwi loves being taken care of. Baths, brushing her teeth, having socks and underwear, and sheets on her bed are things she constantly thanks us for. It is so humbling to witness a child be so very grateful for things that stable families take for granted. I take every chance I get to lavish her with everyday things that she has been denied. In her mother’s defense, she is emotionally and physically incapable of providing those things, but she seems to really love her children. One can’t help but root for her to successfully turn her life around……even though she might not ever be able to include her children in that life.
God has also blessed us with the most amazing pediatrician in this whole wide world, Jen O’Connors, who is actually our pediatrician’s Nurse Practitioner. This woman gives child medicine a whole new outlook……..personalized attention and a character that exemplifies a servant’s heart. We feel like family there, and she has been there for me during simple things such as fevers, to the more uncommon things such as drug detox. I must also mention her administrative assistant, Danielle, who has to be the best receptionist/appointment maker/secretary/and all-the-other-hats-she-wears that has ever worked in a doctor’s office. We used to joke at our old pediatrician’s office that the receptionists are the dragons standing between us and the doctor…….always grumpy and unwilling to be pleasant. Not Danielle! So, thank you ladies……you make taking care of the medical needs of our foster children so much easier…….we love you!
Kiwi’s hair…….while probably the most beautiful hair I have ever seen, it is also the scariest for me as a white woman! Learning to care for it, learning to style it, and learning how to cornrow it has been a job all in itself!! I have finally gotten the hang of it after almost 8 months, and every three weeks it only takes 3 hours instead of 4 to arrange it into a style that will last for two weeks (she gets one week where we let it be free, but it gets lots of fairy knots). Bless her heart for having to endure such things so that her hair stays protected!
The delicious baby (and the youngest of our foster’s):
If I had just one word to describe this child…….it would be precious. Yet, even that doesn’t do him justice, as his preciousness cannot be described in words! From the moment I clapped eyes on this little guy at a day and a half old, he stole my heart……and the hearts of all who know him. There is just something about him that makes you want to be worthy of a cuddle. Why his biological parents cannot see it is beyond me, but this woman thanks God everyday for the privilege of being his Mama, no matter how long that may be. As we near his one year birthday, I look back and marvel at the joy that he has brought to us all.
ocoa Bean calls me Ma-Ma, he calls Dave Da-Da, and he says Ba-Ba (bye-bye). He has two tiny bottom teeth and he weighs a hefty 25 pounds, meaning he really likes to eat! My home is filled with his giggles when the little ones play with him, or when we spin him around, and he is starting to growl and throw a fit when he doesn’t get his way……….he has even learned the word ‘no’ and will stop crawling and turns around when we say it, or will stop touching something when we tell him. All of which are pretty basic baby milestones, but to us they mean so much more. It means that even though he was born drug exposed, he is developmentally okay so far, and that is a beautiful thing.
Our awesome and supportive family:
Yeah, my Mama……..I could never sum up what she means to me here, even if I had a thousand pages. Bottom line? She wins the Best Mother in the World contest, hands down. The End. My father? Yep, he wins the Best Father in the World contest too. Sorry America, my parents have it in the bag because they put up with my family’s crazy life……and they even support us every step of the way. Good job guys, and congratulations on your win!
And the winners of the Most Amazingly Supportive Parents are: Bill and Barb! You guys Rock!
We had to stop going to church for a while……for several months actually. When Mowgli’s behaviors really started to escalate, we had no choice but to lay low at home. He was a big fan of flipping people off, cussing, ranting and raving, and drawing attention to himself in a negative way. Once he left our home, it took us a while to settle everyone back down and get into our normal groove. Dave and I would still go once a month to fulfill our ministry duties, along with Casey when it was our turn to be in the nursery, and I continued to paint the pastor’s office. We are now back in church regularly, and I must say, it is so nice to be back!
Raising the kids in a God-fearing, Bible-preaching, and family-loving church is our top priority. Finding it took Dave and I years and years before we were finally blessed with this extraordinary church. We didn’t want to lose such an incredible place of worship, so we finally asked our pastor to make an announcement to the congregation about our family’s ministry. Once everyone was informed that we are foster parents, it has made it a lot easier to haul everyone in on Sundays. No more worrying about how people will react to unsavory behaviors from our foster children, or having to stay home for weeks at a time when a new child comes to us beaten up or has major attachment issues. Our church family is now aware of our ministry, which helps them know how to support us and these little lost children in the areas of understanding………and with a willingness to accept the whole child, scars and all. They really are an amazing bunch of people!
Dave, the kids, and I are always blown away when God chooses to bless us with goofy things. Thrift stores are a way of life for our family, and almost everything except for food and underwear is purchased there. This makes for very interesting stories about our generous and loving Father in Heaven. You never know what you will find in a thrift store, but I can always count on finding exactly what we need, and a lot of what we want. God takes care of it all. One of our family’s absolute favorite children’s Christmas movie is Barney’s Night Before Christmas. Imagine my horror when I realized that somehow we had lost it. Off to the thrift store I went, but all I could find was a VHS copy. I was still very grateful, because we actually own a VCR, it just eats tapes sometimes. God granted my silly wish, and our little ones can enjoy the same great movie that my older kids grew up with. I also found another Barney Christmas movie, called The Christmas Star on DVD…….bonus!
But hold on………God wasn’t finished yet! When I got home, I immediately put the beloved movie into the VCR and played it for the kids. The next day, I chose the new Barney movie for the kids to see, and low-and-behold, there was a very special gift inside the DVD case! There was a DVD copy of Barney’s Night Before Christmas in with the other movie! I imagine God smiling down at me while Casey and I danced around the living room like we had just recieved $100. We are always so excited when God chooses to bestow little presents on us, and it makes all of us feel so loved. When we told Dave, he just breathed out a long breath, and a slow smile spread across his face. When he finally spoke he said, “God is so good”. Yes……….He certainly is.
Thanks for reading, and I hope that God blesses all of you and makes you feel as loved as we feel 🙂