Caring More Than a Feeling of a Broken Heart

It’s been 9 months since my last post, not because I didn’t have anything to write about because I did write through and through about our entire journey with Genesis and Exodus.  They sit in my files unread, unedited, raw and they will most likely remain private. Writing about our journey to a family through foster care is just as emotional as going through it the first time around.

Thinking about the first time around makes me realize how the wounds haven’t fully healed even though you know how amazing the kids are doing now and failure does come to mind. You see what you missed (or what I haven’t shared) was the kids ended up being with us for 9 months. We had a lot of ups and downs with a tug-a-war adoption time …. Wait… no… reunification….wait….no….adoption…..(get my point); to a point that at the last court hearing in November we said good-bye to Genesis and Exodus as they moved into their new Fost-Adopt home.

We were blessed to have this time with them and to see their growth. We had a lot of support and gave them a lot of support to help them overcome their struggles and become who they are. We’re lucky enough to have played a part in their lives as well as a part in their future home. We knew as a family we couldn’t be; only for the simple reason that their growth has stopped with us, they could only see us as temporary foster parents and a connection as parent to child wasn’t forming but what did form was an everlasting role model for them and a relationship that continues to grow to this day… we do have love.

Reunification hasn’t happened for them yet, it is a fine line and at this point can still go either way with a 50/50 chance. We are still very much part of their lives and get to occasionally see them and take notice to the amazing transformation they have gone through by going to another home. Though we feel like we failed and sometimes think we should have fought for the adoption; we know and see that this was the right choice. We brought them to this point and their new family was able to get them to the next milestone to continue on the path of real childhood.

Genesis and Exodus had an easy transition to their next home, they were very excited for the move and to call their new foster parents Mom and Dad…. The names that use to be ours. It stung, I am not going to lie, and they weren’t scared about moving or felt that they were going to miss us at all. The thing is, we couldn’t have worked out the situation any better than how it happened. We were part of the picking the new placement, we did play dates with their kids and over nighters… when it came time to tell the kids about the transition they expressed with so much excitement, “you mean we get to live with our best friends?”. You see what I mean? It stung but how can you be sad for yourself when it wasn’t you but who wouldn’t want to live with their best friends at the age of 4 and 7? I know I would have loved that.

We know that we didn’t fail, didn’t let them down (though we struggle with this), we miss them terribly and love them so much and we know they love us. We know if their case goes to adoption that we will be able to be part of their lives indefinitely. God has a plan, their case came to us as reunification only and was supposed to only last 3 months that dragged on as a yo-yo case for 9 months…. Then the perfect family came around and they were considered off the “call list” to heal themselves from their past case (this family specializes in their academic needs and 2 same aged kids to be role models of childhood) and now the case got extended. It makes me wonder if this was all God’s plan to begin with. We were the in-between before the right family came along. I know this was God’s plan, I feel it and see it…. but it is still hard to say they are not ours anymore.

Since we had said good-bye we took 2 months off from the foster care / fost-adoption plan and not in any rush to say yes to a placement that didn’t sound right. Not that we were being very picky, because we kind of were but then again we also were not ready ourselves that nothing felt right. Then nearly 1 year later (few days shy of) from the time we said yes to the phone call for Genesis and Exodus we received a phone call for a 4 week old preemie, might I add BEAUTIFUL, little boy. We said yes….. This time there isn’t a plan at all, we blindly accepted. We brought him home from the hospital and have bonded immensely. Our rollercoaster is slowly climbing up the hill with the suspense building in our stomachs and not sure when or where the drops and turns are coming. We are loving him as our own until whatever God’s plan is…. even though all we are doing is praying that his plan is to be ours.
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Thoughts/Lesson on Foster Care… “The failure is only the feeling of regret that you fell in love and the fear of loving and loosing again. The success is our broken hearts now gave a child love and sense of worth while in our care. I would say that child’s life is better because I cared more than the feeling of a broken heart.” – Me.

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Mothers Day – foster care edition

I actually wrote this a couple of days ago but then I debated if I should share… here I go.

I am now just able to write about my experience 10 days ago. It’s delayed I know, but I had my own mixed emotions to deal with about that day. This is a reflection into the world of
what Foster Moms deal with every day, but this particular day was Mothers day and the struggle was heightened. This isn’t about feeling bitter or sorry for myself but just sharing the actual experience with others who may not truly know or understand.

 

My First Mother’s Day

I didn’t wake up to runny eggs, cold coffee, perfectly non-shaped pancakes, a messy kitchen and a sticky card that I couldn’t read….. I didn’t even wake up to my kids being in the same house as me. I woke up to my  husband understanding me not wanting to celebrate this day, squeezable and loving fur-babies who never had a clue, a quite home and my kids waking up and celebrating Mother’s Day with the woman that gave birth to them. I am a foster Mom.

I didn’t get to hear the sweet voice from my kids wish me a Happy Mother’s Day (all day) instead I got to hear my 6 year old foster son cry in the back seat for another Mom, while my 3 year old foster daughter had tears rolling down her cheeks, silently crying herself to sleep. I didn’t get a hug but dirty looks, kicks, screams and wanting nothing to do with me but to go back to their birth Mom. I got a 1 hour car ride home filled with hurt and screams. I am a foster Mom.

I didn’t have day full of plans, a Facebook picture to post,  a beautiful lunch, dinner plans, or celebrate our own Moms but instead plans for a day at home on Sunday expecting to be on lock down. Understandably knowing our kids would be in emotional, heart wrenching pain; I didn’t get to spend a day that suppose to celebrate Moms’ but got to spend the afternoon with therapist to try everything I had to calm down my child. I am a foster Mom.

My first Mother’s Day wasn’t anything near what a woman would imagine her well deserved day to be. I do something that a lot of people are unable to do. I kiss ouchies to make them feel better, I stay up all night with the sickies, I finish school projects because they are too tired at 9pm and need sleep. I work, wash, clean, pick up, be a wife, a therapist, a protector, an imagination machine…. Yes, this is what every good Mom does…. But I am a foster Mom.

 

I don’t do it for my own kids but I do it for kids that were birthed to another woman, I do it for a chance to fulfill a dream to be a Mom,  I do it knowing there is a chance I wont be able to keep them.  I do it for the kids, praying if they can take anything from their experience it is something that will give them a positive future. I do it to see their self esteem grow and be able to succeed in the small things such as riding a bike or better yet, without training wheels. I do it because if I don’t, who will?  I am a Foster Mom.
 

Prayers, Well wishes and comfort hugs to all you Foster Moms’ out there, to our confused and hurting kids, and to the Foster Dads’ that will soon have their own mixed feelings about their “day”.  You are not alone…. There is no need to fear or feel depressed over a day because God is here to help.

 

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 NIV

 

 

 

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there are no words that we can ever say to anyone to truly express the importance of what foster parents are doing in children’s lives and more importantly what these children are truly going through….. 

click on the “removed” title to take you to a very short yet speechless movie….

Not Afraid to Love

Two weeks ago our door opened to two amazing little hearts; their eyes filled with uncertainty as they hid behind their county case worker.  My husband and I immediately bent down and introduced our selves and their caseworker introduced them to us. Silence that seemed like an hour was only about a minute before I asked them if they wanted to see their new rooms. Our first glance and head nod from them letting us know that they would like that.

We went upstairs and showed them their rooms, in each of their rooms there was a “welcome gift” waiting for them on each of their beds. Their eyes lit up when we said it was for them and that they could open it now. Exodus (not his real name), 6 years old, opened his first and was over joyed with an “OH COOOOL Spider-man, a yo-yo and crayons….” He proceeded to look over at Genesis (not her real name) 3 years old, and exclaimed “let’s go see what you got!” As they ran to her room and plopped on her bed. Genesis screeched with joy “HELLO KITTY, I LOVE Hello Kitty!” …. Then the quite in our home was never again.

The shy and hesitant kids that walked through our door just 35 minutes before opened up with a gesture (my oldest sister thought of and made the gifts… I give credit to her) that was small to us but so huge to them that made them feel that they will be okay. I will definitely use this gesture in the future, I know that it won’t be like that for each child we have in our home, but it helps. Jumping ahead, the kids’ case worker called us later that afternoon and thanked us for the gesture and the warm welcome. She felt safe leaving her kids with us and secure in her choice of going with us. She also said that in all the years and cases she has handled not one foster parent has ever done that, it was new for her…..  It was new for us too 😉

It was time to finish up the tour of the home and sit down with the kids’ county worker and our agency worker to go over all the paperwork, court dates and visitations; while the kids got comfortable in the play room. Though I will not share too much of their story, it is their story to share, we can say that we know they will be with us at least until July. This case is heading towards reunification but as you fellow foster parents out there know, things can change but sometime it doesn’t.

6 months ago we started this foster to adopt process and some where down the line we decided that we would also open our hearts and home to foster care as well. 3 weeks ago we were certified, 2-1/2 weeks ago we got a call and 2 weeks ago we became parents to a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. This is truly God’s calling for us, though I don’t know what the outcome of this whole journey is, and even though we have some insight to our current kids, we don’t know the outcome to our journey with them. We do know that this journey will create something positive as we can already see that it has.

People keep saying “I could never do that.” The more I get to know these kids and fall madly in love with them a bit more everyday… the more I prepare for one of the hardest goodbyes that I will probably have to do in 6 months from now. I can see how someone could say “I could never do that…” but as I tell my kids “how do you know what you can’t do if you haven’t tried it?” They are leaving their prints on our hearts as well as changing our hearts and I could only pray that we are doing the same for them. As hard as it is going to be when our hearts are broken, after these two weeks, I can easily say that I would do it again in a heart beat. I do not think it takes a “special kind of person” I think it takes a love like Gods…. After all he loves us all, even when we break HIS heart repeatedly. I’m not afraid to love.

What to do with my time? Part 3

Project number three is complete. I think its a beautiful addition to our game room / play room. What do you think?
Before

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After

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This magazine rack was given to me by my mother in law (thank you Mom it worked perfect) and I turned it into a coloring book holder and book rack. A little bit of sanding and a little bit of paint, heck even a cute little drawer knob.

This project definitely kept me busy and my mind calm especially when we got our call last Friday and said yes to our first foster kids…. wait what? Yes, plural, kids’. That’s two!!!

….to be continued….

what to do with my time? part 2

I have been staying busy these last couple weeks with working out, dinners, surprising my hubby with pilot training class….. and working on my “keeping busy list”.

Not much to post but I did promise some pictures of my progress with my list.

first, my husband’s surprise flight lesson. He was so happy 🙂 I did a great job with this one, if I may say so myself.
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and can’t forget me, I was a passenger
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He loved that he actually got to fly the plane, it was a beautiful 1.5 hour flight to Catalina Island and back, from Chino Airport. It was an amazing time and I highly recommend it.

Back to that “keeping busy list” that I posted a couple of weeks ago, I did start and finish two projects off of it. I am excited to finally be able to share…

before and after
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It’s kind of funny that I took on that project because I don’t sew and still don’t really want to learn how to sew…. so I am giving away my secret. This bonding stuff is amazing stuff and lasts for a long time.

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and finally the old side tables that I decided to spruce up instead of toss (my hubby is actually building me new side tables, which look amazing ((straight out of Pier One amazing)) I can’t wait to share when he is done.)

old table…. say hello to my pups too 🙂
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table #1 redo – A Lego Table…. I love how cool it came out.
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and table #2 – chalk board table. why are chalkboards so much fun?
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I really love how everything came out and am quite happy that I actually started to do these things and actually finishing them. I am ready to move on to my next project…drumroll….. the magazine rack!!

One last thing before I go… Foster care certification update. We have our last meeting today to confirm our written home study report is accurate and okay to send off to our caseworkers supervisors. looking at about 2 more weeks for that cert but we are getting closer. Keeping busy is definitely helping my time go by.