Saturday, August 27, 2011

Love Makes All Things Easy

I found this frame at Walmart the first week I had Miss D and it said, "Faith makes all things makes all things easy." I placed a picture of her in it and put it by my bed. It is a good little reminder that we need to trust God through all of this that He CAN protect Miss D from the family line she is from and the generational sin that is rooted so deep. I need to trust that even if she is placed back in the family, that He can save her. He does not really need us even though we would love for Him to use us in her her life.

The court date Monday went well as far as we are concerned. We did not have to be there but the information we have is from out attorney. Everyone who showed up did not look impressive or trustworthy. The one person that I thought was going to fight for her did not show up at all. They provided the name of one person they want her to live with and they have to check that option out. This option in my book is the worst case scenario and I can't imagine a judge giving Miss D to her. The parents and everyone else interested in Miss D were supposed to have a placement meeting this week as well and everyone canceled and wanted to reschedule. This of course looks to the court that Miss D is not a priority because both main parties do not have jobs and they have time to be there. I found out yesterday that our cps worker's supervisor would like to push toward termination of rights. That is rare and I am excited to have someone fighting for Miss D. Our attorney is awesome too! She is so detailed and tells us everything. She asked the judge if she could approve the home that Miss D would be placed in before she is moved. He approved it! She has a foster child of her own and is passionate about the child and what is best. She loves what we are doing with her and how we are taking care of her. One piece of interesting information that we received is that she was a preemie and born at 6 months gestation. This is very helpful to know.

I have been focusing on the second part of that phrase this week. "Love makes all things easy."
Every day has been different in its own way. I am trying to figure out what makes her tick and what makes her ticked off. I finally figured out the key to the madness is to flat ignore her tantrums. It works like a charm. Originally I was putting her into time-out for every ugly behavior, but it just made her more mad. She liked the attention so she kept on. Now, if the attention is not placed on her at all...she gives up. Miss D and Jack are getting a long so much better!!! The turning point for us was Tuesday morning. We went to Aunt Finine's house and she told them to go shopping and play "store" and they played beautifully together. We still have yelling matches every once in a while, but they are settling in the house together better. Jack no longer growls at her. :)

Her sleep patterns are getting better which has helped my mood out too. She is finally relaxing and trusting us. I don't have to sit in her room half the night anymore. I have slowly inched my self out the door and she trusts me that I will still be there. This is huge! She has started to kiss me and tell me she loves me before she goes to bed. She is precious!

I took her to the eye doctor this week and found out that she has to have eye surgery to correct her lazy eye. The first person doctor I called was the chief of ophthalmology at Texas Children and scored an appointment with him October 14. The best thing is that...HE ACCEPTS MEDICAID!  SCORE!

She starts MDO on Tuesday and this will be a great thing for her. I suspect that we will see her blossom in the next couple weeks. And guess what...I get 10 hours to myself! It has been a challenge to get even the basic things done around the house. The paperwork on foster children is a lot and with a child who needs medical attention the amount of time on the phone is crazy trying to make appointments.

I think week four will be even better! A funny thing happened two days ago. Arrow called us and asked if we wanted a 8 month old. It just made me laugh. I could not imagine having more than one right now. I politely declined. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Miss D Part Two

We have almost hit the two week mark since we had Miss D I am sitting here with a bowl of ice cream and I finally feel a bit of normalcy and out of the fog. I can begin the processing that I have needed to do for a week now. It has been a interesting ride the past two weeks. You pick one emotion..I have had it. 

The sun came up on day two and I walked into her room with this huge dimply smile. She reached up for me and when I picked her up she laid her head on my shoulder and began stroking my hair. At that moment I could you not? The rest of the day consisted of correcting different behaviors. For one, she did not know how to eat at a table. She wanted to put a napkin on the floor and it took a couple meals, but she got the idea that at our house we don't do that.  The next objective was to actually use the napkin on how it was intended to be used instead of her shirt. I learned that day that she had a different vocabulary than us..which if I were to be perfectly honest made me laugh a bit that it was coming out of a 3 year olds mouth. She did not urinate for 24 hours and lets just say she was very gassy. Nutrition was not a priority.

I have taken her to the doctor three times for blood work and shots...all 6 of them. This week I get to take her to the dentist for a mouthful of problems. Next is the eye doctor to check out her eyes.

The world that she lived in contained no boundaries and no discipline. The word "no" was not said very often. This has been the hardest obstacle of them all. She loves us...she ignores us...she loves us...she ignores us.  Now..I hear that girls are different than boys in that there is a lot more emotion..and she is 3. Still, it is hard to undo three years of freedom.  I know one day she find comfort in routine and boundaries. In fact, we are seeing signs that are very positive.

Miss D was the only child in her house and then she was brought to my house with two other being 3. This has been extremely difficult and lots of emotion is wrapped around this subject. My Jack is the sweetest, most loving boy...but has a temper. She brings that out in him. Just too much sassy for him. I have been the mediator so much between those two and the bickering about drives me bananas. Last Tuesday I called my husband and said, "I can't take it anymore...I have to get out of the house...lets do dinner out."  We went to Gringos, Mexican food is my comfort food,  and I just cried and cried at the table. Luckily, we had a amazing waitress, bless her beautiful heart, that played with my kids while I tried to pull it together. The "real" emotion here was..."What did I just do to my family?" Of course, as I rocked her to sleep that night God reminded me that I am doing exactly what is right for my family whether they get it now or not.

I feel like I just went through the newborn, bringing home baby, phase. I have been zapped. Literally, there has never been a point where I wanted to dig a hole and jump in and throw e-mail and phones out. I just had nothing left in me to converse with anyone and neither did I really want to. Maybe this whole fostering thing gets easier. I do not know how people get a child after child into their home being this emotional.

One thing I know is this.....if Miss D came into my home to teach me the importance of adoption from right where we live...God achieved that. I know there is a lot of hype of international adoption. It is a beautiful thing and God bless the people who go get those babies and protect them. However, the same pictures you see of neglected kids across seas...were the same pictures I saw of Miss D when CPS first got her.  There are holes in our system, and I might be another story of losing a child, but she needed me and other kids need you...even if it is for a short window of time. I can't even express to you how amazing it felt to walk into church with Miss D and the amount of people who came up and embraced her. If she stayed with us, her life would be so much different. A life of love, values, boundaries, family and Jesus. Now only God knows how her life will turn out...who am I to say we are the best choice...but for her to leave our home and know what she will simply heartbreaking.

I have been playing praise music, Praise Baby and Sing over Me, in her room at night hoping that God's truth would pour into her soul. It also plays over the monitor at night. This song is beautiful and so comforting to us both.

Hold on to Jesus by Erin O'donnell
You're a little piece of heaven
You're a golden ray of light
Ad I wish I could protect you
From the worries of this life
But if there's one thing I could tell you
It's no matter what you do
Hold to Jesus -
He's holding on to you

The world will try to tell you
That might is more than right
That beauty's on the outside
And being good's a losing fight
But remember what I've told you
Because the world will make you choose
Hold to Jesus -
He's holding on to you

Hold on to Jesus
Cling to His love
Rest deep in His mercy
Whenever things get rough
Don't lose sight of His goodness
And don't ever doubt this truth
That when you hold on to Jesus
He's holding on to you

Hear me dear Jesus
Rock this little one to sleep
Keep her close when she's scared
And give her grace when she is weak
I know she'll stumble
But I know she'll make it through
If you hold to her just like
You said You'd do
Hold her Jesus -
And she'll hold on tight to You

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Court Date Monday

Monday is the first official court date for Miss D's family. We don't need to be there and Miss D does not either.  Please pray for us because some family will put up a fight for her but it is not what she needs. I am not sure I know how to deal with all of this. Pray for strength to get through the next few days.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Miss D Part One

A little over a week ago, our family grew to 5. I got a call on the way back from Dallas about a 3 year old red head that needed a home. With a little hesitancy, I accepted. Jonathan was fully excited and I was nervous. I don't even remember my drive home. August for us was slammed and there were only narrow gaps of time that would be okay for a placement, and just as the Lord does in perfect timing we got her in the 3 days that were between my visit to Dallas and our family vacation to Galveston. I am not sure I would of planned it that way, but God has a funny way of stretching a highly organized woman.

I got home at 4:30 and 5:30 my Arrow*  representative came with paperwork for us to sign. At 6:00, my little red headed girl came with her CPS worker, who dispelled any wrong notions I had about the system. She was amazing.  Miss D came in bouncing up to me and for the first time I thought, "Is this happening?" Adorable, full of energy, dimples & freckles she was ready for her adventure of exploring our house. My boys (5 and 3 1/2) came down the stairs and looked through the railing like they knew something big was happening and they were very unsure of it.

My husband and I signed our life away in paperwork, while my boys were doing a quick adjustment to her.  My friends were serving pizza to all kids, bringing in a mattress and taking down a crib (we thought we would be getting a younger child), and I could hardly think straight. Our journey in foster care was starting and there was no backing out.  To fully love was not a choice, but a demand. And so it began.

Miss D got two dunks in the bathtub that night, much to her demise, while my boys were very unsure of their new world. Jonathan had to go back to work much to his disliking at 8pm. She came downstairs with me,  and when we turned the lights down low, her happy self turned into frightened self and the tears came. We both sat on the couch and had a good cry together. She wanted to be home and be with her grandmother.  I was unsure I did the right thing in accepting the phone call and scared. Was her situation going to lead to adoption or is there going to be heartbreak in the end. Could I give adequate attention to my boys? Could I do this emotionally? It was real and not just an idea anymore.

My friends went to the store and bought sippie cups, clothes, panties, etc. for me. Earlier another friend bought almost every 3t and 4t outfit on the sale rack at Carters. Praise the Lord for awesome friends and the body of Christ. She came with one skirt and a shirt from her home...and nothing more.  The one thing that turned the night around was the purchase of a baby doll. It gave her comfort. We headed upstairs to her bed and we read to her but she was not giving up. Finally at midnight, I started to sing to her Jesus Loves Me and she immediately rolled over and gave in to sleep. Could God possibly have given me a child that loves music as much as me?

I was a zombie. I could not process the day. I was vacant. How was life going to continue with this little girl who wanted her grandmother? How were my boys going to adjust? How was my 3 year old, strong willed little boy going to adjust to another 3 year old in the house?

The next day came and sun coming up was good for us all. Part 2 to come.

*Arrow Child & Family Ministries is our agency we are fostering through in conjunction with CPS.