Monday, December 31, 2012

tap the breaks, please

It's coming.  The day they will leave our house is coming and I can't do anything about it to push it back.  Yes, it is still foster care, and still ANYTHING can happen.  But according to CPS, the day is coming soon....possibly January, which I'm telling myself DOES NOT start tomorrow. 

So after their court date, they had what is called a permanancy conference.  In a nutshell, at the conference, we were informed that mom is doing very well (according to the state, who happens to have very different standards than we do) and that they will look at returning the kids home with her after the holidays, sometime in January.  Wow - it's so hard to even type that.  It just makes is so much more real, as I just try not to think about it most of the time.

We have known from day 1 that this was coming, but now that it's here, I just want to slow down time.  I haven't taken down "Christmas" yet at our house because maybe that means "the holidays" aren't over yet.  (and maybe partly because we just got back in town from Houston on Saturday...but the thought has crossed my mind that if I just leave them up, I can prevent them from leaving)  But I just have to keep reminding myself that no matter how much time or effort we put into these kids, we are not the ones that will save them, or protect them.  God is their only hope.  And my presence does not bring significance, only God's.  Our sermon yesterday spoke on Haggai 2, where God's people were rebuilding the temple and were discouraged by how it was no comparison to the original.  And God reminded them that it didn't matter how it looked or how much gold or silver it had.  What mattered was His presence and the fact that He was with them.  Dave and I can provide these kids things like new clothes, a nice house, healthy food, cool toys, etc.  But all that stuff doesn't matter.  God is what matters and what He give us matters - salvation.  And just because they leave this house, it doesn't mean God leaves their lives.  God is with them, just like He was in the new temple.

v.6-9: "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth the sea and the dry land.  I will shake all the nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord Almighty.  'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the Lord Almighty. 'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the Lord Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the Lord Almighty. "

Another thing Haggai told them was that they didn't need to sugar coat their disappointment or hide their sadness and mourning of the old temple.  I think we do that all the time.  We try to turn a bad situation good, or we look at "the bright side" of things.  Not that that's a bad thing, but sometimes I think it's okay to recognize our crappy situations or whatever life throws at us.  I think it makes us focus more on the eternal and what God has done for us.  One thing I have learned about being a foster parent is that it truly is crappy.  I don't know why anyone would sign up for this.  The state says "here, take these kids, love them, keep them save and healthy (oh and you and your house have to pass multiple inspections in order to take these kids), and we'll take them back when their bio family is doing what they are supposed to, or wait, maybe just showing an interest in what they are supposed to be doing."  It's so insanely crazy.  We are going to be left sad and alone and worried for these kids.  There's not a whole lot of "brightness" to this situation.  I am not ready for this.  I'm not ready to let them go and maybe never see them again.  I'm sure you never can be "ready," no matter how hard of a road it's been...and trust me, it's been hard.  But man will we miss them.  I can't type all the things we will miss about I'm sitting in Starbucks and don't want people to stare at my weeping.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not one of those people that "could never do this, because it would hurt too much when they left."  I guess since we are doing this, the whole sending them home thing will be cake though, right??  I think I will start anwering the question, "so will it be hard to send them home?" with a "nah, piece of cake."  No offense if you've ever said or thought that...I'm just trying to look at the "bright side."  :)  I know most people cannot even relate to what we are doing and sometimes you just don't know what to say...I actually love talking about it and love that we do this...most of the time I'm glad you are at least asking!  But yes, it will be will be more than hard.  It will be excrutiating, maybe the hardest thing I've ever done.  But that doesn't mean we won't do it again, and again, and again.  Because I don't think God calls us to do things that are always easy.  I think He calls us to do things that glorify Him, and I just pray and hope that we have brought glory to Him in caring for these kids.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Hi!  I've been getting a lot of questions about how court went...which is great because that means 1 - you read my last blog (thank you!) and 2 - you probably said a prayer for the kiddos (thank you!!).  So...I'm updating you to tell you we don't have an update yet :(  We (Dave) had originally planned on going to court (which is allowed, but not required), but were discouraged from going from both their CPS caseworker and ours.  Now that we haven't heard anything, I think if we had to do it over again we would probably go because I'm very curious as to what all was said.  But oh well...we'll learn from this!  I also learned that CPS caseworkers generally always discourage foster parents from going to court cases...because let's be honest, we're just the babysitters, right??  He did however encourage us to go to their permanancy conference, which from what I understand, is more informal and more of a meeting where everyone gets to participate - so Dave could give input if needed.  He said that would be happening soon, but did not give us a date.  He (and by 'he' I'm referring to their CPS caseworker) said that this hearing was really just to talk about birth mom's progress and not to talk about a return yet, or what that would look like.  He did tell Dave at their last visit that he probably wouldn't recommend return until at least February...which we were very relieved to hear.  It also means that it APPEARS that we will have a kid-filled Christmas - yay!  But's foster care, so you should probably just delete that sentence from your memory because ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN :)  So...I did email OUR caseworker and asked her to get a report for us, but that has not been sent to us yet.  If we get that and there is anything to update about, I will certainly let everyone know!!  Thanks so much for caring and for praying and for asking....I really appreciate it!

Also - who told brother that I wrote a blog about her hair getting easier??  Because here is what her hair looked like when I picked them up from daycare the day I wrote that post and according to sister, brother was the culprit:
in case you can't tell, that is sand-like
 dirt and grass all up in there
So...our past 2 evenings have been all about taking out that style, washing, rewashing, parting, and doing a new style.  I had to know this was coming some day - what little kids don't play in dirt??

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Birthday parties, hair, growth, and prayers

I know, this is a super random blog title, but it's what has been going on in our house the past few months.  We celebrated both birthdays since my last post - sister's was in October and brother's was just yesterday.  I'm glad that they are finally different ages again.  It was really weird answering the question "How old are they?" during that 2 month period when they were both 3.  We did park birthday parties for both (only in Texas can you do a December birthday party at the park), and I think they both really enjoyed it.  I did mostly fight the "urge" to go all out and do a cute, themed birthday party....even though he did request a Spider-Man party so that included Spider-Man-ish cupcakes and some Spider-Man napkins from Party City.  The one thing that took a little bit of time was I did make a "Happy Birthday ____" banner for each of them.  And we didn't even get to hang hers up at her party because we didn't get the pavilion that we were hoping to reserve and there was no where really to hang it.  Apparently I also only pick super windy days to have birthday parties, so even though we did hang up his birthday banner it was flapping all over the place and you couldn't really read it.  All this to say is I've now learned that our birthday parties from here on out will indeed have a theme - "less is more." (actually that's a name of a friend's blog...great name I might add!)

Ok, so on to "hair."  It is getting easier!!  No, I didn't say "easy."  I said "easier."  It still takes me a good 2 hours to just style the hair.  That doesn't include the time it takes to take the previous style out the night before.  So, it does take up a lot of our Saturdays (usually that 2 hours is spread out with a few breaks, because getting a 3 year old to sit still for 2 hours is no fun for anyone).  I am super thankful for 2 things when it comes to hair because without them, I would be lost - first is her daycare teacher who will do her hair when I just don't have the time (busy weekend, or on a weekday if her previous style is looking rough), and second is a blog that has saved her hairs life -  If anyone is doing chocolate hair, I definitely recommend this site, and from what I can tell from her followers, it's not just vanilla ladies out there following her.  She's pretty amazing when it comes to knowledge of how to care for and style "chocolate hair."  I usually stick to the basics and part her hair in sections, rubber band them, and then put twists in with clips at the end, but I have been getting a bit more adventurous in my styles.  For family pictures I just had to try something different, so I did flat rope twists, which probably mean nothing to most of you, but just think an easier version of cornrowing.  It turned out good enough to keep for family pictures, but it didn't last long.  The best part of that whole style was that at the visit that week, the mom told Dave that I would have to teach her how to do that style....what???  I may have finally earned some street cred, I dunno. 

The last 2 thoughts will have to be quick as I need to go wake the little ones up in about 5 minutes.  Growth - Dave and I love to sit and talk about how far they've come.  We got a date night the other night and it was so fun to talk about what they "knew" when they came, and what they know now.  It's just crazy amazing.  These kids have grown so much, physically, mentally, spiritually, socially.  It's so good to think about where they came from because then it makes whatever we are dealing with at the moment sooooo much LESS, because we can say "well at least they aren't doing ____ like they did when they first came."  And I'm not saying this to make us look awesome, because we're just not.  I think they would grow just as much anywhere else....well not anywhere obviously, but you know.  It just shows that they weren't getting all the basics that you truly need - love, conversation, routine, consequences, and most importantly Jesus.

Ok last and certainly not least - their court date is TODAY, so please pray!  From their caseworker's report, it seems that this one is maybe not as big as we had thought as far as discussing their return and what that's going to look like, but I'm still nervous and anxious to hear what goes on...and I understand that it's foster care and anything can happen.  I will write a quick update after today to let everyone know what did, or didn't, happen. 

Thanks for reading!!