Sunday, November 1, 2015

One Year Down

Where do I even begin?  This has been a crazy year for our family.  We just recently passed the one year anniversary of being licensed foster parents, and in that time have had nine placements in and out of our home.  Currently we have two sweet but BUSY toddlers, in addition to our three birth kiddos.  To say that life has been hectic is very much an understatement!  But, if you've talked to me at all about our family or foster care, you will know that I feel very strongly that we are exactly where God wants us to be, and we have grown and changed and learned and been abundantly blessed by this calling.  Our eyes have been opened to a whole new world.  I've had to have a lot of conversations with Maya this past year about the reasons parents can't take care of their kids, either for a season or forever.
We have seen the joy of families reunited and cheered on birth parents fighting for their kids.
We have picked up newborn babies from the hospital nursery while their mamas were still recovering from giving birth.
We have experienced the heartbreak of kids asking why mommy and daddy didn't show up for their visit, and tried to cover up our own anger and sadness while we stretched the truth, even making ourselves the "bad guy" so the kids wouldn't feel abandoned again.
We have comforted babies who were missing their mamas after they were removed from the only home they'd ever known in the middle of the night.
We have held down children as they received well-past-due immunizations, and cried real tears with them as they were poked and prodded and examined for signs of abuse.
We have spent more time in emergency rooms and doctors offices than in all my previous years of parenting combined.
We have been asked questions about medical history over and over that we could not answer.
We have had our hearts ripped into a million tiny pieces as children we loved like our own were moved from our home with little warning, knowing that we would never find out how they were doing.
We have hit our knees more times than I can count, asking God to change our hearts toward birth parents, to heal the damage done by neglect, to protect our older children and our marriage, to give these children a hope and a future like He promises in Jeremiah 29:11.
We have seen our birth kids fall in love with their foster siblings and then let them go and rejoice at their reunification with their families.
We have seen children make huge leaps developmentally as they become comfortable in a loving home.
We have been exhausted and distraught and overscheduled and hopeless.
We have been overjoyed and fulfilled and full of hope.

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