No Donkeys

>> Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ok, so no donkeys for us. Someone beat us to an offer on the house we wanted. It wasn't meant to be. So we decided to stay in the house we're in for a little while longer. At least until we find another house that's comparable to the house we're in which could take awhile. But we're ok with that. Our house does accomodate us very nicely. We'll get the elevator fixed and count our many blessings.

Speaking of blessings, we've had a two-year-old foster child that has been with us for a year that is leaving us this weekend. We've had many, many ups and downs with him. It will be bittersweet to see him go but we're ready. It's hard to put into words when a foster child leaves. You really can't understand it unless you've been through it yourself. Once you find out that a child is leaving you start disengaging yourself. You start preparing yourself mentally. You really have no choice. When they're in your care you see them as yours, you would do anything for them as if they're your own. But then you have to start loosening your grip on them, one finger at a time, regardless whether you like where they're going or not. Because you have no control anyway. All you can do is know that you did your best, pat yourself on the back and move on to the next child. That's all you do do. That and pray. Pray like mad for the rest of their lives. And sometimes that's my only hope that what I'm doing is worth it. I may be the ONLY one praying for them in the whole world. And if I hadn't fostered them, then I wouldn't have known they existed and therefore wouldn't have known to pray for them.

We're already praying for the next child to come along. And really, that's the best coping mechanism a foster parent has...looking forward to the next one. It's like Christmas really. The anticipation of what the next one is going to be like. Each one is like a gift. A precious gift waiting to be opened. I can't wait.


Plans to Prosper

>> Thursday, July 26, 2007

We've started the whole house hunting process. And it is a process. Moving out clutter. Freshening up the house. Driving by prospects. Lots of phone calls to banks and realtors. It is a stressful process but kind of a fun one too. It's an adventure and I love an adventure.

Currently we live in a handicapped accessible house complete with an elevator. When this house found us it was a Godsend. It met all our needs and more. My husband was in a wheelchair for three years so the elevator was used to it's full potential. My husband is ambulatory now and doesn't need to use the elevator. In fact, the elevator is broken and breaks often! We haven't felt the need to spend the money to get it fixed...however, the stairs are getting more and more difficult for him to climb. Now, even if we do get the elevator fixed and he uses it again we will continue to have to pay to keep it maintained which is expensive. And even if we pay to keep it maintained, it's loud and wakes up the babies. So what do we do?

Our current plan is to find a ranch home. No stairs, no elevators to contend with. Not only did we find what we wanted last weekend but we found a handicapped accessible ranch!! It even has an acre and a half of land with a barn and two donkeys! What more could we want?? We were smitten and told our realtor to make an offer right away. He said he wanted to check a few things out first and make a few phone calls. We didn't know why he didn't make a phone call right then and there before we left the house but we trusted him. To make a long story short, when the owners didn't hear back from us right away they accepted another offer. We were crushed! We lost the house...and the donkeys.

When I woke up the other morning I was pondering the whole house hunting thing and God brought this verse to mind. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." How exciting! A prosperous future in our new home....or maybe God would have us stay in this home. Either way, God promises hope. The adventure continues. Now I can't wait to see what the ending will be.


Hubba, Hubba

>> Tuesday, July 17, 2007

While walking down the street with Claire the other day we saw a cool car go by and this was our conversation:

Claire: Mom, look at that cool car. Hubba, hubba.
Me: Claire "hubba, hubba" is not the best thing to say. Some people use that expression when they see a pretty woman.
Claire: Then you're a hubba, hubba.
Me: (laughing uncontrollably as I try to explain the definition of deragatory)


Hard Way

>> Monday, July 16, 2007

Tonight was Special Olympics again. Before we left, Claire decided to argue with me about wearing shoes. Now, I'm not the smartest woman around but I think I'm smart enough to know that shoes are a requirement for riding horses. She wanted to convince me otherwise. She KNOWS she saw other kids wearing flip-flops. She would have sworn by it. I knew better but didn't have the energy to argue with her so I made a split decision to say ok and let her find out the hard way. She found out the hard way alright but maybe it was a little too hard. I told the instructor that Claire needed to hear it from her what the proper attire was and then the instructor informed her she couldn't ride today wearing flip-flops. Claire was crushed to say the least!! The look on her face made my heart sink. I had to fight back the tears myself. Maybe this wasn't the time to teach her a lesson. Maybe I was a little too hard. Maybe I should have put another pair of shoes in the car. And I certainly didn't look good in front of the other moms. Oh well. It didn't help that Claire kept repeating, "I'm so mad at myself." Well, one thing is for sure. Claire will not argue about wearing shoes when riding horses again (at least until next time)!!


New Normal

>> Friday, July 13, 2007

I've spent the last week in the hospital with our soon to be son, Nate. He has a rare neurological disorder called schizencephaly and his brain isn't allowing him to swallow correctly. As a result, he's aspirating into his lungs. Since it's no longer safe for him to eat he needs a feeding tube which delivers food directly into his stomach. Today was our first day home and we spent the day trying to get used to feeding Nate through his tube. It's amazing how much you take simple things for swallowing and feeding your child. I wish you could have seen me spilling formula all over the place when trying to prime the tubing. And then Nate's tube popped out spilling even more fluid. Of course, this is also the exact moment my toddlers decided to act up and the dog tried to escape out the door. It all feels very overwhelming right now but I'm sure we'll get the hang of this soon and this will become our new normal.


Special Olympics

>> Monday, July 2, 2007

Yesterday was a big day in our family. Our 11-year-old daughter started Special Olympics. She's going to be competing in equestrian for now and will try other sports next season. She had her clothes laid out since last week...she's so excited!! The more I'm learning about Special Olympics, the more I'm really impressed. What a vision! Our daughter has a mild to moderate mental handicap and seems to be on the part of the spectrum where kids fall through the cracks. We've always known this as we've tried to advocate for her through the school system. There has never been a good program to plug her into at school. There are programs for kids who have mild learning disabilities and there are isolated classrooms for kids with more profound handicaps. But Claire doesn't fit into any of these catagories. Fortunately, our school system has been very cooperative and has found ways to meet her needs. But something new occurred to me when we were at our church camp a couple weeks ago. Claire was on the fringes the whole time. She couldn't keep up with the bigger kids and the little kids didn't want to have much to do with her either. I can understand...Claire can be intrusive and lack boundaries. This may, however, been the first time Claire noticed it. She went up to the top of her bunk and refused to come down. She had a sad look on her face the whole week. It broke my heart. I came right home and looked up Special Olympics. What a great opportunity for kids like Claire!! A place where she doesn't have to try so hard to fit in. She can be who she is AND learn something fun at the same time. Her first competition is in September and I can't wait for all of us to be on the fringes...cheering her on.


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