Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When it works

I had some kids leave a while ago. They were my favorite. I know you are not supposed to have favorites, but I do...so there. They were Matt's favorites too, though he will not admit it. I don't have any contact with them, but I do creep on there Mom's facebook. She posted a new picture of them with Santa. They look happy, healthy, clean. They look like they are home. When the system works that's what happens. They go home, they stay there, they thrive there. When the system works they go home to a place that is safer, healthier, and more stable than the one they left. It is the best thing, when families heal. Adoption is a good, but it is a band aid and it leaves definite scars. When the system works they move forward as a family and they don't look back. When the system works you are left holding some pictures and a broken heart. When the system works it is bittersweet for you, but for them it is just sweet. That's what matters not what you are left with, but what they are left with. Not what you want but what they need. That is what being a foster parent is.

It takes a village

It takes a village to raise a foster child. It takes a village to prepare for kids. It takes a village to receive them. To grieve them. To receive some more. To be brave. To give them Christmas. To be obedient. To feed them. To be compassionate. To clothe them. To say goodbye. To celebrate when you don't have to say goodbye. I have the best village. In the last two years we have received thousands of dollars in gift cards, hundreds of items of clothing, hundreds of meals, cakes, prayers, aptly timed olive bread, gallons and gallons of formula, toys,books, your prayers, your support, your friendship. You have dug deep and laid down your lives for us for these kids. We couldn't have done this without you all. So if you have sat next to me while I cried. If you have brought me a meal. If you have dropped a gift card in the mail. If you have prayed for us and our children. If you have babysat. If you have celebrated with us. If you have grieved with us. If you have listened to us rattle of stats about children in the system. You have sharpened us. You have held our heads above water. You have strengthened us. You have been a friend to the orphan. It takes a village to raise a foster parent, and I have the best village.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

17 months- All about Isaiah

Big things have been happening in your life this month! For one you were officially adopted on November 18, 2011. We are so blessed and happy that you are legally ours!

I keep telling your Dad that it's as if you became a boy this month. You no longer seem like a baby to me. It is so exciting to watch you develop and learn every day! It also makes me a little sad and long for you to be a baby again. It floors me to think about last Christmas and what you were like then. So tiny and serious, you are a totally different kid!

Food- You still prefer fruit and veggies to meat. You like bread but not like sandwich bread, you like rolls, cheddar biscuits, french bread, muffins. Your new thing that you love is feeding yourself with a spoon. One day you just started doing it ,you are really good at it. You also love chips, if you see one and have food in your mouth you take the food out to make room for the chip.

Activities- I cannot stress this enough...you are BUSY! You mostly run around all day getting into one kind of mischief or another. Your most recent favorite is to take candy canes off the Christmas tree. I find you crouched in the corner with a chewed up candy cane still in the wrapper in your mouth. You still love wrestling and being thrown around. You love playgrounds and have started going down the slide by yourself. You still love books and are starting to get into blocks all though they make you very frustrated. You also love bath time. You have started pretending to talk on the phone also.

Things that make you laugh- Yourself! You crack yourself up! When you do you laugh this deep laugh. I love it. Covering your head with a blanket and walking around running into things

New stuff- TALKING! You say block, ball, book, bath, nana, nono, mama, dada,hi, and bye. You also imitate your foster brother and say "I want milk" (kinda)

I have to pause and say you are a good looking kid!

Stuff that makes me swoon- kisses love 'em, your new found ability to flirt (mostly with your foster brothers speech therapist) you pretend to fall down and roll around and make yourself cute, sometimes when I can get you to lay still and let me hold you, but really your whole self from the fits, to the silliness, to the sweetness. You are the whole package kid. Love you more everyday!

P.S.- All pictures by Mary Beth Sudan. LOVE HER!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Last Friday, 20/20 did a special called Overmedication in Fostercare.
I sat in front of the TV, with tears running down my face, listening to the statistics and to the kids retell their stories of being on upwards of 9 heavy duty meds and passed around to more than 20 foster homes. I thought of the two foster children occupying the two rooms at the end of my hallway. I thought: not them. I can stop these terrible things from happening to them.

Sometimes, friends, the burden is unbearable. There are weeks at a time where I am doing nothing but dreaming of orphans or tossing and turning at night thinking of how much the addition to my house would cost in order to fit all 162 million of the world's oprhans. Sometimes I get so caught up in the 162 million, that I forget about the two who are here.

Then, some days (and more, lately, if I'm being honest) I want to completely throw in the towel. Take my baby and run. These kids we have right now are hard. Not their fault, but that doesn't make parenting them any easier. They are not an easy fit. It is an uphill battle. I find myself missing Thomas and Joy, and wondering what exactly God's plan is.

But this special gave me resolve. These kids will not be overmedicated, they will not be moved from home to home. They will be safe, they will stay here, they will not move, I will do my best (by the grace of God) to parent them, they will not be put on meds. I have resolve.