Monday, February 25, 2013

sponge bob and flaming hot cheetos

so...last friday if you would have walked into my home you would have seen "sponge bob square pants" (110 minutes worth) on tv and my middles, q and k, planted in front of the tv with a full bowl of flaming hot cheetos.

my two favorite things in the world.  NOT!

so why? 

because the day before a caseworker from bethany christian came out to visit.  this caseworker is also a foster mom, so she gets it.  she's not the typical fresh-out-of-college, go-by-the-book caseworker.  no.  she sees these kiddos for who they are.  she sees the system and how messed up it is.  she.  gets.  it.

anyway, in our conversation she was telling me how her and her husband occasionally will let two of their foster kiddos play video games all day.  why?  because that's what these kiddos were used to.  it went against everything these foster parent believed in letting their kiddos do but with the encouragement from the therapist, they did it.  they let their kiddos play video games all day long.  they even sat and played with them.

because of that conversation, i was reminded of a note that we received when we first brought q and k home.  the letter told us, "their favorite food is Flaming Hot Cheetos and their favorite show is Sponge Bob Square Pants".  you know what i did when i read that?  i said, "um, no.  and no.  i won't allow either of those things in my house."  and i didn't.  and i haven't.  up until last friday.  (well, we've had an occasional bag of FHC 'cuz my oldest likes them, too).

when i brought those items home last friday, you would have thought i just gave q and k a million dollars.  they were ecstatic to say the least.  q asked, "mom, why did you get these?  i thought you didn't like them."  to which i responded, "i don't like them.  but i remembered that you do like them." didn't instantly heal q and k from their hurts they experienced before we brought them into our family but it was a step towards healing and bonding.

today when i took k to her attachment therapist appointment (because she has RAD) i told him, "i wish they had told us during foster training classes that our main goal as foster parents is to help these kiddos bond and attach instead of telling us to 'treat and love these kiddos as if they were your own.'"

because...can i just tell you how hard it is to do that?  to love these kiddos as if they were your own?  yeah right!  it's so hard when all they give you in foster training classes is what you CAN'T do with these kiddos instead of what you CAN do to help these kiddos heal.

we've had q and k for six years.  yep.  six years.  you wanna know how many times we've rolled on the floor giggling with them?  or jumped on the bed (in my room) with them?   or snuggled on the bed with them?  or brought them into bed when they were having a bad dream? 

maybe a hand-full of times because as foster parents we weren't allowed to do those things.  and even though they've been adopted for the last four years, we've put up a wall towards them and all that cuddly, fun-loving stuff.

on the other littles, m and j, who came to us as babies straight from the hospital and adopted while still under two years old, get snuggled, tickled, rolled around on the floor, jumping on my bed, brought into bed when they have a sleepless night...

and my middles, q and k, see that interaction. and, i think, part of them wants that. but the other part of them is scared of that because it's an expression of love. and they, especially k, are afraid to be loved. afraid of feeling loved.

so...i will keep renting Sponge Bob Square Pants and buying Flaming Hot Cheetos and whatever else  i need to do (cuddles, tickles, snuggles, jumping on the bed) until my middles aren't afraid of feeling love.

because they are worth loving.
no.  matter.  what.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

here it is, folks

thanks to my sis, amy jo!  happy memories.  {smile}

Thursday, February 14, 2013

cold sores & valentine's day

this morning as i was dropping off my kiddos at school, i licked my lips. (weird, i know, but bear with me).
while licking my lips, i came across my ugly, stupid, gross, healing, and almost gone cold sore.  ewww.

i've had cold sores ever since i can remember.  in fact, there's a Christmas picture out there somewhere with my middle sister and i dressed in matching pink velour Christmas dresses...she with a black eye (don't remember how) and me with a nice, huge cold sore on my lip.  beautiful picture, eh?

anyway, as i kept driving and am now returning home, He reminded me of how that cold sore represents the state of my heart toward my daughter, k.
'cuz when i have cold sore, i do not get close to anyone for fear of passing along the hideous sore.
so no cuddles.
no hugs.
and definitely no kisses.

and when my lip starts to heal then i start getting closer to the ones i love...

because my heart has been one huge disgusting cold sore toward my daughter, i have not passed on the cuddles,
or kisses.

until today...

today as she got out of my van to head into school, she turned to wave, and i...

i blew her a kiss.  because.  it.  was.  right.  there.  overflowing.  from.  my.  heart.

it's small.  but it's a start.

my prayer is that Jesus would give me MORE of that.  MORE.  MORE.  and MORE.  and less of me and my ugly, hideous heart.

{p.s.  to all of you who have been/are praying.  thank you.  there are many other families like ours.  please lift them up, too.  Jesus knows who they are}

{p.p.s  my hubby and i were gifted last night with some of the elders of our church praying over us.  cannot even tell you how much that lifted our hearts and souls.  Jesus wins.  all.  the.  time.}

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

1 John 4:10-16

The Message (MSG)

God Is Love

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.

(emphasis added)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

{em-brac-ing} 16 hours

is the exact amount of time my daughter, k, spent in our home from last tues. until yesterday.

yep, that's right.  we had k in respite since last tuesday evening.  i picked her up last friday afternoon. she was home for 3 hours.
3 hours.
and then because of her super-defiant behavior associated with RAD, i had to put her back in my van and take her back to respite.

now, if you think, "well, that's easy enough.  just stick her back in your van and get her out of your house."
yeah, easier said than done.
k was so mad about going back to respite that once she was in the van...
she would not sit in her booster seat.
no seat belt.
she dumped the trash all over the van.
and dumped out my "junk" basket and proceeded to throw everything at the front window and me (mind you, i'm still driving).
oh, and, about five blocks from respite, she announced, "i pooped my pants."  my response, "oh good, honey, get it all out." {a bit sarcastically, but calmly}

only by God's grace was i able to stay calm during that whole event.

i don't always stay calm.  and i don't always have the right words or right tone.

from friday until sunday she was at respite.  we picked her up after church, came home had a nice sunday dinner and then...yep, you guessed it.  after 5 hours of being home, back to respite she went.

3 hours + 5 hours = 8 hours.

still missing 8 hours...

well, those 8 hours are what she spent at home yesterday after picking her up at 9am for her therapist appointment and then bringing her home to be with us. 

she made it until 5pm.  back to respite she went.  same response from her as last time.  messy van times a thousand.

please know that when i post things about my k, it's not to get sympathy or a pat on the back.  nor is it to get a response like, "well, you chose that path."  (umm...what? please keep that one to yourself).

no the reason i post is in hopes of bringing a bit of insight and understanding about RAD.
about fostering.
about adoption.
about the orphan.

when i hear people talk about caring for the orphan or fostering or adopting, i love listening to their story and i try really hard not to burst their bubble because i remember having that excitement and "oooh, can't wait til we have those kiddos in our home" feeling.
it's a great feeling.  don't get me wrong. 
it's what God used (along with prayer and wisdom) to nudge us to take this journey. 
but we (my hubby & i) were still a bit foolish. 

we thought two things: either the kiddos we get weren't going to be as bad as we had heard they could be
if they are that bad, all we have to do is love them because we were just oozin' with love. {smile}.

right away we found out we couldn't just love them with the warm fuzzy love, no we needed to be on our knees asking Jesus to give us His love for them. 
and now years later, not only are we asking for His love to fill us, we're praying for His practical ways of parenting our kiddos that came to us broken and fragile and scared. 

we are in a desperate place when it comes to our daughter, k.  she has us crying (literally), on our faces before Jesus, asking, "what do You want us to do with her?"

we don't have a clear answer yet but, this morning i had an opportunity to go pray at the 24/7 prayer room at oakdale park crc.  and in that time i stood and read out loud psalm 86 and hebrews 12: 1-13 with tears streaming down my cheeks...both scriptures were medicine for my hurting soul. 

[if you're feeling weary and tired, i suggest you open up His Word and read those verses.]

i realize i'm no expert.
i'm just a plain-old, run-of-the-mill, broken,
desperate, Jesus-loving,
who loves this little girl
and desires so badly
to see her healed.

come Lord Jesus, come.