Friday, March 29, 2013

So we got a package in the mail...

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Jared and I started this journey with the sole intent to adopt. We've talked about adopting since the beginning of our marriage, and have felt that God was calling us to do that from the start. That desire led us to DHR over a year and a half ago. After going through the GPS classes, we decided to foster while we waited for the child that God wanted to bring to our family. We had our idea of what that child would look like, and to be completely honest, she looked a lot like Princess Petunia. Maybe that is one reason her loss hurt so much. 

A few days after PP left us, I received a text from a family member. She suggested Princess Consuela Bananahammock when I asked her for a blog name. I'm going to go with PC for short. :-) PC had a friend in a crisis pregnancy situation (due May 22nd) who wished to place her baby for adoption. She knew that we were foster parents and knew our heart was to eventually adopt. PC asked if we would consider and pray about adopting this precious infant. I was all about it right away, but Jared was very hesitant. He had declared he was done with babies, especially after our time with Mini-Man. I, for the first time ever, just left it in the Lord's hands, trusting that He would move Jared's heart if this was His will. And also trusting that God would move my heart if it wasn't.  I didn't say anything more about baby until our anniversary dinner in January when I just casually asked where Jared's heart was on the situation. Jared said, "Let's do this!" 

Since then, we've been praying and waiting on God to direct the process. We've prayed daily for baby and her birth mom, Mama J. Mama J has not wavered in her decision and is in contact with our attorney regularly. We know that there is still a possibility that Mama J could change her mind, and we're praying that God would guard our hearts in that respect. But all who are involved in the situation say that she is firm in her decision. 

Yesterday, our mountain of paperwork from the SW arrived in the mail. There's more than enough to keep us occupied for the next several weeks. I told Jared yesterday that it's the GPS process all over again but without the classes and those horrid Strength/Weakness worksheets. If you've been through GPS, you know what I'm talking about. :P

Please be in prayer for us, for Mama J, for her family, and for baby Tallie. That's what we would call her, by the way, short for Talitha Faith. See what Jesus does in Mark 5:39-42 for the full story. :-) 

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's finally happened...

It has finally happened, and at church of all places. We scrambled out of the van grasping all our various diaper bags, church bags, and ninjago men, pushing the very limits of punctuality, got to the door....and realized we were missing a child. I did the cursory headcount before we actually walked inside, and found that we had only 5 little people with us instead of 6. I glanced behind us thinking that one was just straggling behind because we do have a couple of poky little puppies, as I like to call them. None there.
"Jared! We're missing somebody! Where's IZ?" I've never seen my husband's head whip around so fast. He nearly dropped Diego.
"Did we actually leave him in the van?"
"No, surely not"
"Well, babe he's not here, and I know we left the house with him."
"Oh good grief." I took the 5 children that we actually managed to get out of the van on into the building, and Jared made the trek back across the grass through the parking lot to rescue the one that we left. (I refuse to say forgot.) IZ had fallen asleep on the 20 minute drive to church, and somehow missed all the exiting commotion. Never a dull moment in our little family.
Dora has a new hobby of making sentences. She truly has come so very far in her schoolwork. We've still got a ways to go due to the initial language gap and switching schools, but it has been such fun to see her excitement and pride over learning to read and write new words every week. She wrote one on the kitchen window last week. (Dry -Erase markers on windows = hours of fun)

'I am in a zoo.'

We all laughed together as she read it to us, and I had to agree with her. Yep, sometimes it feels like our family is a zoo, but what a glorious zoo it is! :-)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Thankful for small victories....

Diego has been testing Jared and me a whole lot. It doesn't seem to matter what we do, what privileges we take from him, how many timeouts he has....he still goes toe to toe with us a few times every day. There is screaming. There is hitting. There is pounding the pillows (once he gets to timeout.) It is very, very draining. We have been praying for wisdom and patience through tears. Well, I've had tears...Jared handles it better than I do. ;) All that to say that we were very much looking forward to our Lifeline class last night because we remembered that it was "the discipline" class. 
Through the teaching and discussion, I saw that I was not viewing Diego as a 'child in care' because in my mind, he and Dora aren't 'typical' foster children. They weren't neglected or abused by their mom. She loved and cared for them well, as did their step-father. Because their family situation was so vastly different from Princess Petunia's, I was not seeing them as traumatized children. Traci (our leader) gently reminded me that yes, Dora and Diego had experienced trauma in being taken from that home against their will by strangers and placed in a new home with even more strangers who speak a different language. And they experience further trauma each time they see mom & Poppi but can not go home with them. I guess I just never really thought that the reality of being placed in care could itself be traumatizing, regardless of what has been going on at home. 
Anyway, so fast forward to this morning...Diego and Isaac were fussing over a train when Diego hit Isaac's toe. I came in the room (after hearing Isaac bellow for me) and let each of them tell me what happened. Remembering what we had talked about in class both last night and when we went through the same class with DHR - the importance of positive reinforcement and giving the children a voice and not letting them feel abandoned or isolated even when they misbehave, etc - I got down in front of Diego and explained that we can not hit. I told him that he was going to need to walk upstairs to his bed for timeout with me. I asked him if he was ready, and he nodded yes. So we began to walk. He got as far as the bottom of the stairs before falling out in tears. I said, "Diego, you have done so well walking this far and obeying Mommy this far. That is a very good job. Let's keep going up the stairs and to your bed." 


Still with tears, but no protesting, no screaming, no temper. We made it to the foot of his bed. Again, he stopped. I again said, "Diego, you have obeyed Mommy so well til now. You've done a great job. I want you to finish strong and climb in bed." He refused, so I gave him a choice: he could climb in his bed on his own or I could place him in his bed. If he chose for me to place him there, he'd have to not play with trains. He still refused so I put him in his bed. Then came the screaming & pounding of the pillows. I asked him if he was done and ready for his timer to start. He immediately calmed down and nodded his head. I sat on the toy box and started his timer. I sat there the whole time out, so I guess it was technically a time-in. ;) He didn't cry, he didn't scream. He was calm. When the timer went off, he walked over to me and I put him in my lap and we talked about his choices. 
That was at 9:30 or so. 
It is now almost 7:00, and we have had no more time outs (or time ins) and no more refusals to obey. 
I know that he's not all of a sudden a model child. and I know that we will have more run-ins. But I just feel better prepared and I know that I'm seeing him with better perspective and understanding.