Tuesday, April 23, 2013

joyfully broken

'Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, "Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens, and eat their produce...And seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare"'

'Seek the welfare of the place where God has sent you. Think of yourself as sent there by God. Because you are.'

I find myself reflecting a lot on Dora & Diego's case. It seemed so very different from Princess Petunia's and yet they are both manifestations of a very broken system. How else can you describe a system that would be slow to remove a child from a devastatingly harmful situation and at the same time be quick to yank (and continue to keep) loved children from their mother? I could lament all day the weaknesses and at times failings of the foster care system both here and around the country. But should it be surprising that it is broken? After all, the people who govern it and the people who serve in it are ourselves broken people. 

And it is into this broken system, He has called our broken family. We find ourselves surrounded by such utter brokenness that reflects the brokenness in our own hearts. We see our own tears reflected in the tears of these precious children and their families. We see our own hurt reflected in their heartache. We see our own longing for redemption in their cries for restoration. The difference is...we know the One who 'heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds,' who has 'put our tears into [His] bottle' and will one day 'wipe every tear from [our] eyes.' 

And it is for that reason, we are here. 

The wounds being brought to the the foster care table are wounds so deep and so vast that only God could bind them and heal them. We, in our humanness at best can only apply band-aids that only serve to cover the pain until this Babylonian life rips them back open.

It is good to cry over the limitations of our frailty because it is only when we see that we are powerless that we see that God shows Himself powerful and turns our tears into joy. 

Friday, April 19, 2013


'there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus'

Disruption...that's the official term for having a child(ren) removed from your home. The word itself is enough to bring shame into my heart and mind. I've really, really struggled with it especially in light of recent events with Dora and Diego. Even more so as I think on the fact that all 3 of our placements have ended in disruption for one reason or another. 

It is so very hard because in my pride, I didn't want to be that family. I wanted to be the family that sees all placements gloriously reunited with their mom and/or dad OR adopted into our family. God obviously had a different plan which I know by faith in His word, though not yet fully by sight,  is bigger and better than my own.

Each situation was very different. With Mini-Man, we were simply stretched too thin, too soon. With Princess Petunia, the decision was made for us. 

~A word here....the further we get from our time with PP, the more we see. Our children have shared additional information with us that confirm that our sweet PP needs SO much intervention and individualized care. She has been exposed to so much, and obviously was abused multiple times. We pray that God's Holy Spirit will work in great power in her precious little heart to begin to heal the hurt and pain inflicted upon her. We trust that He will as He is already working to redeem. He allowed this to come to light while PP is still young and from all we've been able to learn, has made it so that she most likely will not be returning to the harmful environment any time soon. God has also graciously shielded our bio children from understanding all that PP has experienced. More than that, our sweet Rach shared with us that God used that time to bring her to a saving knowledge of Himself. How can we but rejoice even while we suffer?~

Most recently with Dora and Diego, circumstances beyond our control such as delays in the court system, installation of all brand new judges, etc combined with timing of major life events in our own family made it (disruption) the wise choice for us.

I'm still working through the reality of "disruption," but I know and trust that God has a plan and purpose for everything in our life and I trust that He is working for our good and His glory. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Back to four...for now...

'The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps'

We said good-bye to Dora and Diego on Monday which was a tough, tough decision that we did not make lightly. There were many tears shed and many, many prayers lifted up for several days. The logic side of me knew that having them moved was the best decision for our family. Throwing a newborn in the mix (think loving our defiant Diego on a significant lack of sleep) as well as a move across town would be asking too much. Add to that the fact that we simply don't have space in our van for 7 children. I knew all this; I saw it. But there was still much mommy guilt. 

I begged, I pleaded with God to place them with believers, a family who loves Jesus and who would pour His love into not only Dora & Diego's hearts but also the hearts of Momma M & Poppi. 


'God is faithful...'

The new foster parents (Momma K & Daddy J)  love the Lord and are active in their church. They have an 8 yr old bio daughter whom they homeschool --- another sister for Dora! They also have another little foster baby who is transitioning home, and they've begun a bible study with the baby's parents. They desire to minister to Dora & Diego's parents in the same way. Jared pointed out that perhaps seeing his children loved in the name of Jesus by yet another family might help soften Poppi's heart. Momma K kept in contact with me throughout this past weekend and has this week as well. We're hoping to plan a playdate in the next couple of weeks after Dora & Diego have had time to adjust and begin bonding with their new foster family. 

This decision was so very hard on me, but God used it to show me (again) that I am not the rescuer of these children. He is. And He is sovereign over them and loves them and their parents so much more than I could. He also showed me (again) that I can't do it all, that I am not super mom...nor am I called to be. It has been very humbling, but at the same time, His grace poured out in abundance. A precious, sweet foster momma friend reminded me of  this verse a while back....

 'there is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.'

Even though I fall flat on my face and make a straight mess of so many things, His grace is big enough to reach past and cover it all. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Just being real...

"We aren't earning favor with God by fostering or else I'd quit right now and find something else to do tomorrow because this fostering thing only heaps up my guilt." --- Jared

My husband is so right. I don't think I have ever been more aware of my selfishness and anger and impatience and pride. People have gotten on to me about my lack of blogging over the past few months, and this right here is the reason why. The main thing that keeps coming to the forefront during our time with Dora and Diego is that I am a vile, wretched sinner. Who wants to blog about that, right? Who wants to admit that this sweet little person made me so angry that I hurt my hand taking my frustration out on the boxing bag downstairs? Who wants to admit that I'm so angry at not being able to discipline said little person the way *I* think he needs to be disciplined that I snap at the other children and my husband? I knew I am a sinner beforehand and now I see it over and over again. Every. Day. And it's ugly. And I don't like it.

"But God, being rich in mercy"

But God's grace abounds all the more covering all my sin. And it's beautiful. That's love. That's hope. And therein lies the strength to keep going.