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It’s March. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t realized that it is already spring and yet, snowflakes danced around my kids as they headed to school this morning. Yes. Snow.
While I normally love the whole winter-wonderland thing, it doesn’t love me back. Fibromyalgia has given me the weather-sensing superpower that just means life hurts more when the temperature drops. Like right now. In March.
All (joking) bitterness aside, it is ironic how something as mundane as the weather can feel so overwhelming. Invisible consequences of an everyday kind of event (generally speaking, at least, since snow is common other places) don’t really register on other people’s (weather) radar. In between errands, work, and homeschool, the idea of not noticing things because they are so “normal” hit me.
Normal is relative.
The reality of adoption is that it never really ends.
Yes, the paperwork is done, filed, and sealed and the second anniversary of her Gotcha Day just passed, but I still feel like we are in the thick of it. To be perfectly honest, I don’t often share too much of what goes on because I feel so conflicted.
I adore my girl with every fiber of my being and I have unending gratitude to God that He chose to give her to me. On the other hand, I am exhausted.
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One of the great ironies of life is that when we say that we would never do something, more often than not, we find ourselves doing that very thing. Years ago, I was in a health class learning about all the different kinds of vegetarians when I decided that I could understand most kinds of vegetarian diets, but there was no way in the world that I would become a vegan. A little bit later I also swore that I would never homeschool my kids because I didn’t think it would be a good fit for my personality. So, naturally, I’m now a homeschooling vegan.
A few months ago, something incredible happened. Some dear friends of mine have stepped out on faith and developed a brand new social media that is focused on generosity. They asked if I would be able to volunteer with its needs as it launched and I said yes. It isn’t often that things align like they did so God’s hand was clearly in it. My skill set, background as a foster parent, and passion for making a difference for Christ were exactly what was needed. I’ve been doing some writing for the Givefinity blog and want to share one of my posts there. Please check out the new social media platform here. Here is my post:
I might have mentioned that we have a guinea pig. Harry is the progeny of the class pets at the local elementary school who joined our family when my oldest asked if we could keep her (yes, Harry is a girl…). My husband told Ethan that it was up to me, a mistake he regrets because he really didn’t want a guinea pig, and our very timid and traumatized guinea pig moved from a raucous class of third graders into a family of four kids. She’s still traumatized.
Last week, the thing that I have been dreading happened.
As embarrassing as it is to admit it, my kids recently stole my hairbrushes. All of them- literally. Luckily, this happened on a Friday after I had brushed my hair, but by the evening they were gone. Every. Single. One.
After essentially having a conniption Saturday afternoon and looking like some wild cave creature with my hair literally sticking straight out (I’m so glad I didn’t have to go anywhere that day), my kids finally started to help me look for them. Emily had stashed two under her bed and another one appeared in a kitchen drawer next to the can opener.
I feel like the last year has been a whirlwind and I am just now catching my breath-sort of. I was running so tired I needed to cut loose everything that I could to focus on what is important. There have been some very important things…
I no longer have to use the title “foster mom” when I take my little girl to the doctor or fill out any official paperwork. I don’t have to get permission to travel with her or consult with social workers about what her needs are. I can post pictures of her, hence my excitement with this blog’s title photo. I can just take care of it since I’m now simply “mom”. Continue reading
A friend emailed me this week and invited me to an online event on Friday night. I told her that I would love to be there, but Brian was going to be a men’s camping retreat with church so I was going to be on my own with the four kids. I said that I would be there, barring any unforeseen chaos.
I actually used the word “chaos” in my email to her. I learned a lesson this week.
Don’t use “chaos” in reference to something you are hoping doesn’t happen with three boys and a foster daughter. I also shouldn’t play the song “I Lived” by OneRepublic as it has the line “With every broken bone I swear I lived.” It’s only setting myself up for failure.
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I’m sorry for the absence of a post last week. My computer had other plans. I actually had everything written out and ready to go when my computer turned off. I turned it on again. It decided it didn’t like the position of the power cord and shut down again. And again.
And I gave up.
It seems like it has become trendy to complain about CPS. You’ve probably seen the stories of parents ending up in the crosshairs of CPS because their 11-year-old was playing outside by himself for an hour and a half while his parents were caught in traffic. Or the mom who was on Dr. Phil insisting that CPS had wrongly taken her baby and the truth was that he was just sick…
I made the mistake of reading the comments on these articles and it was…well, ugly.
People were bashing Child Protective Services, saying they are just causing trauma by removing kids, and they shouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore. People ask why CPS wouldn’t comment and why aren’t they answerable for cases gone wrong and insisting that the whole system needs to be done away with.
“The system is broken.”
I’m sure you’ve heard the sentiment – or even felt it yourself.
There are two competing narratives going on regarding CPS and foster care.